Kobe’s shooting percentage

Our reader Jeffs raised an interesting point/question about Kobe Bryant’s shooting percentage, and why it’s not higher. It’s now .446 this season, which has caused his career shooting percentage to dip slightly to .452. You-know-who, the dude from Chicago, had a career shooting percentage of .497.

I think it’s a product of a couple things. First, Kobe has never been a spectacular shooter, in terms of pure numbers. He has never shot better than 46 percent in a season. He takes a lot of shots and he’s streaky. He can miss a lot in a row, but of course when he starts making them, look out below.

But I think there’s a couple things you can look at in the last couple years. These are just my observations and I welcome everyone’s input. One, I don’t see Kobe attacking the basket as much as he did previously. That’s a product of him simply getting a little older and dealing with a lot of nagging injuries, particularly with his knees. That explosion to the basket, it’s still there from time to time, but it’s not quite the same. It doesn’t make him any less of a player, just a different one. The other thing, and this is more of a criticism, is that I think Kobe tries too hard to draw contact. Sometimes it works really well, when opponents bite on his pump-fakes and moves, but if they’re not biting, or the refs aren’t calling it tight, he ends up throwing up a lot of bad shots. That, in turn, leads to him getting frustrated and maybe taking himself out of the game a bit.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  • dan


    We miss you over at the Kings blog.

    That blog actually has a fan base that reads and comments on what is posted.


    I completely agree with your observations regarding Kobe’s shooting percentage. Over the years he has moved away from the basket while simultaneously shooting higher percentage shots. This has caused his shooting percentage to stay relatively the same over the years…. One observation i had is that Kobe (as most players) needs alot of touches to shoot a high percentage. Since the ball is moving around so much this year i think he struggles to find his shooting rhythm because he is getting less touches and more dialed in on the defensive end.

  • Dan H.

    Rich, come back to the Kings page! We miss having someone that actually LIKES hockey and covers it as well as you!

  • Michael Teniente

    Now that whole thing was a pretty good explanation. But I think you hit the nail on the head when you say:

    “I don’t see Kobe attacking the basket as much as he did previously. That’s a product of him simply getting a little older and dealing with a lot of nagging injuries, particularly with his knees.”

    What more can be said?


  • Mr. Me Too

    i think sometimes it’s almost rediculous some of the shots mamba takes. if he takes the shots he can create and that are given to him, without forcing, he shoots well into the 50%’s. unfortunately he often has a problem of not doing that.

  • http://fishbone marcus smith

    Kobe’s field goal percentage over the last two years has been on par in my opinoin. It probably will never be over 47% because he is so good behind the arch;and that’s a huge part of his game, more so than that guy from chi-town. Maybe if he sat a game or 2 after the groin injury it would still be at 45-47% and that’s good enough for me.

  • ecb

    I think you’re way off the mark. The Kobester used to have Shack Daddy draw the double team, leaving him open to drive and dunk. He doesn’t a second star on the team that can draw the double away from him. How is going to drive when he’s tripled teamed.

    Secondly, don’t you remember… Kobe is practically the inventor of the pump-fake foul in the modern age. 5 years ago, defense would rush from Shaq to Kobe, setting up the easy foul. Again, no big boy down low means the defender is already on Kobe’s six! The pump-fake foul don’t workey so well in that case.

    Kobe’s skills are so superior to any other player, if the Buss Man could land another half way descent key player, this would re-open Kobe’s game, enroute to another ring!

  • wm

    C’mon, site owner! It’s been 3 weeks since anything other than reader comments have been posted! Meanwhile readers are wasting time checking your site for new stuff. If you can’t keep your site up to date, please shut it down.

  • X

    I agreed with everyone observations. I would like to add something that most people overlook. Kobe shooting percentage wasn’t that great even when Shaq was with the team. Yeah he takes a lot of shots and he’s streaky; however, about 50% of the shot he took were given to him with very little time on the shooting clock. Less time=bad shot.

  • Jeffs Aho

    The Lakers aren’t going anywhere without a legitimate 2nd scoring threat on the court. Living and dying on Bryant’s shot would not be in the best interest of Laker fans.

    Though Bryant scored 48 points, how many shots did he hoist up to get those points? Granted, the other Laker starters looked lethargic tonight, Bryant’s 1st quarter consecutive shots barrage did no favors for anyone. The Lakers are 8-1 when Bryant scores below 20 point per game this season.

    The Lakers are more than capable of putting points on the board. When Bryant lets the team participate on the offensive end, the players feels more energized and participatory on the defensive end.

    Bryant is resuming his role as the vacuum on the court. Seems like every time he touches the ball, it’s another shot.

    Victories from the past two games are fool’s gold. It’s easy to be “oohed” and “awhed” by Bryant’s performance but he has got to start to balance his game if the Lakers look to advance deep into the playoffs.

    -Jeffs Aho

  • Jeffs Aho

    It’s becoming disarmingly lucid who the most valuable player on the Lakers is.

    Clue. It’s not Bryant.

    I doubt Bryant would’ve been able to lead the same roster James had last year past the Detroit Pistons. I also doubt Bryant’s ability to lead the current Hornets roster to where Paul has them at.

    It’s painfully obvious that Bryant’s game is on the decline. He’s settling for way too many jumpers. The explosiveness is no longer there. Hence, all the bobblehead pumpfakes that infuriate Phil, Tex, and the rest of Laker Nation.

    One would expect the so-called best player in the league to step it up since the Lakers are without Bynum, Ariza, and Radmonovic. I guess that’s too much to ask of him.

    Maybe that’s just how the cookie crumbles.

    Jeffs Aho

  • Mark Williams

    Kobe’s shooting percentage is affected most by the fact that he is super competative, and his core teammates Lamar Odom and Luke Walton are cowards. They do not want to take responsibility for deciding a game. The shoot when the Lakers are up ten, or down ten. Otherwise, they throw Kobe the ball at the end of the shot clock, looking for him to bail them out. Add another coward Smush Parker and the limited Kwame Brown, and you wonder how Kobe has carried so much weight. Magic in his prime could not make all that trash a .500 team. Bynum, Farmer, Sasha and Ariza will allow Kobe to be more selective, and his shooting percentage will go up as they mature.

  • gil vazquez

    Kobe’s focusing on assists and making the team stronger and more effective. He is shooting less but as is evident in the last two games when he get’s on fire…. See ya.

  • mike

    Just some numbers that you may find interesting. 19% of Kobe’s shots are from three land. Compared to just 7% for that dude from chicago. Also, take away shots made and taken from outside the arc and the percentages are about Kobe’s 48% vs. MJ at 51%.

  • rain

    I hope the lakers would aquire

    steve nash for a stronger future in assists and 3pt shooting