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Kobe gets the assist with a pass off of Serge Ibaka’s backside (VIDEO)

Dec 14, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

The Lakers were predictably shellacked by the Thunder on Friday, thanks both to OKC being one of the league’s five best teams, along with the fact that the Lakers have no point guards on the roster due to injury and are slowly working Kobe Bryant back into the mix.

Bryant finished with just four points and seven turnovers in 23 minutes, but he did register 13 assists — including this one, where he found Jordan Hill with a crafty pass off of Serge Ibaka‘s backside that Hill was able to slam home.

  1. shanelsweet - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Crafty: clever at achieving one’s aims by indirect or deceitful methods.

    Lucky: producing a good result by chance

    You have to really, really, really love Kobe to characterize that play as “crafty”
    The video shows he got caught in the air and threw the ball at the defender just like we’ve seen players do countless other times. It’s not a crafty move. It’s a bailout move to avoid a travel call.

    • psung26 - Dec 14, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      He didn’t just throw the ball off a player for the sake of trying to get rid of the ball. Sure he ran out of space and never meant to do the move prior to the drive. However, once he got in the air, he recognized the situation and threw the ball at the right angle and force so it would bounce of Serge to land in Hill’s mitts for an easy two. An objective look at the video shows Kobe threw the ball off Serge with intentionality and particularity.

      A good result does not make a move “lucky.” By your narrow definition of chance, every single jumpshot or even layup/dunk should be considered “lucky” because no shot is 100% guaranteed to go in; some degree of chance underlies every made basket.

      You would have to really, really, really hate Kobe to characterize that play as pure luck.

      • shanelsweet - Dec 14, 2013 at 1:44 PM

        “threw the ball at the right angle and force so it would bounce of Serge to land in Hill’s mitts for an easy two.” hahaha, so the next time he does it and it bounces out of bounds, will he have intended that result too? He got lucky plain and simple.

      • psung26 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:43 PM


        So if an NBA player shoots a jumpshot that has a 45% chance of going in, and it goes in, is he then lucky because the results were good? Conversely, if it bounces out, is he just unlucky? What if that said player shoots a 3 pointer that has a 35% chance of making it. If he makes it in, is he simply lucky?

        No, thats ridiculous. Players have an intention, then they execute to the best of their ability. Of course success of a particulary play hinges on chance, but conflating luck with chance and equivocating between the two concepts would be a mistake.

      • mytthor - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:43 AM

        Is “intentionality” anything like “intent?”

    • davidly - Dec 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      One might just be revealing an animosity towards Kobe, on the other hand, when they use “really” three times to contrast their own characterization of a particular play with the one in the OP.

      From an objective perspective, I’d say that considering someone with his history of accomplishment on the basketball court, it is entirely possible that the luck that came with that particular bailout move–which, frankly we cannot determine for certain–involved craftsmanship.

      It’s not like the author declared it the most crafty pass of all time.

      • money2long - Dec 15, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        shanelsweet, stop digging a hole for yourself.

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      @shane: I have to agree more with you. THere’s NO WAY he did that on purpose. The angle at which he threw that off Ibakas back does not guarantee it’ll go to Hill. It looks more like he’s trying to pass to Pau but Ibaka got in the way as Kobe was about to land.

      @psung: To say he intentionally threw it off Ibaka’s back to bounce off him and go to Hill in that split second is ludicrous even for someone like Kobe.

    • muhangis - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      You see NBA players do this “countless times”???? hmm.. Then name it. I on other hand haven’t seen players do this each time when “they get caught up in the air” ? Give Kobe much credit for making the best out of the situation, instead of turning the ball over.

      It’s obvious in your comment you just hate Kobe, and yet no one cares.

      It was crafty, to say the least. End of discussion.

  2. otistaylor89 - Dec 14, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Hopefully they will correct the official scoring and remove an assist from Mr. Bryant.

    Seriously, as someone who ruptured his Achilles’ tendon, Kobe has a very long ways to go and at his age I just don’t see him getting there before the rest of the body starts to break down if he gets more than 30 minutes/game.

  3. asimonetti88 - Dec 14, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    haha that’s awesome. About the only thing the Lakers did right last night. What an embarrassing loss, I hope we can get it back together soon.

  4. MyTeamsAllStink - Dec 14, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    0-3 since his return …..

    • antistratfordian - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:03 PM

      You’re not going to win many games when the guy with the highest Usage Percentage on your team is putting up a 9.8 PER.

      The Lakers are giving Kobe too much responsibility too soon. Also, trying to work him back by putting him in a position that he doesn’t naturally play very well probably isn’t the smartest thing either.

      • money2long - Dec 15, 2013 at 5:46 PM

        kobe can play point guard very well. just stop it anti.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 15, 2013 at 6:06 PM

        I disagree. It’s against his nature – which is why these wonderful quotes from Kobe exist:

        “I see nothing but that basket. You could be open, there could be three guys on me, but the only thing I see is that basket so you have to tell me, Look, I was open.”


        “With Shaq, I had to do something that I naturally don’t do: be the quarterback. The responsibility of getting him the ball fell on me. That’s not what I do.”

        So trying to work him back in by forcing him into a position that he doesn’t particularly like playing – a position that has never suited him – it’s not the best idea in the world.

      • money2long - Dec 15, 2013 at 10:56 PM

        oohh anti. you are stretching sooo hard.
        what we are talking about is his ability to play point guard. those quotes ur using is kobe the shooting guard. his mindset was shooting guard. if he is asked to lay point guard, he can run that position just as well as many of the elite point guards in the nba today. do you think if diantoni asked kobe to facilitate by playing the 1, that he’ll respond by saying, “all i see is the basket” ? to me , ur getting more dum and dum by the day with how often u seek to bash la and kobe and la fans. just stop. if you think kobe can not play point guard, you don’t know basketball and need to stop commenting. how the hell would kobe say he can’t be quarterback if he was asked to play point guard that night? he is elite, he has vision, he can handle and he has some pretty fundamental and flashy passing capabilities in his repertoire. study more kobe. less trying to insult this legend. silly guy.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 16, 2013 at 9:08 PM

        No, the quotes I’m using are from last year when he was playing point guard. And also he’s referring to his time with Shaq when he claims he was the point guard.

        In any case, it doesn’t suit him, obviously, being one of the biggest black holes in history. Even when he tries to play point guard, like he is doing now, he isn’t very good at it.

      • money2long - Dec 17, 2013 at 12:12 AM

        u don’t know basketball. the end. you’re just some guy behind your keyboard. funny, phil jackson would put him in a position to play point guard if he believed kobe couldn’t. just be quiet.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 17, 2013 at 12:38 AM

        Don’t get emotional. I’m not saying anything that Phil Jackson wouldn’t agree with.

      • money2long - Dec 17, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        emotional by telling you that you don’t know basketball? go ahead and call pil jackson stupid for putting kobe in a position that would hurt the team… what’s taking u so long ?

      • antistratfordian - Dec 17, 2013 at 6:02 PM

        Kobe is only saying now that he was the point guard while playing with Shaq – that doesn’t mean it’s true – Phil Jackson would roll his eyes at that.

        In any case, Kobe isn’t suited to play point guard. He knows that, I know that, you know that. Stop pretending that he isn’t anything but a shot chucker.

      • money2long - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM

        of course he is more suited to play shooting guard anti. ur so cute. that’s why he is playing shooting guard anti. let me say this slowly for you. kobe….has…the …ability…to play point guard. tha tis what the discussion is. not which position suits him more anti. are you following anti? put it this way. phil jackson didn’t ask robert horry to play point guard. kobe can play point guard. anti, you probably haven’t seen kobe enough at point guard to understand that he is very capable of playing the position of point guard if he was tasked to do it that night. maybe you haven’t seen ‘kobe the facilitator’. stop watching youtube vidos and pulling quotes out of context. you just look more slow by the day. if you do not think kobe has some amazing passing ability you are not fit to talk basketball. youre really denying the fact that kobe has the ability to control the basketball and find his teammates of nifty passes. his job is to shoot the ball. thats.. why…he …is..playing…shooting guard . like i said. go ahead and call phil jackson stupid for putting kobe and the lakers in a position to fail if he thought kobe only sees the basket. you are quite stupid. you do more laker bashing than anything else in your life. you are a moron. you don’t know the meaning of the word capable? you honestly don’t think kobe can dribble, and pass in the point guard position? so sad. kobe has high IQ. something all good point guards need. go to the dictionary and look up the meaning of capable. and stop using the argument of kobe liking to score. bcuz that is not the point. i like to kiss women. doesn’t mean im not capable of smacking them on the butt. ur using the argument that becuz kobe has stated in the past that he likes to score that he therefore is inept to dribble and pass like a point guard if asked to do so…go live in the woods anti. im officially anti-anti.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 18, 2013 at 10:28 PM

        Well anybody can just play point guard. That’s not the point. Kobe doesn’t play it well. And his IQ is overrated. Anybody who says – or plays like – this:

        “I see nothing but that basket. You could be open, there could be three guys on me, but the only thing I see is that basket so you have to tell me, Look, I was open.”

        …needs to go back to school.

      • money2long - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:37 AM

        if u think kobe would have that mentality if he was asked to be a point guard then u have serious problems. and NO not just anyone can play point guard. italicizing it doesnt make ur point make any more sense.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:54 AM

        I don’t think that, I know that – I’ve seen it at least a hundred times. We’ve seen it this year. It’s all bad.

      • money2long - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:51 AM

        haha. you still haven’t looked up the meaning of capable huh. so sad. your hate for kobe is making you sound like a pure idiot. u honestly think kobe can not operate as a point guard. you honestly think kobe can not pass the ball as a point guard. i wonder what his game high in assists is. i wonder why gm’s expect to see facilitator kobe. what the heck is a facilitator kobe if he is unable to facilitate? wow anti. ur not a smart basketball observer. stop blinding urself with hate.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 20, 2013 at 6:14 PM


      • money2long - Dec 21, 2013 at 3:48 AM

        funny enough, kobe’s second position is point guard before small forward. but u wouldn’t know that because kobe is just as good as shaq at running point guard haha

      • antistratfordian - Dec 22, 2013 at 1:30 AM

        In what world? In Mike D’Antoni’s bizarro world? No one considers Kobe’s 2nd position to be point guard. Tell that to Phil Jackson when he’s drinking a beverage and it will shoot out of his nose.

      • money2long - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:55 AM

        also, to say u’ve seen whatever ur tryna prove a hundred times proves ur observing kobe the shooting guard . smh. kobe will not say those quotes to the coach if asked to play point guard. kobe is a shooting guard. so if he says he sees the basket, that wat it means to shoot. do you f o l l o w ? kobe the point guard is an elite facilitator. and if u doubt kobe’s ability to make nifty passes then u simply need to stop talking.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 20, 2013 at 6:13 PM


      • money2long - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:58 AM

        there’s a difference between preferring to do something and capable of doing something. the sooner u look up the word capable the sooner u will realize ur argument here is dumb.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        He is not capable of being a good PG. This is well established.

      • money2long - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:08 AM

        ok then

      • money2long - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:00 AM

        and what am i doing. just let the highlight in this post speak for itself. that is a fine pass by kobe. and he’s had MANY great passes in single games. u sir are blinded by hate. haha so sad. all your points about lakers are always blinded by hate. and all your post about the heat have you slurping all their players to the fullest. whens the last time u said any constructive criticism about the heat? you homer.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 20, 2013 at 6:13 PM


      • money2long - Dec 21, 2013 at 3:49 AM

        denying a highlight ? all your argument to this point has become null and void based off that. you’re clearly just neglecting on purpose to acknowledge his passing ability. tsk tsk. haha

      • antistratfordian - Jan 25, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        Kobe was trying to throw a bounce pass back to Pau – he thought Pau was going to be wide open behind him because he just used him as a screen and rightly assumed Pau’s man (Ibaka) would follow him to the basket. Kobe tried to thread the needle behind Ibaka, but the ball hit his back instead and bounced towards Hill’s feet.

        You can see this most clearly from the above angle – he was looking at Pau from the corner of his eye and you see Kobe reach around and try to whip that ball back to him. But Serge didn’t jump or challenge the shot like Kobe thought he would and instead kept his feet on the ground, took a step back at the last moment and got in the way of his pass.

        Plus, if Kobe wanted to pass the ball to Jordan Hill the lane was wide open for it – he could’ve thrown it directly to Hill and it would’ve been a much prettier play (and a nicer pass – one that didn’t end up at Hill’s feet).

        Instead, it was an errant pass that was fortunately deflected to a teammate.

      • money2long - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:17 PM

        yes, of course. you’re absolutely right.
        (pay attention kids, sometimes a menace just has to hear he/she is right even if they are not.)

      • antistratfordian - Jan 27, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        Well in this case I am absolutely right. You saw it yourself.

      • money2long - Jan 27, 2014 at 9:35 PM

        yes, yes. applause for you. you deserve a scooby snack. 😀

  5. theromeo2k - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Kobe must have been watching some of Rajon Rondo’s move since he was told that he was gonna be the PG

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