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Sunday August 20, 2006 9:20 pm

Dropping Dimes Draft Blog: Round 1, Pick 5

Kobe BryantRound 1, Pick 5: Kobe Bryant, SG, Los Angeles Lakers

Have we all forgotten about the Colorado Incident yet?  Isn’t it funny how people almost immediately forget scandals of celebrities, politicians, and jocks… just because there always seems to be a new one daily?  Well, fantasy basketball owners never abandoned the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant as we knew that he could perform (on the court, people, on the court).  And with the incident squarely behind him, Bryant went off and exploded last season (again, on the court, people, on the court).

We all know about the 81 point game and the fact that Bryant seems to score (on the… okay, you get the bit) at will, much like L.L. Cool J ripping and killing when his mother told him to knock people out.  So, it’s easy to overlook how very good he is in the other main categories of fantasy basketball.  Of course, it helps that he’s THE MAN on his team and has the ball in his hands most of the time.  But, despite the fact that in a real basketball sense, that ain’t cool as ice (don’t worry, I won’t make a Vanilla Ice acting career reference… oh, damn), fantasy-wise, we love the fact that Kobe controls the ball.

Let’s look at the numbers…

Last season, Bryant averaged a career-best 35.4 ppg, but in spite of the “he just scores” perception, Bryant also had averages of 4.5 apg (which is his career average as well), 5.3 rpg, a career-best 2.3 3pg, 1.8 spg, and of course, the usual good percentages from the field (45.0%) and charity stripe (85.0%).  Now, tell me, do you still think Bryant only scores? 

Let’s consider the upside in the other categories.

Just two seasons ago, Bryant averaged 6.0 apg, which is just about equal to all those scoring PGs such as Dwyane Wade and Gilbert Arenas.  In the past several seasons, Bryant has averaged about six boards per contest, with a career-best 6.9 four seasons ago.  Okay, it’s kind of a stretch that he’ll average close to seven gimme-thats again, but besides Lamar Odom, I’m not sure who’ll be the dominant boardsman for the Lakers.  So, that said, we have a high potential of getting 35-6-6 for this upcoming season from Bryant, which is comparable to the number one overall pick, LeBron James’ numbers.  BUT, Bryant hits more three-balls and can hang with steals.  And for all those worried about turnovers?  Bryant improved that number last season, averaging 3.1 tpg from the previous season’s 4.1 tpg… a whole turnover less.  How many turnovers did James average last season?  3.3.

So, what does this all mean?

Considering Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, E=KB24 OR in more layman’s terms with E = fantasy basketball success, it is not out of the question that Bryant can be considered with the number one overall pick.  So, getting him at fifth overall is golden, even if he is injured right now.  The season doesn’t start until the end of October.

C’mon, if McDonald’s found Bryant worthy enough again to endorse them, I’m sure you can find him worthy too.  I know I do.  Of course, it helps that he bought me a five million dollar ring…

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