The Los Angeles Lakers are a sight for sore eye right now, the current incarnation of the famous franchise giving up their ninth loss of a ten-game old NBA season Sunday night against the Golden State Warriors.
With a virtually non-existant defense - the Lakers gave up 136 points against the Warriors - and a roster jam packed with mundane, average ball players there is little to get excited about down at the Staples Center right now.
But while all around him descends into chaos there is one constant in Los Angeles that continues to light up the league. Kobe Bryant belied his 36 years to wrack up yet another impressive scoring night in Lakers colors last night, hitting 44 points despite sitting out much of the fourth quarter.
Having already landed 229 points this season prior to his Sunday night exploits, Kobe's 44 point haul saw him move to within 319 points of overtaking Michael Jordan and putting himself into third place in the list of the NBA's all-time top points scorer.
As the games roll on it is increasingly looking like this is the only goal attainable to Kobe Bryant this season with the dim pre-season hopes of playoff basketball for the Lakers in 2015 all but extinguished already.
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And, according to one league source cited by ESPN's Dave McMenamin, it seems like Kobe Bryant himself has put the Lakers' 2014-15 plans on hold in a bid to reach MJ's total sooner rather than later.
With Bryant's recent injury record it is perhaps no surprise that the 16-time All-Star is keen to hit the magic 32,293 target in double quick time but it must be cause for concern for both Lakers fans and staff to hear suggestions that the franchise superstar is overlooking the greater good of the team in favor of an individual goal.
Facts don't lie
Watching the Lakers stumble through the 2014-15 NBA season you would be hard pressed to argue with the fact that Kobe is back to his shoot-at-all-costs best.
During their 136-115 blowout loss to the Warriors for instance Kobe Bryant attempted an incredible 34 shots in just 31 minutes of action. Through the season Kobe has taken 29 percent of the Lakers' total shots and is shooting at a career low .377 field goal percentage - taking on the mantle of the player to have missed the most FGs in NBA history along the way.
Granted there is very little being offered from his teammates to help Bryant, and at times his only option is to shoot, but the superstar is not going to be around forever and Byron Scott is trying against all the odds to install some sort of a system in LA for the future.
With Kobe focussing on usurping the G.O.A.T rather than falling into line with team policy there is no sign just yet of the Lakers game-by-game storyline changing any time soon however.
Still, with a 1-9 record what has he got to lose? For Scott's sake at least Kobe better reach that 3rd-place milestone in the near future.