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LeBron James Isn't Sold on Kobe Bryant's Role as Distributor

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08:  (L-R) Kobe Bryant #10 and LeBron James #6 of United States celebrate late in the fourth quarter against Australia during the Men's Basketball quaterfinal game on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 8, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Mike MoraitisAnalyst IFebruary 9, 2013

LeBron James can be seen as a scorer, rebounder, great defender and distributor of the basketball for the Miami Heat. On the flip side, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has been changing the overall perception of his game from straight scorer to more of a distributor over the past month.

But James isn't buying that at all.

When first asked to comment on the Lakers' abysmal season, James declined to comment specifically, per Ethan J. Skolnick of The Palm Beach Post:

LeBron didn't want to comment on Lakers' situation. "Last time I commented, Kobe asked me if I wanted a cookie. I like cookies, by the way."

— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) February 9, 2013

I like cookies, too.

However, James did respond when asked about Bryant's potential new role with the Lakers, also per Ethan J. Skolnick of The Palm Beach Post:

Does LeBron buy the idea of Kobe Bryant as a distributor? "No. I don't buy that. He's told you all before he's a scorer."

— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) February 9, 2013

I'd venture to guess that most people agree with James on that one, but Bryant has been trying to change his game as of late and the numbers prove it.

In the month of January, Bryant had 11 games with five assists or more, including four games near the end of the month that saw him rack up three double-digit performances and one nine-assist effort.

For the month, Bryant averaged 6.2 assists and his 24.4 points per game was his lowest average for any month during the season.

How long it will last is anyone's guess, but there's no question that the Lakers have been winning more since Bryant exploded into an assist machine on Jan. 25 against the Utah Jazz.

The answer for how long it lasts could be what Bryant has done to start the month of February. Bryant's scoring average may be down once again (20.6 points), but so are his assist totals (five per game).

We can all agree that Bryant is first and foremost a scorer and it will always be that way. But as long as his team is winning, Bryant couldn't care less what you call him because he just wants to win, and his increased assist totals have been a major reason for L.A.'s recent success.

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