Those who blame Kobe are missing the big picture

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Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is the wrong person to blame for the disappointing start by the Lakers. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / December 21, 2012)

Whitlock makes the point that Kobe “emasculates his big men. Andrew Bynum politely admitted this week that Kobe stunted his growth.”

Any columnist who relies on the insights of Andrew Bynum needs a rest more than I do. Andrew Bynum stunted his own growth more than anyone else.

Whitlock writes, “I blame Kobe. He’s the guy stopping Howard from eating.’’

I haven’t seen Whitlock at a Lakers game this season. I haven’t been to all of them so maybe we just keeping missing each other. That’s too bad, I like arguing with him.

But I wonder if he’s talked to Howard. I had lunch with Howard last week and he said Kobe is the one who has been yelling at him to shoot more jump shots. That’s jump shots.

He said Kobe has been working with him on being more aggressive and less sensitive to criticism.

Maybe they both won’t co-exist in the long run, but to make the assertion now that Kobe is holding Howard back is just inaccurate.

And to suggest the “Lakers’ problems stem from Kobe” as the ESPN headline with Broussard’s story suggested, is a misplaced cheap shot.

I’m all for pounding Kobe when he gives good reason to do so.

But darn if I can find a reason this season.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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