Kobe Bryant has been named Western Conference Player of the Month for February.
Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers to nine wins in 13 games by averaging 23.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 6.6 assists during the shortest month of the year. He shot 48.9 percent from the field.
Bryant has been the only consistent performer on the Lakers team this season. Other than Bryant, the Lakers have only been consistent at maintaining injuries and failing to meet expectations.
In February, the injuries continued, but the LA started winning games—mainly due to Bryant’s superhuman efforts.
Three games into the month, Bryant lost Pau Gasol to injury, and publicly called out Dwight Howard to return from injury. With Gasol and Howard taking turns on the trainer’s table, Bryant still managed to guide the Lakers to five wins in their eight games prior to the All-Star break.
During the break, Bryant flew to Houston and took part in All-Star weekend. In the All-Star Game, he helped lead the Western Conference to victory by playing shutdown fourth quarter defense on LeBron James. Bryant blocked James twice late in the game, sealing the victory for the West.
Upon resuming the season, the Lakers went on to win four of the last five games in February with Bryant taking on the familiar offensive burden.
The Black Mamba averaged 35.0 points in the final four games of the February, and all those comparisons to Magic Johnson were long forgotten.
When asked about the award at Saturday’s practice, Bryant said that the team winning games "obviously had a lot to do with [getting the award]."
However, when asked to comment further, Bryant sarcastically responded, "whoopty whoop" and exhaled at the overall insignificance of the accolade.
For a player who has won seemingly every award the NBA has to offer, receiving Western Conference Player of the month offers yet another reminder that the only trophy that matters at this point is another championship.