Kobe Bryant inspired Nick Young to dish season-high assists with… three

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Nick Young scores and – that’s about it.

He doesn’t defend much. He doesn’t rebound. And he doesn’t pass.

Here’s the NBA leaderboard for shots per assists (minimum: 500 minutes):

  • Brook Lopez: 22.4
  • Andre Drummond :19.6
  • Enes Kanter: 19.2
  • Jonas Valanciunas: 18.7
  • Timofey Mozgov: 15.3
  • Bismack Biyombo: 15.2
  • Tristan Thompson: 13.1
  • Serge Ibaka: 13.1
  • Ryan Anderson:12.7
  • Carl Landry: 12.7
  • Terrence Ross: 12.0
  • Derrick Williams: 11.9
  • Nick Young: 11.5
  • Alex Len: 11.1
  • LaMarcus Aldridge: 10.6

Terrence Ross is the only other non-big man to crack the top 15. Young’s lack of passing is not unique among guards, but he’s in a special class.

Even Kobe Bryant shoots just 3.6 times per assist, a number boosted by his career-high 17 assist against the Cavaliers. And if Kobe can be so unselfish, Young figures, why not him too?

Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:

Ha! Kobe inspiring Nick Young to a season-high three assists is a perfect example of Kobe’s veteran leadership. He’s taking his Lakers teammates to heights that seemed impossible.

At least Young was already dreaming big, though it’s hard to see him getting that double-double anytime soon. In 512 career games, he has never had more than six assists. He’s been closer with rebounds, notching nine once, eight once and seven twice.

Maybe if he keeps following Kobe’s lead, Young will play long enough to get that double-double someday.