I've been digesting the Lakers' defeat at the hands of the Mavericks, a team they shouldn't have been swept by, and one common theme is that fact that Kobe didn't practice during the regular season so he wasn't able to keep everyone as sharp and intense as they need to be.
The problem was that he wasn't practicing and thus able to be as intense as need be, but also that he lacked the moral authority to yell at his teammates and really impose discipline on them. Its just a fact of leadership that he has to be "one of the troops" and sometimes even a 5-time champion like Kobe loses credibility when he can't practice. When he gets to receive treatment and lift weights while everyone else is sprinting around, banging bodies and hurting out on the practice court. It adds up and takes a toll on his leadership ability.