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Kobe Bryant doesn’t think the Clippers are a rival, but was proud of Lakers’ performance

Jan 26, 2012, 6:51 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers picked up a 96-91 victory over their Staples Center roommates on Wednesday night, but don’t get it twisted: Kobe Bryant and Co. certainly don’t view a victory over the Clippers as a big win in a rivalry game.

“Please,” Bryant said when asked about what the rivalry victory meant to the Lakers’ superstar. “We’ve got five championships. … Rivals come from the playoffs.”

Bryant mentioned that and more during an overly-honest interview with Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski following the Lakers snapping of a three-game losing streak. The ‘Black Mamba’ showed quite a different side than most are used to seeing — especially those that have been tuning into ‘Kobe System’ shoe advertisements – but it showed a cutthroat mentality that isn’t seen as often in the new era of the NBA.

The 13-time All-Star declared his Lakers don’t have a rivalry following a game that saw six technical fouls, a couple shoving matches, an ejection and a flagrant to boot, but he wasn’t shy about standing up for his teammates following the raucous affair. The Clippers took offense to some of the actions that Lakers’ Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol took part in, but Bryant said that was exactly what needed to happen.

Bryant told Yahoo! that “There’s a couple [expletives] in this league you don’t mess with – and Metta is one of them.”

“Hey, you better talk to them,” Bryant advised the Clippers’ Chauncey Billups, according to Wojnarowski. “You better tell them to leave Ron alone. Someone is going to get their ass knocked out in front of everybody.”

Gasol showed that he wasn’t soft during the game, either, though it was through a simple pat on the head of Clippers point guard Chris Paul in a move that the latter apparently decided was a bit too patronizing for his liking. Bryant was unable to calm Paul down, but he told Yahoo! Sports that it was good to see a bit of fight from his big man.

“Pau’s not a patronizing guy,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports. “I’d do some stuff like that, but not him. That’s just not him.

“Chris doesn’t like that stuff. He’s got that little-man complex. I do that to his head all the time. Man, he just hates it. But he’s a tough little [expletive], and he’s not going to let that [expletive] slide, accident or not.”

It was only a start for Bryant and the Lakers as they’re still trying to shake off the effects of a shortened-preseason and the retirement of head coach Phil Jackson that caused them to begin the season with a middling 11-8 record, but it seems Wednesday night’s win was certainly a step in the right direction.

Instead of the media discussing the effects of Mike Brown’s offense, the poor play of the Lakers’ backcourt or if Bryant still has what it takes to put the team on his back when they need a big win, the topic of discussion following Wednesday night’s win was about how the Lakers looked like a tough team that are willing to do whatever it takes to get a win — even if the game does get a little dirty.

And that, judging by Bryant’s comments, is exactly what he wants the team to do every time they step out on the court.

  1. bozosforall - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Kobe needs to figure out a way to get Pau pissed off like that for every game. He needs to start making up stuff that the other team is saying about Pau and then keep on needling him about it to get him going. Imagine a pissed-off Gasol in every game. Dude would dominate.

  2. bossmangunny - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    My strong belief is that this is as good as gets for the Clippers.Kobe knows it,CP3 knows it.Exciting team?Yes? Western conference champ caliber?No

  3. steelyres211 - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    LOL @ Ron Artest knocking out anyone that isn’t an overweight fan running onto the court.

    • bozosforall - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:01 PM

      Not nearly as funny as Kevin Garnett actually challenging anyone his size…and getting his bully ass knocked out.

  4. fiveaces20000 - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    It’s not a rivalry until the Lakers say it is. That is what the Clipper players should be saying.

  5. dannymac17 - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Why is this dude talking slick about a guy they were trying to get but then didnt?

    Sounds like a rivalry if you need to take personal pot shots.

    Kobes age is getting to him. Yes 5 rings. How many of them came without Phil Jackson cuddling Kobe’s backside?

    Zero.

    • stayhigh_247 - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM

      you’re missing the whole point. what Kobe did was pure Phil Jackson. I’m surprised it took him this long to figure out how to motivate this team. They might be running Mike Brown sets but Phil is still coaching this team and thats a good thing. Those statements were made to get into the Clippers heads, this fame is all new ground for them as a whole. The Lakers know how to get to the big show, just like Boston. When the new car Clipper smell wears offs we’ll see who comes out on top, I’m putting my money on the Black Mamba. the “little man complex” remark is designed to throw dude off of his axis and have him trying to do too much. Yes they are exciting and younger, but until Blake develops and all around game, they are going nowhere. Where did all that dunking get Vince Carter? Some busted knees and a couple dunk contests. C’mon, I need to see Blake locking dudes down on D, become a better passer when he draws the defense, same thing with Deandre. Image him with Lamar Odoms basketball IQ, but for now run and dunk is not championship ball. They should study Miami (the most dangerous team in the league) and im not even a Heat fan.

    • sshameless - Jan 27, 2012 at 8:54 PM

      Get real, and try to get in touch w/ some historical reality for a change. Go read Jackson’s books, and his quotes during his Laker tenure. He did anything but coddle Kobe, he unceasingly attacked and smeared him publicly. He chose to coddle Shaq, whose immaturity, whiny insecure demeanor and locker room cancer demanded such help. Which means to baby O’neal, he had to constantly go after Kobe for Shaq’s childish ego’s sake. Kobe not only overcame Shaq’a non-stop petulance, but also Jackson’s crap to win rings.

  6. lameasish - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    Seriously dannymac? You cannot throw aside five rings, even if tebow is coaching your team…

    • southbeachtalent - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:25 AM

      Agreed, that’s not something you say in passing. 5 rings is quite the accomplishment. And I am in no way a kobe fan.

  7. borderline1988 - Jan 26, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Enough of the rings argument.

    Adam Morrison has 2 rings, and he was thrown aside, right out of the NBA. Kobe Bryant didn’t win championships. The Lakers did.

    • bozosforall - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:36 AM

      Which is what he said. “We’ve got five championships”. Try reading the article first next time.

    • stayhigh_247 - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:36 AM

      so in your argument, we can exchange Kobe for any old schmuck in the league and the Lakers would still have 5 rings? stop hating, it’s not becoming..

      • captainart7 - Jan 28, 2012 at 12:36 AM

        Hello ‘stayhigh”, I just had to say this and you have no idea all the problem I went through just to get log on. Even had to update to #9.

        Your reply to that young kid was one of the best replies that I have read on this blog. Excellent. He had to be young to post some thing as immature as he did. Wish I could buy you a beer. 5 Rings with out Kobe is absurd.

    • loungefly74 - Jan 27, 2012 at 7:44 AM

      whoa…0-14 on the comments bordeline…yeah, no one buys that arguement…well, smart NBA fans dont buy that crap you spitted out.

  8. ima9er4life - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Kobe think he sick, french bitch.

  9. cowboysallday - Jan 27, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Haha Kobe’s awesome

  10. awesomearchangel - Jan 27, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    We will see what happens in the playoffs, I am pulling for Paul. Lakers might think Paul is a little man. At least Chris Paul is he able to keep his promises to his wife, his kids, God, and his teammates. Can you say the same about all the lakers? I am a big fan of Metta World Peace: his concern for the mentally ill and his sheer will and hustle on defense are amazing. Especially when millions of fans jumped on him for defending himself and his teammates during the brawl in Detroit. Most athletes might have quit the league after that incident. But Metta grew to understand why he could act out impulsively at times because of his Doctors, and now has a championship that created opportunities for others who are sick to be healed because of the ring he shared with the families struggling with mental illness.

  11. sshameless - Jan 27, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Paul runs his mouth on the court non-stop, like a whiny annoying little sister. Ref’s get sick of his constant complaining, and eventually will stop calling fouls for him when he intentionally runs into Fisher, elbows him, flails his arms, legs and body, while screaming at the Ref for a call. Kobe is genius to manipulate Paul’s petulant Napolean complex.

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