Dec 3, 2012, 12:08 PM EDT
Kobe Bryant is a little frustrated.
Okay, a lot frustrated. He’s pissed off.
And he should be after the Lakers Swiss-cheese defense was picked apart by the struggling Magic as they beat the Lakers Sunday night. The Lakers problems are not simple — it’s not just Pau Gasol not being comfortable, it’s not just Dwight Howard’s free throws, it’s not just Steve Nash being injured, it’s not just the bench, it’s not just the defense. It’s all of it together.
Kobe’s answer to any challenge is to work harder. That has been the modus operandi of his career and it has worked pretty well. And that is at the core of his rant after the Lakers ugly loss Sunday night, via Joe McDonald at Fox Sports West.
“I’ll kick everybody’s ass in this locker room if it doesn’t happen,” Bryant said after a 113-103 loss to the Orlando Magic at Staples Center. Yes, the 6-10 Orlando Magic. “It’s the attitude you have to have. Metta (World Peace) is the same way. Dwight (Howard) has it in him as well. Even though he smiles a lot, he cares a lot about this. Come hell or high water, this has to get done.”
Howard cares, but he still seems unsure of himself in this setting with this pressure. Insecurity was never Kobe’s problem. Howard needs to pick up that lesson from Kobe.
Bryant’s rant eventually moved on to Gasol and his struggles, with Gasol not feeling comfortable in Mike D’Antoni’s offense and not getting touches in the post. Kobe said he had to put on his “big boy pants.”
“Pau has to make some adjustments, obviously, to his game. He might not be posting up as much as he likes, but he just has to adjust.
“The reality is, I’ve adjusted. I’ve never run this many screen-and-rolls in my entire life. But I’ve worked on it. I’ve worked on handling the ball; worked on coming off screens and making plays. I’m used to being in the post much, much more. You have to adjust; you have to master what it is we’re trying to do here. Pau’s talented enough and good enough to be able to do that.”
Pau is talented enough, but he also was benched the final six minutes of the game (his second fourth-quarter benching under D’Antoni). Which is just going to fuel trade speculation. But the Lakers aren’t moving on that front yet, wanting to see if Gasol adjusts and how things look when Steve Nash returns (which is more than a week away).
Kobe wants that sixth ring. Badly. And with this roster he thinks he has a shot at it. His leadership style is tough love, but with the Lakers struggling expect a lot more tough and a lot less love in the short term.
Jul 12, 2014, 1:11 AM EDT
Two teams near the top of their conference could get a lot better if they land him.
Jul 12, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT
Carter will likely replace Mike Miller, who might be Cleveland-bound to play with LeBron James
Jul 11, 2014, 11:28 PM EDT
Bucks-Cavaliers was by far the main event of the first day of Summer League action in Las Vegas.
Jul 11, 2014, 10:52 PM EDT
Bazemore join’s Atlanta’s crowded wing rotation
Jul 11, 2014, 10:33 PM EDT
If you’re betting on the Cavaliers to win the title next season
Jul 11, 2014, 9:39 PM EDT
“To say that I’m excited and happy would probably qualify as one of the great understatements of the millennium,” Blatt said.
Jul 11, 2014, 8:42 PM EDT
Odom had fully unguaranteed contract
Jul 11, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT
“It is almost enough to make a Clevelander cry.”
Knicks coach Derek Fisher reflects on LeBron’s decision, while still waiting for Carmelo Anthony to make his
Jul 11, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT
Fisher talks LeBron, Carmelo after a successful Summer League debut coaching the Knicks.
Jul 11, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT
He handles it with class. What else did you expect?
Jul 11, 2014, 6:51 PM EDT
Dragic, Bledsoe and Thomas? The Suns will be fun to watch this season.
Jul 11, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT
That’s a lot of money.
Jul 11, 2014, 6:13 PM EDT
Writing was on the wall on the Lakers traded for Jeremy Lin
Jul 11, 2014, 5:55 PM EDT
Miami will try to re-sign Dwyane Wade next. What will Houston do?
Jul 11, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT
Bosh would give up more than $35 million to leave Miami for Houston, but maybe LeBron James’ departure convinces him to do so
Jul 11, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT
Wade is from Chicago, so there may be a desire to return home — the same way it was with LeBron and the Cavaliers.
Jul 11, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
LeBron needs to win in Cleveland (not this season, but eventually) to secure his legacy.
Jul 11, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT
Rockets need New Orleans to figure out how to get Asik before Chandler Parsons’ clock expires
Jul 11, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT
Both sides had some apologizing to do.
Deal set: Lakers trade for Jeremy Lin, which for L.A. is largely about draft pick (as is Gasol for Boozer idea)
Jul 11, 2014, 4:24 PM EDT
The Lakers lack draft picks — they traded them for Gasol and Nash — and are now making moves to acquire more.
- Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker shine in head-to-head Summer League matchup 11
- Posnanski: LeBron James proves he’s a true Clevelander 46
- Report: Isaiah Thomas headed to Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade 38
- Report: Chris Bosh re-signing with Heat over joining Rockets 80
- Report: Heat offer Chris Bosh full max contract to keep him from Rockets 26
- PBT Extra: LeBron James returns to Cleveland to try and cement legacy 18
- Deal set: Lakers trade for Jeremy Lin, which for L.A. is largely about draft pick (as is Gasol for Boozer idea) 36
- Carmelo Anthony still not ready to decide, but he needs to soon as options dry up 48