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Guess What? Kobe Bryant is frustrated with the Lakers, too

Jan 22, 2013, 12:31 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant AP

Is there anyone around the Lakers — players, coaches, front office people, fans, people who sweep the floors at Staples Center — who isn’t frustrated with the Lakers?

Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard expressed their frustration earlier.

It’s been pretty clear for a while that Kobe Bryant was among the most frustrated of all. After Monday’s Lakers loss to the Bulls Kobe opened up about his feelings to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network.

“Obviously, this isn’t working,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports.

“We need to go back to basics,” Bryant said. “We need to put guys in positions to do what they do best. We need to strip it down. Steve Nash is best in pick-and-roll. Pau is best in the post. I’m best from the free-throw line extended down. Let’s go back to basics.

“We’ve got to evaluate what’s going on. Management is looking at it. The players are looking at it. I’m looking at myself. I’m shooting a low percentage right now, and I’ve got to look at that.”

Gasol in the post. Kobe in the post. Is that Mike D’Antoni’s offense?

Kobe’s shooting percentage has dropped as teams have started to focus on him and risk letting the inconsistent Dwight Howard or Pau Gasol beat them. Steve Nash has his moments but is still trying to find his rhythm with this team.

As he has always done, when other struggle Kobe tries to pick up the slack. He takes on more because he believes in himself unwaveringly. So even as his legs get tired and the defenses focus on him he keeps trying. And that means more shots for him. And fewer for Gasol and Howard, as they don’t work for it, demand it.

Kobe will work hard to get the Lakers out of their funk and out of the hole, but the problem is he can’t do it alone. He needs an active Howard and an active Gasol and Mike D’Antoni to modify his system more. He needs the old Nash. He needs help, and he hasn’t gotten it all season.

  1. borderline1988 - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    No, Kobe, this isn’t about you in the post (the Lakers are on of the highest scoring teams in the league).

    This is about defense.

  2. fanofthegame79 - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    Notice Kobe didn’t mention Howard in his rant. He mentioned himself….Gasol…and Nash (1/2 of their big pick ups in the off season) but no mention of how Howard fits in, or what he needs to do in order to fit in and be productive. I’ll say it here, too: trade Dwight Howard for Chris Bosh! The Lakers and Heat would both make out – total win-win situation.

    • eventhorizon04 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      That trade would never happen – even though Chris Bosh has improved defensively, the Lakers defense would collapse without Dwight Howard altering shots and grabbing rebounds at a high rate – but you’re right that a stretch 4/5 like Bosh would be ideal for D’Antoni’s system on offense.

      Instead, the Lakers have a traditional low-post 4/5 in Pau Gasol who can hit the occasional jumpshot but is most effective in the low-post, plus a traditional 5 in Dwight Howard who is only effective near the restricted area.

      Still – the Lakers’ main issue is defense, not offense, so that trade doesn’t make much sense for them.

    • daddyghi - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      wont happen.. its a luxury tax disaster for both teams… mark cuban is probably spying on the lakers office by now…

  3. greenejoemean - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    I thought superstars were suppose to make his team better.

  4. bucs24 - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:51 PM


  5. daddyghi - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:02 PM


  6. lastdukestreetking - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:02 PM


  7. eventhorizon04 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    As others have written, the Lakers’ main issue is defense, not offense.

    I’m not a Lakers fan, but I was hoping one could tell me something about the Lakers’ offense. Dwight Howard was one of the best “roll”-men in the league in Orlando (which makes sense as an agile big), while Steve Nash is one of the best pick-and-roll handlers at the PG position of all-time. Also, D’Antoni’s system is very pick-and-roll friendly (see Nash in Phoenix, or Jeremy Lin in New York).

    What I don’t understand is, why isn’t the Nash-Howard pick-and-roll a staple of the offense? I’m not trolling – I’m honestly curious about why they don’t run that play more often. Has that play been consistently unsuccessful? I’ve watched several Lakers’ games, but I don’t see them run it at all, so I can’t judge how effective (or ineffective) it has been.

    • cosanostra71 - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      As a Lakers fan who does watch them, I have to agree with your assessment. They don’t run it nearly often enough for me to say that it has been effective or not, but it seems to me like they should run it more to find out.

    • zerole00 - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      I can see your argument, but for some reason the Lakers are dodging their real issue – defense. They’re putting up a ton of points (even if they aren’t efficient), yet when questioned about their lack of success they focus solely on the issue of offense.

  8. thomaskouns - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    When Jordan was the same age as Kobe is now he took the Bulls to a Championship – Kobe cant even get his team to the playoffs.

    Even with so-so seasons from Gasol, Howard and Nash a true superstar who ‘makes players better around him’ should be to get his team over 500.

    The league along with Nike needs to market the hell out of Kobe as he is the closest player to ‘the Jordan image’ currently in the NBA but scouts around the league have thought Kobe has been overrated for years but the NBA PR machine along with Nike tries to make him out to be more than he actually is as a player.

    Lifetime PER (Player Effeciency Stat) Rankings: Jordan #1 All-Time: Kobe: #14

    • cosanostra71 - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      Yeah, I’ll take the bait.

      When Jordan was playing college basketball, Kobe was winning a championship averaging 25 PPG.

      Your argument is that Kobe has the 14th best PER ever and so he’s overrated?

    • fanofthegame79 - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      I know Jordan was good (ok, great) but I would have guessed that either Oscar Robinson or Magic Johnson would of had the highest PER since they were a little more rounded as opposed to Jordan (thinking assits and rebounds). Or even Wilt Chamberlain since he was so dominate with his scores, blocks and rebounds (also did his fair share of assists).

  9. dls612 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    I always heard coaches and players say it but, This is the perfect example of a team that only look good on paper! That team needs to be dismantled and if the second half of the season anything like the first half the Lakers are watching the playoffs at home!

  10. caeser12 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Last week:

    I- 4 times
    I’m- Twice
    My- Once
    Me- 3 times
    We- Once

    This week:

    We- 3 times
    Steve Nash- Once
    Pau- Once
    I’m- 3 times
    I’ve- Once
    We’ve- Once

    Got it.

    • dedalus13 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      yeah, and the other day complained about having to push on sore legs if “roster-wise” nothing changed, and today asking for a change “coaching-wise” lol… I like Kobe and the lakers but “Epiphany” was Jan 6th

  11. thebigcaptain2011 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Kobe is flabbergasted

    • tipstopten - Jan 22, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Who cares

  12. caeser12 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Lebron turned Mo Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas into Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.

    Kobe has turned Steve Nash and Dwight Howard into Mo Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      This is a great post – so true!!!

  13. hojo20 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    I”m so sick of Kobe bitchin’…… Fire D’Antoni & Kupchak. Kobe wants to be the first simultaneous player/coach/GM in NBA history. Maybe that will pacify him.

    • southbeachtalent - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      Kinda like Jackie Moon..

  14. rgarritt - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    There is no chemistry amongst this group. They are not decisive offensively. If the other team is able to speed up the tempo, the Lakers get creamed.

  15. brenenostler - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    I’m no coach, but I imagine that it would be hard to come in when the season’s already started and install your own system when it was never practiced by the players in training camp.

  16. loungefly74 - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Defense…oh yeah…that thing.

    This all falls on the coach. if a coach is unable to reach his team and has lost them? he is done…and hiring Dantoni will go down as one of the greatest Laker blunders ever. i’m seething right now knowing Buss jr.’s ego screwed all this up but not getting the Zen Master back. smh.

    well…i still have my scotch to drink…

  17. tipstopten - Jan 22, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Its not about Kobe!!!!!!!!! That is the basic problem, he is selfish, all the players that they have are good, Kobe is not a
    TEAM player, remember there is no I in the word team

  18. ajek23 - Jan 22, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Love the post and comments. We all knew that kobe was a ball hog everbody knew it. So lets throw that out. Its the lack of defense and the system. U can’t have one of ur best players riding pine in the forth hands dwn. It was a bad move hiring the coach and now ur stuck with two players u wont get anything back for. Cuz if i was Howard i would leave after the season. Cuz this is obvious this isnt working.

  19. skinsfanwill - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    They knew when they signed Steve Nash that he is the biggest defense liability of a PG that basketball has ever seen. And to add insult to injury, they hire D’Antoni. If the world didn’t see that no defense would be played, then you all were fooling yourselves.

  20. ebrownwareagle - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    ???? For everyone…. If D12,who is limited on offense was on your team. Shooting 46% from the free throw line. Knowing that all the other team has to do is foul him, send him to line and essentially it a turnover… Would you give him the ball on offense in crunch time. Or even kick it back out to Pau for him to shoot a 3..? What would u do?

  21. sampulls - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Love this….they are turning into the New York Jets of basketball.

  22. rodge1 - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:35 PM


  23. ghelton03 - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Kobe doesn’t need help. Kobe needs to start helping his team. Putting up 32 shots and hitting 10, is not helping your team, especially when you have 4 other teammates that can score. Kobe is the brake on the Laker offense. When the ball gets into Kobe’s hands the offense stops. It’s just Kobe against the opposing team. He is playing very selfish right now.

  24. opshuns - Jan 22, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Pau is best in the post, and Dwight under the bus…Did I get it right Kobe???

  25. vols84 - Jan 22, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Trade Howard to Charlotte and get the top pick

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