therealdeal wrote:BECAUSE HIS TEAMMATES WERE MOVING AND WERE EFFECTIVE.
It's really not that difficult.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/lakers/2013/01/26/kobe-bryant-los-angeles-mike-dantoni-dwight-howard-jazz/1866011/Kobe Bryant talks Lakers, Dwight Howard's future
Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports10:30a.m. EST January 26, 2013
(Photo: Mark J. Terrill, AP)
LOS ANGELES – There was a missing piece to the puzzle Kobe Bryant was putting together late Friday night.
Long after the Lakers had downed Utah 102-84 to break their four-game losing streak and remind the masses of the potential they still have, their resident ruler was explaining the confrontational nature of his team's culture and why it was a good thing that they were put together this way.
He mentioned how Metta World Peace jumped all over Darius Morris at one point of the game, and how even Steve Nash came right back at Bryant when he confronted him about not taking a particular shot. No nonsense. No pulled punches. No secrets.
LAKERS: D'Antoni just 'trying to do my job'
"That's just how it should be," he had told reporters afterward. "Yeah, shoot the (expletive). What the (expletive) you doing? You know?...This is what it is, and this is how it should be and this is how it will be."
But five days after the team meeting that seemed to embody this candid and caustic style that Bryant has employed for so long, it was impossible not to notice the omission of Dwight Howard from the conversation.
The Lakers center doesn't fit into this part of the Lakers picture, his personality more passive-aggressive than direct and the question remaining about whether the free-agent-to-be is prepared to play this game with Bryant beyond this season.
Bryant doesn't know how this will end any more than anyone else, as Howard could be dealt before the Feb. 21 deadline if it turns out he has a wandering eye and the Lakers change their stance that's he's untouchable. But so long as he's here, Bryant made clear, this is the way his team will be led.
"It's a matter of learning (for Howard)," Bryant told USA TODAY Sports as he exited Staples Center. "What I try to tell him is that it's not necessarily about what you (want), how you are as a person, or what's comfortable for you. It's really about what's going to help elevate us.
"So for us to have a team that's confrontational and on edge brings out the competitive spirit of everybody else, you know what I'm saying? If everybody is just relaxed and happy go lucky and this that and the other, then that's the personality we'll have as a team. And then you run into a team that's a confrontational team, and it's like a bus."
Bryant wouldn't feel this way if he hadn't been run over a bus like that before.
"That's what happened to us in 2008," he continued. "Everything was really easy for us, real smooth and this that and the other. Everybody liked each other. And then we got to the Finals (against Boston), and we ran into a bus. The Celtics – those (expletives) just beat the (expletive) out of us (in six games)."
This is the root of the Bryant-Howard quandary. Independent of personality and based solely on talent, they have all the makings of a dynamic duo that could win titles together just like Bryant did with Shaquille O'Neal. Add in Pau Gasol, Nash, and World Peace, and some of the brightest minds in the game were convinced entering the season that they were shoe-ins to win it all.
But Bryant is one of the fiercest and least-forgiving players in the game, the conviction of his beliefs based not only on the five championships that still give him the final say in these parts but also the failures that shaped him. Howard is notoriously benign and constantly conflicted, more now than ever because the familiar voices in his complicated camp are speaking up yet again about the chaos that surrounds him.
They are The Odd Couple without the punchlines or the laugh track, though Bryant doesn't see their pairing as problematic. Asked if he still believed he could win a championship with Howard, he said, "Yeah, for sure." Unrelenting and sure as always, he's trying to teach Howard a lesson he may not want to learn.
"It's a process for him," Bryant said. "He wants to be one of the greats of all time, and to do that you have to learn from the greats of all time – be it Bill Russell, be it Shaq. I mean Shaq was a moody, temperamental dude. So if you watch all the big men who have come before, you start to see a common denominator.
"Wilt (Chamberlain), God bless him, was phenomenal, but he didn't have (the same edge). Russell and (those) guys win repetitive – (Michael) Jordan, Magic (Johnson), myself. You've got a little (expletive) in you. I want (Howard) to be great, so I'm trying to push him."
He did just that in the Monday meeting, though it's unclear to what degree. While Bryant acknowledged that the meeting took place, he disputed his part in it.
"I never asked him (if he disliked playing alongside Bryant)," Bryant said. "I never asked him that."
So, Bryant was asked, what did he say?
"It's private; it's private," he said. "But I never asked him that, so I'm not quite sure where that came from. That's not in my personality to ask somebody that (laughs).
"It was nothing of that sort. If you talk to Dwight, ask Pau, ask Steve Nash and those guys – I never said that. I'm too old to be lying about that type of (expletive). I don't give a (expletive)."
He does care about saving this season, though, and the Lakers (18-25) may still survive considering they're just four games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Yet beyond the clash of cultures and the conversation about what Howard must do to meet this moment, Friday's win offered a glimpse of how these Lakers might look from here on out.
A concerted effort to feed Howard in the paint early paid off on both ends throughout, as he finished with 17 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and one turnover after returning from the shoulder injury that took him out of Wednesday's loss at Memphis. Bryant – who had shot just 35.3% in the previous four games while averaging 25.5 shots – hit seven of 10 while turning in his most well-rounded night of the season (14 points, a season-high 14 assists and nine rebounds).
For a night, this purple-and-gold puzzle became a picture. And Howard, Bryant insisted, remained in it.
"I don' t know what the future holds," Bryant said. "I don't know if (Howard will be traded)…But I know that as long as he's here, I'm going to continue to help him, mentor him, help him be great. That's all I can do. I'm a problem solver. I try to figure things out, come hell or high water."
therealdeal wrote:Sometimes I just feel like giving up.
Do that many of you HONESTLY think that tonight Kobe did something differently than he's used to? The ONLY difference is that today guys cut and moved and MADE shots.
How often this season has Jodie Meeks cut back door? How about how often has Jamison cut to the basket? How about how often has Dwight been that effective in the pick and roll? How about how often has Nash been that aggressive offensively with his shot? How about how often has Metta hit that many 3s that early in games?
You all don't think that had SOMETHING to do with Kobe passing more last night? You all don't think Kobe would LOVE to have games where all his teammates are clicking and he doesn't have to shoot as much?
The Rock wrote:Look some guys just have an agenda and dont like Kobe AT ALL and would slander him at every damn opportunity, y'all just wasting your time with people like that
“It was painful,” Lakers forward Pau Gasol(notes) said. “It is a feeling that I want to keep in my mind for every single minute that I’m out there playing them.”
KareemTheGreat33 wrote:This season embarasses him so he's willing to forego the scoring title and get to the play-offs at least.
Weezy wrote:Yes, WHEN Kobe passes guys will cut and move, not WHEN guys cut and move Kobe will pass. It's Kobe's fault when it doesn't go right, and it's his teammates credit for responding well when he starts a game making pretty much the same passes he usually does but guys make the shots this time. We can expect MWP to make 5 3's every game when Kobe finds him open, for Pau to make all his shots, for Jamison to make any, and for Meeks to make layups. Not to mention when Kobe is passing early and shots aren't falling it's "Kobe is sabotaging the game to prove a point" and "why doesn't Kobe score we need it". It's only when Kobe finds this perfect balance of assists from guys making shots and being on enough offensively to only have to take 10-15 shots that some people are satisfied. Kobe has to play flawless basketball to please these people, because offensively that's what it was tonight, and I guess near perfection is the bar for Kobe to them and otherwise he's not playing the right way, but flawless ball is not realistic to expect.
>>>>>>>>>>>>Oh, and offense is the most important thing of all on top if it, not the defense we seem to play whenever we win.<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
JLaker17 wrote:While I don't expect 14 assists a night, there is no reason why he shouldn't get 7+. He can still shoot a good amount while distributing.
dwighthowardsdad wrote:KEVIN DING @KevinDing
D'Antoni on Lakers' plan to start Kobe guarding Westbrook today: "Just have him not kill us."
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