Antawn Jamison: Kobe encourages us to yell at him.
Antawn Jamison appeared Wednesday on ESPNLA 710's "Max and Marcellus" to discuss the Lakers' playoff push. Among other details, he shared how Kobe Bryant, considered among the more intimidating teammates in the NBA, tells his supporting cast to get in his face.
Per Dave McMenamin, ESPNLA.com:
"Kobe will tell you," Jamison said. "He's like, 'Look, you guys as my teammates, yell at me. Let me know that you're open because I'm so programmed,' and this guy has told me this, 'I see nothing but that basket. You could be open, there could be three guys on me, but the only thing I see is that basket so you have to tell me, Look, I was open. Or yell at me mid-play. That doesn't affect me at all and I respect that.' "
Jamison said the veteran-laden roster has adapted to Bryant's style and the players have no problem with confronting the five-time champion.
"I think the thing we've seen in the past was most teammates might have been afraid to come to him or express, 'Kob' I was open,' or, 'That's not what we drew up,' " Jamison said. "The thing I like about this team, Steve Nash -- who is a Hall of Famer -- and Dwight [Howard] as well, Dwight and Kobe have gotten into shouting matches on the bench because Dwight will be like, 'Kob', that's your rotation. Get there.' And after the game he'll be like, 'Appreciate it, big fella. I needed that.' " http://espn.go.com/blo..
While it certainly would raise eyebrows to see Kobe [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.] out by a role player, Jamison's assessment is actually consistent with what we've seen in recent years regarding Bryant and teammates. Generally speaking, the ones he respects most are those he's played with longest, who in turn are more inclined to deny him the ball.
Derek Fisher. Pau Gasol. Lamar Odom. Metta World Peace. Believe it or not, Luke Walton.
After enough time, they realize it's okay to ignore Bryant's furious claps for the rock, and whatever earful endured won't kill them. Kobe backs down to nobody, so it stands to reason he wants teammates who won't back down to him. Fall in line behind him or take his cues? Sure. But that's not the same thing as being cowering in Bryant's presence, which is the last thing a player on a championship quest wants from those sharing a foxhole.