We knew the Lakers would have rocky start this season. This was before Mike Brown was hired and Mike D’Antoni was brought in and the Lakers had to start over again. Things seem to go from one extreme to the other. Following a loss to Dwight Howard’s former team the Orlando Magic on Sunday, things got a little tricky.
Kobe Bryant says he’ll kick everybody’s A$$ if things don’t get better. Read his words closely though, I think he’s really focusing on one team mate in particular.
“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.”
“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.” [...] “Put your big-boy pants on,” Kobe said with a trace of disgust in his voice. “C’mon … just adjust. You can’t whine about it or complain about it. Heck, I’m 34 years old, and I’m running screen-and-rolls out there because Steve (Nash) is out, and my ass is running up and down the court more than I ever have in my entire career. But you have to adjust to it. I stay after practice and work on my ball-handling and screen-and-rolls, and when you have the talent to adjust to it, you just … have … to … adjust … to … it. We’re not going to lose (Pau). This is just not going to happen. I’ve been around him long enough to know how to deal with him.”
There’s truth in Kobe’s statement but is casually tossing Pau under the bus going to motivate him? That hasn’t worked the past few years. Perhaps it’s the International play catching up with Pau.
It wasn’t an easy night for Dwight Howard either. Magic’s new coach, Jack Vaughn employed the hack-a-Dwight strategy. The Magic went on a fourth quarter tear and that was that.