After 16 seasons in the NBA and five championship rings, Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant knows that good teams will win a lot of basketball games over the course of an 82-game seasons. But they will also lose some games.
That’s why Bryant yesterday had this message for all the Lakers fans out there who have begun to panic and raise their voices in criticism after the Lakers started the season 0-2 (after going 0-8 in the preseason): Shut up!
“Everybody, shut up,” Bryant told news reporters in a candid interview at practice Thursday, according to USA Today. “Let us work, and at the end of the day, you’ll be happy with the result.”
They have a starting line-up of Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol. That could easily be a starting line-up at the All-Star game. They brought in Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks, who would be starting on most teams. They are running the complicated Princeton offense, which takes some time to gel.
In other words, they gonna be alright.
“I just, I don’t understand,” Bryant said. “The city here, for me, not trying to bite my tongue and not calling them dumb, which I kind of just did, but they’ve seen us win multiple championships here playing in an offense that was tough to learn. … They know how that stuff works. So for them to be so stupid now and say, ‘Let Steve dribble the ball around and create opportunities for everybody. Let Dwight post up. Or let me iso.’
“I won’t say idiotic, but it’s close.”
Bryant said it isn’t the offense that’s been the Lakers’ problem anyway, it’s been defense. Against Portland in the Wednesday loss, the Lakers shot 50 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Blazers 45-30.
“We’re scoring a lot of points, efficiently,” said Bryant, who scored 30 points in the loss. “So, I mean, that’s not what we’re hanging our hats on in terms of why we’re losing the games. We’re not executing the defense, which has a lot to do with guys not being on the same page and working together.”
“The only thing that changes is now you have Mike Brown telling everybody to be patient when, back then, you had Phil Jackson telling everybody to shut up,” Bryant added. “I think the critics are more likely to take runs at him than they would at Phil Jackson.”
Bryant says the fans essentially should take a deep breath and relax—even though Nash is doubtful for tonight against the cross-town Clippers after suffering leg bruise.
“I’m always surprised when I lose,” Bryant said. “But, at the same time, it’s pretty entertaining to me. Nobody wants to win here more than me. Nobody. Nobody. And I’m not panicking over it or jumping off a bridge because we’re 0-2.”