There’s no other player in the NBA who wants it more than Kobe Bryant. The drive that fuels this stone cold killer in the clutch cannot be matched by many as he continues his quest for another championship. With the game on the line there’s one number to call for Los Angeles and everyone on the opposing defense knows it’s twenty-four. The Lakers have had a relatively good season by most fans’ expectations, but out in Los Angeles the team has been pretty inconsistent. The Lakers closed out the first half losing their last three games in a row to Orlando, Charlotte and Cleveland on the road.Los Angeles has now won seven games in a row to start the second half and currently resides in third place in the Western Conference with a record of 45-19. As for Kobe, he’s playing at status quo, which means averaging 25.1 points-per-game, 4.8 assists-per-game and 5.2 rebounds-per-game. The Lakers are red hot, which Bryant attributes to his team minimizing mistakes defensively and Andrew Bynum being healthy.
Kobe Bryant joined ESPN 710 Los Angeles with Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley to discuss his feelings after the blowout win over the Spurs, his thoughts on the Miami Heat situation in regards to players crying after a tough loss, has he ever come close to crying in the locker room, is he in a position where you can honestly respond to the Heat crying in the locker room, what’s the fundamental difference in this Lakers team since the All-Star break, and if he and Phil Jackson talked about this being a shut everyone up kind of year due to the “Big 3″ in Miami.
How do you guys feel after the blowout win against the Spurs?
“Nothing much really going on. Everybody is just focused on today’s practice really, moving on and getting ready for Atlanta tomorrow.”
What are your thoughts on the Miami Heat situation where players were supposedly crying after Sunday’s loss to the Bulls? What would your advice be?
“I don’t really have any advice. I mean you know they have their own issues over there. Every team has issues. That’s part of the season. If you don’t have issues you know then you’re not a team. Everybody responds to adversity differently. You know what I mean. It doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t make it wrong. Everybody has their own way of dealing with things, but it’s how you come out of that, really that’s the true mark of a king.”
Have you ever come close to crying in the locker room?
“No. Uh no.”
Are you in a position where you can honestly respond to the Heat crying in the locker room? You don’t cry do you?
“We don’t care too much about bulletin board stuff, but that means nothing to me. I’ll give you an honest answer. I mean it’s…everybody truly responds differently. If guys are crying in the locker room, they’re crying in the locker room. It doesn’t mean they’re chumps, doesn’t mean they’re soft, doesn’t mean anything. That’s just how they respond to it.”
What’s the fundamental difference in this team since All-Star break?
“We’re minimizing mistakes. That’s the biggest key. We’re minimizing mistakes on the defensive end. Our rotations are most crisp. We’re reading each other extremely well. We’re anticipating ball movement and I think that’s been the biggest difference. Andrew [Bynum] being healthy and active has really made a big difference for us as well.”
Have you and Phil Jackson talked about this being a shut everyone up kind of year due to the “Big 3″ in Miami?
“No, not really. I think it’s…everybody kind of talks about this being the biggest challenge trying to three-peat because of how the teams have kind of stacked up in Miami. You know kind of like the bull-tron team they have formed down there, so this has kind of been you know like this huge challenge for us. We accept it. We accept it willingly. We look forward to it.