Given all of the buildup and excitement created by LeBron James vs. Kobe Bryant showdowns, for the most part, the games have largely been duds. The reason is that LeBron seemingly always wins, while putting up better numbers across the board.
And this drives Kobe Bryant crazy.
Bryant put on a cheery disposition following the Lakers’ loss in Miami last night, saying the team was still working on the “blueprints” of its anemic offensive attack, but inside he was raging. Kobe confessed that he had a hard time accepting yet another humiliating defeat at the hands of James and the Heat on national television.
From Yahoo! Sports:
Kobe Bryant hates losing to LeBron James. He hates it. From Cleveland to Miami, the beatings have come over and over, leaving the Los Angeles Lakers star surly, seething. Ultimately, they’re made easier for Bryant because James has repeatedly failed in the playoffs. Bryant plays for championships, but these magnificent national stages do matter to him. In his mind, embarrassment isn’t so easily dismissed. “It is hard to digest,” Bryant said.
When this 98-87 beating by the Heat was over on Thursday, Bryant had settled into something rarely seen in these circumstances. Something between resignation and exasperation. The offense feels like a mess because it is. These Lakers are fumbling for an identity with Mike Brown that isn’t there, waiting on their new coach to come to conclusions and push past the experimentation of too many games, too little practice time. […] Somehow, someway, Brown, Bryant and these Lakers are searching for a contending formula that probably doesn’t exist with this roster. As for the offense, Bryant insisted, “It’s under construction. We’re still working on the blueprints, actually.” And after all these years, all the certainties of Phil Jackson’s system, how does that feel? “Strange,” Bryant said. Bryant has an idea, tried and true: “We talked and we treated some things differently tonight,” he said. “But maybe we should go back to the things we were doing.”
Mike Brown will continue to tinker with his offensive game plan throughout the season, an experiment that will undoubtedly produce ugly results such as last night. Given the roster Brown is working with, there’s no other choice.
The Lakers travel to Orlando for another big-time matchup tonight against Dwight Howard and the Magic. With all eyes on his team once again, you can be sure that Kobe Bryant will be looking to make a statement. Will the rest of his squad follow, though?