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Sunday, December 26th, 2010 at 10:30 am  |  64 responses

Kobe Bryant: ‘We Always Suck on Christmas’

After a disappointing 96-80 Xmas Day loss to the Miami Heat, Kobe Bryant had a lot to say in, what Ken Berger called, an “epic” post-game press conference. Here’s the story from Berger:

Kobe Bryant left no doubt about the state of the defending champs after a second straight blowout loss Saturday, a second consecutive Christmas Day no-show that has thrown the Lakers into their annual episode of soul-searching chaos.

“We always suck on Christmas,” Bryant said in an epic postgame news conference after the Lakers offered little resistance and barely a hint of interest in a 96-80 thrashing at the hands of the Miami Heat. “They should just take us off this day.”

Not a creature was stirring at Staples Center, at least no creatures wearing white jerseys. But it had less to do with the date on the calendar and more to do with the Lakers and their reinforced competition. This time, for a variety of internal and external reasons, their annual crisis of overconfidence will be much harder to fix. And Bryant knows it.

“We’re playing like we have two rings,” Bryant said.

His jersey removed and a leather jacket in its place, Bryant then walked briskly toward the loading ramp, stopping to explain the source of his concern about this Lakers team.

“It’s everybody,” Bryant said before venturing into the crisp Southern California night, his only companion the realization that this championship journey will be harder than perhaps any he’s experienced in the past. “We’re not playing with any focus or the right focus because we have two championships, because we know what it takes to get it done. So if you know what it takes to get it done, it’s like studying for a test. You know the test is on Tuesday, you’ve got a week to prepare and you don’t prepare the whole week in advance. You want to prepare the night before.”

Essentially, the Lakers have become lazy. In the interview room, Bryant had talked about lack of focus, lack of work in practice, the absence of preparation. Worst of all, the absence of competitive instinct — a.k.a. caring — which is something Bryant will never tolerate.

“I think these games mean more to our opponents than they do to us,” Bryant said, a damning admission of just how complacent the champs have become even in the face of heightened competition from teams like the one that toyed with them on their home floor Saturday. “And I think we need to get that straight. We need to play with more focus and put more importance on these games. I don’t like it.”

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  • namik

    Seeing as how he basically gave up on the defensive end and sucked ass all around, Kobe should really shut the F up.

  • Shem

    You could tell the Lakers weren’t themselves yesterday. I remember when the Pistons won the title they had an awful tendency of giving up big leads and coming out of halftime soft. The Lakers had a lack of effort and it was pretty clear that Pau Gasol was exhausted. The only players that we’re playing up to their standards were Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown, some of the youngest players they have. I don’t think age has caught up to the Lakers because they really aren’t that old but they really didn’t play with effort on both sides of the floor and seemed tired.

  • http://www.nba.com Gman

    lol Kobe. Top 5 guard.

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    They certainly looked liked they didn’t care yesterday.

  • Vince5

    Come on Kobe, trying to find excuses to not play on Christmas anymore? Come on, you got steamrolled yesterday.

  • wosk2

    at the end of the year, Kobe will still be hoisting that trophy though won’t he?? Haters!!!

  • JrHeat

    First off the fakers as I like to call them never had a big lead. And secondly The Miami Heat are that damn good. Enough said. Faker fans keep making excuses the fact is this year Dallas and San Antonio are the best from the west. Go Heat…

  • kudos

    It’s true though. Every year.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    all that is bs. they got beat by the better team…… the lakers road is getting much rougher

  • the truth

    Lakers looked old and frail last night. just sayin

  • Conoro

    The Lakers looked “old” and “frail” last year when the Cavaliers crushed them.

    Once Gasol’s minutes average out and they are all ready to go for the Playoffs, you will all – once again – become suddenly silent. It’s a tradition!

  • Rainman

    they do suck, all the time lo0l, i was saying this after the first quarter, that i cant remember the last time they actually played well on a Christmas game.

  • http://slamonline.com kobehater

    lakers suck and kobe will try and blame on everybody but him. he is not that good and the heat r the best team in the leage.plus KOBE SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    Not a Lakers fan but props to Kobe for calling his team out. The key to beating Miami is sublime PG play and/or punishing bigs. Lakers have one part of that equation and that guy didn’t show up. We’d be a fool to leave them for dead though.

  • robb

    L.A.zy Lakers.

  • JTaylor21

    Let the excuses begin. Lakers better get their act together if they want to win HC and make it back to the finals.

  • David Stern

    LeBron told Kobe “Don’t Talk To Me About Basketball”. Nuff Said…

  • http://juanm.garcia@comcast.net Miami King

    As nice a win as we had I can’t get to excited as the Celtics still own us.

  • James

    Haha Kobe was undressed by wade on d. Stay in front of your man before pointing fingers! Where are the Kobe slurpers today? Still eggnogging?

  • Pugz

    They’ll bounce back i have no idea why anyone would worry. they have one of the greatest all time and soon to be THE greatest all time in Kobe Bryant who will lead this team back to their great form. Note it. All the haters and doubters will be feeling dumb when they 3-peat.

  • http://www.limburg-an-der-lahn.com Limburg

    Great!!! Nothing but adornment!!!

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    The whole Lakers team looked lazy. It was pretty obvious that Kobe got madder and madder as the game went on as his teammates missed open (really freaking wide open) looks and felt he had to dominate the game. Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t his night (will it ever be again?). Pau better step it up cause he was pretty much the reason L.A. lost yesterday.

  • http://www.oprah.com Doyouwantmore

    I got this weird begrudging respect for ‘old Kobe’ now that he’s a little more mature. Still can’t stand the Lakers.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Rally the troops.
    That is what war generals are supposed to do.

  • http://hibachisabas.blogspot.com/ Toni Kukoc

    I think Kobe’s body is at the point where Allen Iverson’s was when he was in Detroit, any big scoring nights will probably be off of jumpshots. Hes old.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    This same thing happend on Christmas Day against Boston a while back and Lakers still made the NBA Finals. Kobe was finding open teammates and played a a team game. His teammates missed everything from 3 point line. The Heat won because Lakers could not buy a 3 pointer, which made Miami defense look good. Heat has improved as a team, but Lebron going what 5 from 6 from 3 point line and Chalmers and even Aorroyo hitting three’s will not happen every game. Lakers will rebound and win Kobe host the Finals MVP trophy again, all you HATERS will say KOBE is not old and his teammates gave up to me. IF Gasol cannot abused the Big Z and if Artest can’t play tough physical defense on Lebron he gets cheap fouls. No excuses for Lakers them came out played hard at first and thought Miami was going to fold, but Miami hit alot of 3 pointers. I don’t expect them to hit shots like that all the time. This is good for Kobe and Lakers and I can’t wait until June, because I will reference this article. BOOK IT!!!

  • Rikson

    To win a title they better learn how to defend the picknroll… That was awful D!

  • http://psp2423@yahoo.com Eboy

    I have to agree Kobe played a descent game yesterday but his team was a no show. Kobe could have gotten ten or more assist but noone was knocking down sh*t for the Lakers. Kobe didnt shoot well neither but you could see he was trying to carry the load. The Lakers could win the WCF but they have to play hard and fierce and right now their playing like they have everything figured out. Artest and Fisher have to step it up though for the Laker and i wanted to see Bynum get more minutes OH WELL MY HEAT WON WHOA THE LAKERS I DONT KNOW IF IT WAS THE HEAT D OR THE LAKERS REALLY ARE LOSING FOCUS!

  • BillyDWill.I.am

    Lakers suck, Heat suck but I’m glad the Lakers lost. I wasn’t rooting 4 the Heat I was rooting against the Lakers

  • riggs

    GIVE IT TO ME AGAIN!!

  • Krisjanis

    Eboy, I respect you a lot because of your comment! :)
    too bad my lakers lost, but I think that they’re kinda sloppy every year around this time.

  • 6marjons

    good on him for saying it hopefully it will refocus artest and the bench players but it wasn’t entirely the lakers fault, the heat straight up worked hard on defense.

  • The Philosopher 2.0

    LONG LIVE THE KING!!!!!!!!

  • will

    did anyone see ron give Big Z dap after z elbowed him in the face. sick!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    He isn’t lying, the Lakers are 4-8 in games on Christmas

  • Ali Saadat

    Lebroom has his Xmas gift in December, Kobe and the Lakers are gonna have Xmas in June. You know the old saying.

  • g

    man he need to shut up they got smacked and they will again when they come to miami always making up excuses

  • li

    they may suck on christmas but never have to worry about facing lebron in the finals thats fo sho!! lol

  • http://yahoo outofbklyn

    All I can say is I can’t remember the last time the Lakers were the seventh seed in leaque going into the new year. It doesn’t look good.

  • Justin

    I love it when the naysayers come out after games like this. “The Lakers are in trouble”, “They got owned by a better team” blah blah blah. Yes they are coasting a little bit and they’re playing just good enough to win some games but you can be sure that Phil is just trying to keep people healthy for the playoffs. He did the same thing for the Bulls with guys like Paxson when he had a knee injury or even Luc Longley. All he really cared about was getting everyone to the playoffs healthy. Also, Bynum is not back at 100% either and that will make a difference if these two teams meet in the Finals. I remember the Bulls losing by 32 to the Knicks during the ’96 championship season and correct me if I’m wrong but the Bulls won the title that year too.

  • KB8toSG8

    @Eboy…..I respect you a WHOLE lot more after you replied objectively…

  • Mike from Spain

    I am a Lakers and a Gasol fan, but Gasol is playing quite bad lately. Also, Artest can’t make a shot for his life, and the bench is back to where it was last season – pretty bad.

    I also hope they come back and win the Finals, but this year it seems a bit more far than last year

  • benno

    why does everyone hate kobe??? just because hes better than lebron, because of his 5 championship rings??? I don’t like the lakers because their fans are morons, but kobe is still the best player in the nba!!!

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com just bcuz

    1 game on christmas means so much in todays world

  • Tom P

    D Wade always played pretty good d on Kobe, if he doesnt have to worry about scoring and focus solely on guarding Young Kobe the only way LA beats Miami in a series is if the refs put D Wizzle in foul trouble. Wade OWNED Kobe on Christmas just like 5 6 yrs ago wen he dropped 40 on him!

  • LEBRON FAN!

    kobe knew this was coming.if u saw the beginning of the game kobe was shaking a little bit.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Clyde

    Definitely an off-game for LA, you’d be foolish to just rule them out though. They’re still the champs, and come playoff time I’d wager they’ll be back to that caliber.

  • Ganchan

    There is no way in hell that was eboy, he has a much greater command of written english. That and he never uses caps lock.

  • Jackie Moon

    A fun look back at last year’s comments section in the Dec 26 Cavs @ Lakers recap: http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2009/12/game-notes-cavs-at-lakers-2/
     
    Some highlights:
     
    bk10: “its so clear that the celtics are the best team in the NBA, if they can stay healthy they will destroy the lakers in the finals just like two years ago ” (they didn’t stay healthy)
     
    playa:”yeah yeah, everyone is so damn excited, wait for the REAL reality call deep in may/june fellas, we’ll see your cavs then ”
     
    MVP23100: “And the cavs are as deep n solid as any team in the league not because of this win lbj the best in the l we had a high powered offense last season add a legit big man a athlete and a 3 pt shooter on top of what we have but christmas was a strong wake up for those sleeping on us” (is this guy a Heat fan now?)
     
    J:”i’m really amazed by mo’s play that game. he’s brilliant all out. he’s penetrating more instead of being a spot up shooter. hope he continues to be like this. the best thing is HE’S POSTING UP DEREK FISHER! Moon also had a great game. the bench showed its depth. Shaq can handle Bynum.” (OK that’s two people now talking about how Lebron has support on the Cavs … Today? Zero. Revisionist history.)
     
    Kobewearsapurplethong: “Great win, blah..blah..blah. Until they do something like this in May or June, they are still the Chokeland Cavs.” (Exactly.)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Smart man…it wasnt me, though 70 percent of that comment is accurate by then imposter.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Then=the

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    So Mo and Moon playing well in one game means LeBron had help but playing poorly in one game means nothing for the Lakers and Kobe. You Lakers fans are hilarious with your logic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Hey don’t look at me, though I’m a Lakers fan, I don’t go by that logic, If I did go by logic like that, I’d think that Kobe is either #2 or GOAT on the all-time list(which I don’t, I think he’s like #9 or #8). It sucks, all these delusional Laker fans giving Laker fans that can actually be logical and talk real basketball without atrocious bias an extremely bad name

  • Jackie Moon

    @Allenp – I didn’t say it, the Cavs fans did!

  • Jackie Moon

    @BlackPhantom – ditto above, I was only repost what “J” and “MVP231000″ said about their team. Don’t be delusional. Reading is key.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    LeBron obviously didn’t have enough help to win a chip, Jackie. Otherwise he would have, ummm, beat Boston.

  • Jackie Moon

    @Teddy-the-Bear That’s one way to look at it. Or, LeBron obviously wasn’t good enough to lead his 60+ win team to a chip.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    ^Maybe he was not.
    But, he is still the best player on Earth.

  • Justin

    Lebron was physically good enough to lead the Cavs to a chip. He just wasn’t good enough mentally to do it

  • Jackie Moon

    @Philosopher – But Kobe would have been good enough! :) LONG LIVE THE KING!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/32JSE Yesse

    Well, that might be true but you can’t just make excuses for losing the game. Kobe and Gasol played a terrible game and i want them to play better. If they play like that in the finals it’s just handed to the Heat.

  • AL29

    I don’t during the Bulls three-peats, I don’t remember stories of lack of motivation or caring. There were off-nights, but never any belief that the team wasn’t motivated. MJ and Scottie ran a tight ship, and the role players were always motivated and professional. If Will Perdue took a night off, Jordan would have killed him.

  • Jackie Moon

    Kobe: “I also suck the week after Christmas”

  • unrel

    @everyone.. lakers suck?.. kobe sucks?.. okay.. 3 straight finals appearances.. what has your favorite team done lately?

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