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Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 at 1:05 pm  |  50 responses

Kobe Bryant Wants the Lakers to Adopt a Different Style of Play


It’s obvious to everyone that Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system hasn’t worked (and likely can’t work) with the Los Angeles Lakers; in fact, it has been an unmitigated disaster. This is obvious to everyone but D’Antoni, it seems. Kobe Bryant admitted to the media after yet another humiliating loss last night that changes in the system — wholesale ones, perhaps — are needed if this team is to climb out of its current hole. (After telling the world that he’d lost faith in his coach’s system, Bryant then proceeded to workout and play some Beethoven on a hotel piano. Naturally.) Per the AP and Yahoo! Sports: “Very, very tough, very, very frustrating, trying to keep my cool,’ Bryant said. ‘It is embarrassing. It is not even embarrassing. I am a big history guy. Playing here in this arena with these incredible fans, you’re in the house of MJ, Pippen, PJ (Phil Jackson) built, to put this kind of brand of basketball on the floor is just not acceptable.’ Bryant even mentioned ditching D’Antoni’s up-tempo style in favor of posting up more. ‘We’re going to have to look at some things,’ he said. ‘We’re going to have to change something. Probably going to have to post the ball a lot more, slow the game down a lot more. That’s just my intuition, but that’s my gut right now. I have to take a look at the film again, but we’re definitely going to have to change something.’ [...] On the issue of coach Mike D’Antoni stripping Gasol of his starting job, Bryant responded with a long, telling silence and smirk when pressed on whether he believed Gasol’s benching made these Lakers a better basketball team. On the issue of Howard’s belief that the ball simply doesn’t go through him enough on offense, Bryant rejected the premise. [...] Bryant wouldn’t come right out and declare D’Antoni’s system a failure, but he did speak to a need for the coach to find ways to flex everyone’s strengths. D’Antoni has a long, stubborn history of forcing talent to fit into his system, and right now that is clearly playing a part in the unravelling of this season. ‘We need to go back to basics,’ Bryant said. ‘We need to put guys in positions to do what they do best. We need to strip it down. Steve is best in pick-and-roll. Pau is best in the post. I’m best from the free-throw line extended down. Let’s go back to basics. We’ve got to evaluate what’s going on. Management is looking at it. The players are looking at it. I’m looking at myself. I’m shooting a low percentage right now, and I’ve got to look at that. It’s on me to make shots, but I’m having to make tough shots, getting the ball 30 feet from the basket and [expletive] like that. Originally, teams would have to play our pick-and-roll coverage, which left me open on the back side quite a bit. But they’ve made adjustments, and they’ve decided to stay home on Kobe no matter what. So I’m trying to space the floor. I’m trying to do my job the best I can. I try to create opportunities. But most of them are trying to take the ball to the basket with four or five seconds left on the [shot] clock, trying to manufacture tough shots. Listen, no one is more critical of their game, of how they’re playing, than I am. And right now, I’ve got to shoot at a higher percentage, have to play better.’”

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  • spit hot fiyah

    just an epic fail on d’antonis and buss’ parts. they should have swollowed their pride and hired p jax. seems like if d’antoni doesn’t have enough good shooters who can run all game he can’t succeed with a team. he has two of the best inside scorers in the League and forces one of them to stand at the top of the key and the other hardly sees the ball on offense

  • bringbackthesonics

    ‘It is embarrassing. It is not even embarrassing’

    huh?

  • Bubbles

    Shoulda gotten Phil Jimbo. You dun goofed

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    I never understood why Kobe said that he thought D’Antoni was a good hire. I understand him looking up to dude while he was growing up in Italy, but with his knowledge of the game and how it should be played based on the roster you have, I couldn’t believe him when he said he thought that was a good move. I think this 17-24 record is starting to override any of the idolizing of D’Antoni he did in his childhood. A new style of play won’t come under this coach. Any coach who really thinks it’s a great idea to bring Pau Gasol off the bench isn’t fit to coach a team that’s as important as the Lakers. Halfway through the season, and he’s still trying to find a rotation.

  • robb

    this is all Jim’s fault. Passing on Phil was the stupidest move ever

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    please Kobe, don’t make D’Antoni laugh

  • Fat Lever

    Who wants to bet that at some point Kobe is just going to give himself the title of player/coach, relieve D’Antoni of his title, and start coming up with a playbook that consists of one play, and one play only. “24 Iso”.

  • underdog

    I don’t think Nash would be any younger or better on the defensive end, or Howard would make his freethrows, IF Phil was the coach. But still, you’re right, the management should have picked Phil over D’Antoni.

  • bike

    “Bryant then proceeded to workout and play some Beethoven on a hotel piano.”
    Maybe a little Appassionata piece while mumbling ‘Mamba Out’ throughout?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    His rotations are so strange. At one point against Toronto it was Sacre, Kobe, Morris, Duhon, and Clark on the floor. Those 4 guys should not be surrounding Kobe at any point for an extended period of time…you need either Nash or Pau with Kobe at all times to offer some scoring balance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    The Lakers, even when actually spiraling towards a lottery pick, are fascinating to watch. This is like the 2004-2005 season all over again, except you know, the team actually has great players but can’t figure out how to use them together.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    What kills me about Kobe is just a few days ago, the guy was boasting about how he is the greatest one-on-one player of all-time and now, he’s crying about getting the ball too far from the basket? the greatest one-on-one player of all-time shouldn’t complain about things like that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    Lol @ Kobe just randomly playing piano at a hotel. Strange guy sometimes.

  • Jay Cutler

    Never corrected yourself?

  • Jay Cutler

    Shh.. Kobe fans want it both ways.

    Kobe is the best 1v1 player of all time when things go his way. Otherwise, it’s his teammates and co-workers fault for not making his life easier. Heads, he wins. Tails, they lose.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    we want phil! we want phil! we want phil! we want phil!

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    kobe, kill d’antoni!

  • Dutch Rich

    Maybe it’s too early, and I don’t want to be insensitive, but do the Lakers have the rights to their first round pick?????

  • pposse

    no

  • Dutch Rich

    well doggonit…there goes plan C.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Those post-Shaq Lakers had better talent around Kobe than those 4 guys you just mentioned.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Pau Gasol has to actually do more then mope around. He’s not paid $19M a year to throw a tantrum.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    If only a hall of fame coach can make a team respectable, that’s a sorry team. And there is no reason these Lakers should be a sorry team. They all sound a thousand times more entitled than the Heat did a few years ago.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    He’s also not paid $19M a year to come off the bench behind Earl Clark. I applaud him for standing up for himself instead of acting like everything’s okay. And his past two games have been solid. He told Craig Sager last night that he’s not a role player. He may be stepping his game up looking forward to a trade in the near future. When a competitor like Kobe Bryant looks the way he’s been looking the past few days, something is terribly wrong. He’s moping around more than Pau at times. The last time I saw him look like that was during those Kwame Brown days.

  • Conor

    I don’t recall a pre-season parade.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    what about the games before he was benched? and since he is playing better off the bench, uhm, why start him? — just because he’s paid a certain amount of money that doesn’t mean he should just be entitled to start. If he’s barely healthy, and playing like sh*t, having him come off the bench does make a lot of sense.
    .
    now i’m not saying i agree with what D’Antoni is doing, just that, D’Antoni is the coach, Pau Gasol can’t mope around because he isn’t getting what he wants. Or because people in the media are giving him a hard time. He needs to play basketball, and give full effort when he is. If he does that, there is no way this problem even comes up. Gasol is too good not to be a productive basketball player in any system. There is no way you or anyone is ever going to convince me that a player being horrible is the coaches fault.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    If the team was winning and Gasol was coming off the bench, people would see this differently. They’ve lost 9 out of 11. Dwight plays most of the 4th quarter in one game and then Pau takes his spot in most of the 4th quarter in the next game. There’s no consistency in the rotation. D’Antoni simply has no idea what he’s doing and it’s midway through the season. Steve Nash says they’re still trying to find out how to play together. So Gasol has a lot of people who agree that he shouldn’t be coming off the bench. Regardless of how well he plays, he won’t be satisfied and if the team keeps losing, he’ll end up having more and more people on his side which means more heat on the organization and D’Antoni. They lost to a Bulls team playing without their two best players. Dwight’s had an awful past two games. I can’t believe that Pau decides to step out at the 3 point line and shoot 3s or stand around the perimeter shooting jumpshots. Kobe said last night that something has to change and they need to post up more. Which tells me that it’s the system that has Gasol out at the 3 point line. Pau could be playing better, sure. But D’Antoni either has to change what he’s doing or they have to get him out of there. Chances are great they won’t be making the playoffs so the worse it gets, the more people will be calling for a coaching change. Just as I can’t convince you that it’s D’Antoni’s fault, I can’t be convinced that it’s all Pau. A coach at least has to put a player in his best position to succeed. D’Antoni isn’t that type of coach.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i absolutely agree. my point is, that while Gasol SHOULD be playing a lot more, and starting, he can’t take that he isn’t and mope and sulk about it.
    .
    i am more in Gasol’s corner then D’Antoni’s, but I am really supportive of neither. As Gasol is being such a drama queen, in an already too dramatic situation.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    It was a pep rally not a parade. And my point is that they are talking very little about sacrifice and a lot about playing time and touches and all that. Not saying the Heat didn’t discuss this, but they were WAY more insular with their issues, and they were actually a better team. It’s almost like the Lakers got their squad and didn’t think it was going to require hard work every night. Just like the Heat, but worse.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    You know how he is. Anyone who has paid attention to him since he’s been in the league, especially since he’s been a star player, knows he takes everything to heart. I’m not surprised with his moping. Should he do it? No. But what makes it worse is that they’re not winning and everyone around him is in a bad way themselves. Even Kobe.

  • https://twitter.com/Wayne__o BuenoWayno1

    Earl clark is starting over Pau…..LET THAT SINK IN FOR A MINUTE…I’m usually a Laker hater but even this is p&ssing me off.

  • LakeShow

    You guys really need to start understanding that it is impossible to play 1 on 1 when 8 other men are on the court.
    Is that soooo hard to understand?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    basically every Laker fan agrees starting Clark in favor of Pau. Go look at the numbers, Clark gives them something that they don have, and thats Energy from that position. ITs not the Pau benching thats the issue imo

  • http://www.facebook.com/DanielUpYours Daniel Powers

    could anybody in here explain to me why bynum+gasol-nash worked and why howard+gasol+nash doesnt? anybody? nbk?

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Bottom line is the coach doesn’t know what he’s doing with this roster. Pau coming off the bench is a part of that. He doesn’t know which bench players to play and which to sit night to night. One night Antawn Jamison is getting minutes, the next he’s barely playing. Same with Jodie Meeks. Impossible to create chemistry when guys don’t know when or if they’re going to be playing. That’s pretty bad when half of the season is over.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    Still dont recall a preseason parade. Er, “Pep Rally”, or whatever…

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    If u’ve watched any of the games, u’d know that thats a good move. Everyone in LA agrees with it, Clark gives energy, and since he’s been given minutes, he hasnt had less than 9 rebounds in a single game. Let that sink in for a minute…

  • http://www.facebook.com/rainman1991 Saleem Rainman

    sure, I dont see anything wrong with that statement. But with the recent story of Pau coming off the bench permanently kinda clears that up. Its a good move, Clark does things for them that Jordan Hill did, but he has more of an offensive game that fits the team than Hill did.

  • Ugh

    Having Pau at the 6th is only a good move because it gives D’Antoni less time to f%$k up his spots and give him the ball where he doesn’t want it.

  • Ugh

    I guess that explains why Kobe preferred 1-on-5.

  • Ugh

    When did Nash play with Bynum?

  • http://www.facebook.com/DanielUpYours Daniel Powers

    that is a minus. once again for the slow ones: bynum plus gasol minus nash worked but howard plus gasol plus nash doesnt work

  • Lorne

    No, but I recall Artest boasting about breaking the wins record.

    I also think it’s funny that the Lebron haters/Kobe slurpers forget that the Heat did the same exact thing when they signed Shaq. I didn’t hear anything about hating them because of it. I guess it must be Lebron making dudes have selective memory.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Pau coming off the bench permanently means that D’Antoni continues to have no idea what he’s doing more than anything else. He’s just trying things which is sad since 41 games have already been played. His system doesn’t allow for Dwight and Pau to play well together. So he chose Dwight. The organization has chosen Dwight over Pau at this point. Pau is more skilled than Dwight offensively. Dwight is better defensively. But the team has more problems on defense than on offense. Honestly, if D’Antoni wants a better offensive team on the floor, his best bet would be to bring Dwight off the bench. Pau can pick and roll or pick and pop with Nash. Better passer than Dwight.

  • https://twitter.com/Wayne__o BuenoWayno1

    If the best thing a guy can give you is ”energy ” you have a problem and its gonna be long season. Look at that roster and then look at their record…..let that sink in

  • Ugh

    I can’t believe you wasted two comments typing that.

  • durr

    “I want triangle”

  • http://www.facebook.com/DanielUpYours Daniel Powers

    the second and this third comment are just because i am too f*cking nice ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/DanielUpYours Daniel Powers

    i guess promising the people in cleveland to win a chip b4 he ever leaves or retires, that one-hour tv special, the “yes we did” quote and the multiple ring prediction b4 even one game was played were a little too much ;)

  • ThatFeelWhenLakersFan

    Clark’s energy would be just as useful off the bench. Pau IS sensitive but everyone knew that. Knowing how to deal with egos and commanding respect from your players is a part of coaching. NoD`antoni is not a head coach, he’s an offensive coordinator who can only run one offense. He has less leadership than Kobe, prefers to act like one of the guys, has no poise on or off the court, and reflects the mind-blowingly delusional arrogance of the Lakers front office (read: Jim Buss).

    Trade Dwight for some GD depth, send Mike home, let Bickerstaff coach, bring in a guy like Stuckey or Sessions to back up Nash, maybe a serviceable and young big like Ed Davis or JJ Hickson. THEN you can start Earl Jam.

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