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Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 at 11:01 am  |  20 responses

Kobe Bryant Says First Game ‘Not as Bad as I Thought’


After giving himself a failing grade for his debut performance of the season on Sunday night, Kobe Bryant took a closer look at the tape, and declared that he had been a little too harsh on himself. Per the AP: “It’s the uncertainty of knowing how it’s going to take,’ Bryant said after a light workout Monday at the Lakers’ training complex. ‘In between timeouts, in between quarters, halftime, how is it going to feel? Is it going to stiffen? There’s always that uncertainty.’ It just takes time, and Bryant will go back to work Tuesday night against Phoenix in his second game back from a torn Achilles tendon. Although he couldn’t immediately step into his customary role as the Lakers’ dominant player, coach Mike D’Antoni realizes the Lakers’ fortunes are tied to the five-time NBA champion guard, particularly in a transitional season for the long-dominant team. ‘We know, and everybody knows, he’s got to be the closer,’ D’Antoni said. ‘And as soon as we can get him there, the more times he’s in that position, he’ll get closer to doing it.’ Bryant had nine points on 2-for-9 shooting with eight rebounds and eight turnovers over 28 minutes in his season debut Sunday night, unable to spark a comeback in the Lakers’ 106-94 loss to the trade-depleted Raptors. Bryant ripped himself after the loss, saying he had no rhythm with his teammates and awarding himself a letter grade of ‘F.’ After watching film until 2 a.m. following the game, Bryant corrected that grade to a ‘D.’ … ‘It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was,’ Bryant said. ‘The turnovers and things like that, a lot of it was just missed timing. We made some pretty good reads, got my guys some pretty good looks. In terms of the floor game, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.’ The Lakers reacted to Bryant’s return with a mix of excitement and discombobulation, particularly from the newcomers who had never suited up with the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history. Nick Young and Xavier Henry both called it a dream come true, but both scorers also acknowledged deferring to Bryant all night. D’Antoni repeatedly said the Lakers were ‘disrupted’ by Bryant’s return, and while the coach meant it pragmatically, the negative connotation will linger until the Lakers adapt.”

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  • Jay cutler

    RIP the crusty, alpha male caricature that used to be Kobe.

    We are finally seeing the vulnerable side we caught a glimpse of on that Colorado podium.

  • LakeShow

    You’re a very impressive human being.

  • Method

    He shoulda looked at that whole film, he looked terrible. It was good to see the raptors come with it cause everybody was talking about how Kobe need to come back on a tune up game or a sorry team.

  • Method

    Kobe is a volume shooter/scorer thats all you get from him. So this notion that he will be a facilitator because he passed the ball for a few games last year is ridiculous. The missed timing is because he does not know how to play the style of ball where he is a facilitator and makes decisions for a team. top 5 in scoring this year will not happen and he knows this which why he is trying to take on the role as a handler and distributor. Before y’all get upset I’m a Kobe fan(his offense) but u got to be honest with yourself.

  • TheBigL

    “Kobe is a volume shooter/scorer thats all you get from him. ”
    You just lost the interest of 90% of the readers, and 100% of your validity.

  • Method

    Just because people don’t want to hear the truth does not make a statement lose validity. You must be one of the guys who thought he was going to score 30 the other night.

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com/ Off The Backboard

    Yikes man. So much animosity.

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com/ Off The Backboard

    Before speaking to this season, I want to address this notion that Kobe is not a facilitator in any way:

    1. Since 1999-2000, Kobe has averaged more than 4.5 apg every single year, including 6.0 apg with a horrendous roster in 2004-2005 (Briant Grant, Butler, etc.). He holds a 4.8 average over his career. By comparison, for example, a pure scorer like Durant has a career assist average of 3.2 apg. Melo (another pure scorer) has 3.0 apg career average. Kobe is more of a willing passer than you think. He makes some boneheaded plays and has boneheaded games, but you don’t win 2 additional championships as the main attacker if you don’t willingly defer to the likes of Gasol/Fisher/Odom when it counts.

    2. Kobe was definitely a facilitator early in his career, and played the role very well. Phil Jackson specifically limited his playing style in the Lakers’ early-00s run to defer to Shaq and play a more facilitating role.

    I bring up both of those points to make this one: Kobe has an adaptable game. He definitely WILL NOT be maybe even half the scorer he was last year (and definitely not in his prime), but he adapts his game as needed. I would be honestly shocked if he attempts more than 12 FGA before he is fully healthy and mobile (which won’t be until at least the ASG).

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com/ Off The Backboard

    Kobe moved like a whale out there last game. I’m firmly in the camp that believes he came back a little bit too soon. Waiting a month or so to get his legs under him more, and completing additional conditioning to get into game shape would have done him wonders. Oh well.

  • thebossman15

    I get your point however he is still 10-15 pounds away from his ideal weight he said but theres only so much conditioning that you can do man..you have got to go out there and get your game legs as they do not come from just riding the bike/treadmill etc. Kobe said himself that his conditioning is fine and that he could run for days but that his legs were very wobbly and he wasnt able to get much lift on his shot which is why he refrained from shooting. He also mentioned he has shitty pre-seasons which is very true, he usually uses those pre-season games to get his rhythm and what not going but unfortunately he doesnt have that luxury. I honestly think he can still be a 20+ point scorer..he scored 9 the other day in 28 min off of 2 field goals and i cant recall them running any post ups for him. We will see what happens but im never doubting my boy mamba

  • thebossman15

    you idiot, frontin like you know what your talking about..where do you get your info, nba memes?

  • Cortez Mack

    “I honestly think he can still be a 20+ point scorer.”

    Of course he can. These people are nuts.

  • thebossman15

    lol man its funny how i come across crazy to some of these weirdos when i say things like that..what would be crazy to me is if he cant be a 20 ppg scorer to be completely honest

  • BE.water

    Coming from one of the most terrible QB’s…

  • Sam I am

    First off if u have the ball in your hands as much as Kobe 4 assist ain’t enough to be a facilitor. Second he could have been classified as a facilitor early on because he himself has stated he has been fortunate enough to play with one of the greatest big men ever. He also played with gasol and Bynum was an all-star to for a year so he has always had players to pass to. He also stated he felt at the end of 04 his game was complete as far as pull-ups mid range etc. which would be the reason he stopped passing.

  • wc mane

    I u sound like a trick that don’t get off the couch much to play the game and learn for yourself. Dude got his opinion. No need to get emotional and name call, females do that.

  • the one

    He will be a 20 a game scorer but the lakers will suck, look at last night he throws the concept of team off.

  • the one

    He will be a 20 a game scorer but the lakers will suck, look at last night he throws the concept of team off.

  • the one

    Ain’t that part of the reason he wanted shaq out of town so he wouldn’t have to defer to him. Dude does not like to pass. It’s funny when he did get shaq out they sucked for a few years and he cried for a trade or more pieces. Then when another all star in gasol comes to town, championship. You dudes need to recognize he scores that’s it. You can win a game or two with that style, not championships ask Jordan everybody needs help.

  • the one

    Ain’t that part of the reason he wanted shaq out of town so he wouldn’t have to defer to him. Dude does not like to pass. It’s funny when he did get shaq out they sucked for a few years and he cried for a trade or more pieces. Then when another all star in gasol comes to town, championship. You dudes need to recognize he scores that’s it. You can win a game or two with that style, not championships ask Jordan everybody needs help.

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