Kobe Bryant Responds to Phil Jackson’s Criticism

by April 21, 2010

Due to a rash of injuries, Kobe is a very frustrated man these days, and his coach is none too happy either. Last night, with his old man in the stands, Bryant put things together offensively for the first time in what seems like ages. From The Oklahoman: “His father, former NBA and Italian League journeyman Joe “Jellybean” Bryant was on hand to see his son play in person for the first time in five years — and he didn’t go away disappointed. ‘It was cool for me,’ Kobe said, ‘like I was back in high school.’ And just like back then, Joe’s pre-game instructions were simple. ‘Make the damn free throws,’ his son recalled. Kobe did just that, making 13 of 15, in addition to 12 of 28 shots from the floor in Los Angeles’ 95-92 win over Oklahoma City. He took over the fourth quarter, scoring 15 of his 39 points, twice restoring the Lakers’ lead and — if nothing else — tamping down speculation for the time being that a handful of nagging injuries have rendered him ripe for the taking. ‘He made the tough shots. He got to the free throw line and that’s what great players do,’ said Durant, who led the Thunder with 32 points. Afterward, Bryant was asked whether he needed a commanding performance to prove something. ‘No, not for myself,’ he told reporters, ‘probably for some of you inkers.’ So he knew there were doubts. ‘Well, yeah,’ Bryant replied, ‘but after 13 years, you’d think they’d know better.”‘