Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant Clear the Air

Sorry to disappoint you all, but it doesn’t seem as though we’ll have any more verbal fireworks between Phil (who claims he misspoke) and Kobe (who admits that he purposely ditched the Triangle Offense): “When a game starts getting out of hand — and rightly so — Kobe will crank it up, not screw it up,’ Jackson said. ‘I used that term ‘screw it up’ but not in terms of it being an error or a mistake, but ‘crank it up.’ He’ll go to another notch to try to get us back in the ballgame. That’s something we do in the fourth quarter, that’s our fourth quarter action, that’s how we win ballgames. To have to crank it up and do that in the third quarter, we didn’t have much left in the gas tank after that.’ Bryant admitted Jackson’s assessment was not off base, but said it is his role on the team to bear the brunt of the scoring load from time to time. ‘[Jackson] was right, I totally broke the offense, but I did it intentionally because I felt like we needed to get something started because what we were doing just wasn’t working,’ Bryant said. ‘So, I tried to kick start it and sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t but that’s my responsibility. When it works out? Great. When it doesn’t? I’ll take the criticism for it, but I have thick enough skin to be able to do that. … You just have to take the good with the bad. That’s part of my job in the seat that I sit. I was trying to win the damn game. We were playing like [expletive], we all were, so I was just trying to get something going, trying to pump a little energy to us and it just didn’t work out. But Phil doesn’t really care how many shots I take, he just wants me to take them inside of the offense. [Sunday] was one of those days where I was like, ‘[Expletive] the triangle, I need to get myself going and try to save this damn game,’ and it just didn’t work out.'”