Kobe Bryant can dominate the ball and take the Lakers out of their offense. In other breaking news, the sun rises in the East and Kirstie Alley may have put on a few pounds.
So Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles asked the Lakers shooting coach Craig Hodges if anyone stands up to Kobe on this team, if anyone who tells him to start moving the ball and sharing.
“No,” Hodges says flatly when I ask him at one point in the first half if any players on the team stand up to Kobe Bryant and critique him if he does something detrimental to the team. On this occasion it was Bryant not sprinting back on defense after turning the ball over with a bad pass.
“Not one. They all kiss his a--.”
Welcome to the modern NBA locker room -- nobody really stands up to LeBron James, and Hodges admits nobody on his Bulls stood up to Jordan. Nobody barks at the Alpha Dog. And Phil Jackson just lets everybody figure things out for themselves, learning lessons that stick better that way.
Lakers fans may not like the waiting, may not like the lack-of-urgency, but Hodges expouses what other coaches ad players say -- the Lakers are bored with the season but they can flip the switch fast.
More so than confidence, Hodges thought that the Lakers were just a little bored with the season.
“There’s enough games left now to really feel the need to be ready for the playoffs and our energy is getting to that playoff mentality.”
This is a really great piece by McMenamin. Hodges is honest and expresses his love for Andrew Bynum and his frustration that the Lakers don’t run the triangle well this season. He talks about Tex Winter (who coached Hodges in college). About how long Bryant can play.
Just don’t expect any Kobe bashing. Hodges kisses his a-- plenty, too.