Kobe Bryant, if you haven’t been paying attention, tends to take basketball somewhat seriously.
For years, the Lakers have cast off players who couldn’t near Kobe’s level of competitiveness and focus. (Nobody can match it.)
But forced to fill out the roster with low-paid players during a transitional season, the Lakers couldn’t be as choosy as usual. So, they settled for some players who might not meet Kobe’s standards.
One of those marginal players, Chris Kaman, feigned taking a nap on the bench when he was the only player left on the bench during the Lakers’ wacky win over the Cavaliers on Wednesday.
“The last week’s been horrible,” Bryant said. “That Cleveland game, it was crazy. And then[Chris] Kaman goes to sleep on the bench, it’s like when big brother is not around, you start doing crazy [stuff]. So, it’s been rough. It’s been rough. But I’ve been just riding the bike, trying to stay active, stay in shape, spend a lot of time with my family — which really helps to kind of balance it out. But I hate not being there with the guys and watching them going through that period that they’re going through. It’s very, very tough. I just try to be patient.”
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Maybe, for his own sanity, it’s better Kobe just shut it down for the season. Give Mitch Kupchak an offseason to use the Lakers’ cap room and acquire some players Kobe can tolerate.
Otherwise, I fear how Kobe would react if Kaman tried a similar stunt with Kobe on the court.