There were some agitators out there trying to play yesterday’s comments by Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant as the two sniping at each other, that there is some tension there.
No. Really, no. Yes, Phil Jackson said Kobe “screw(ed) up the offense in the third quarter” but he said today he clarified mean that like “crank up the offense” as in to bring energy, according to the OC Register. Although the key part of what Jackson said was that Kobe had to screw it up — the Lakers were lethargic and had terrible execution, so it was up to Kobe to shake them out of it. He had no choice.
Kobe said essentially the same thing today.
“He was right,” Bryant said. “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. I tried to kick-start it, and sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.
“When it works out, great. When it doesn’t, I take the criticism for it but I have thick enough skin to be able to do it.
“I was trying to win the damn game. We were playing (terrible), 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. That 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.”
There are days that does work (ask the Raptors sometime). There are days it doesn’t.
That it didn’t work was less the issue for the Lakers that the original lethargy. Which is to say don’t scapegoat Kobe for the loss to the Grizzlies, the Lakers were throwing that game away as a team before he decided to crank it up. Or screw it up. Doesn’t really matter what term you use, it’s right.