The Lakers fell in Portland Saturday night 121-103. Los Angeles was unable to slow down Damian Lillard (36 points) or C.J. McCollum (28), and the game was never really in doubt by the middle of the second quarter. it was the Lakers’ sixth consecutive loss.
Kobe Bryant has seen enough — he ripped the Lakers in the locker room after the loss, singling out their star rookies in particular, reports Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
Bryant, who posted 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting and five turnovers in 25 minutes through three quarters, became upset both with the Lakers (9-37) for losing their sixth consecutive game and for some on the team smiling after the loss, sources said. Bryant took particular aim at Lakers rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell and second-year forward Julius Randle and even called them out by name, sources said….
But multiple sources confirmed that Bryant spoke for about two minutes after Lakers coach Byron Scott addressed the team.
The Lakers are going to lose a lot of games this season because of their talent level and lack of experience, but the problems in the loss Saturday went beyond that — the Lakers were outworked by Portland at every turn. The Lakers were sloppy and did not take care of the ball. In the midst of a rough season, this was one of the Lakers’ poorest efforts.
So Kobe did what a veteran leader should do — rip the team. Tell them this level of play is not acceptable. He’s not capable of taking the game over with his play often anymore (or not for meaningful stretches), but he still carries weight in the locker room.
We’ll see if Kobe’s words have any impact on the Lakers’ effort. It’s not likely to change what is going on in the win column, with L.A.’s next three games being against Dallas, Chicago, and the L.A. Clippers.