The title of a recently released Yahoo! article is “Kobe Bryant’s FRUSTRATION with Lakers’ struggles grows: ‘This ISN’T working‘ (Web-site/URL: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–kobe-bryant—this-isn-t-working–101830224.html).
“Everyone else on THESE Los Angeles Lakers had showered, dressed and bundled themselves to march out into the coldest night across the past two winters here. As the clock lurched past midnight in the losing locker room, the team bus gone, Kobe Bryant still wore his purple and gold jersey inside a tiny cubicle”. “these Los Angeles Lakers” are MISERABLE: 11th in the Western Conference, four games OUT OF PLAYOFF CONTENTION and seven games UNDER .500 (Web-site/URL: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/teams/page/LAL/los-angeles-lakers), MUCH WORSE than their glorious predecessors, under West Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson and even Bryant (remember he has FIVE championships WITH THE LAKERS).
“For some reason, he was holding onto one more night, one more LOSS, a little longer on Monday (January 21, 2013). He had marched past the Michael Jordan statue in the United Center, embraced Scottie Pippen courtside and understood he had never been so FAR AWAY from those six championship banners hanging above him“. The Lakers don’t even have A WINNING RECORD: 17-24 (Web-site/URL: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/teams/page/LAL/los-angeles-lakers),
“(Only) ONE more to go, and yet Monday night (January 21, 2013) had been ANOTHER CRUEL INSTALLMENT that Bryant NO LONGER plays on a championship contender, that the parts, the system (and) the plan, is SPIRALING DEEPER AND DEEPER INTO THE ABYSS. SEVEN games under .500, four games OUT of the playoff picture and an UNRAVELING in the final minutes of a 95-84 LOSS to the Chicago Bulls”, The Lakers have now LOST 6 STRAIGHT and are only 3-7 in their last 10 games (Web-site/URL: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/standings).
“So far, these Lakers are a FAILURE. So far, a BUST” and THIS TREND SEEMS TO BE CONTINUING. Also, “failure” and “bust” certainly AREN’T words that we usually associate with the Lakers. The Lakers after all have some of THE GREATEST players ever to have put on a sneaker: MAGIC JOHNSON, KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, SHAQUILLE O’NEAL (Shaq) and “the assassin” KOBE BRYANT.
“It ISN’T working for Pau Gasol, who has lost his starting job to Earl Clark”. Gasol’s average has PLUMMETED from 17.4 (’11-’12) to 12.7“. According to the Fantasy report, “ Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters Monday (January 21 2013) that he has decided to use forward Pau Gasol as a sixth-man, bringing him off the bench to ‘maximize his time at center’, according to the team broadcast. The decision is expected to be PERMANENT, as Gasol HAS BEEN UNABLE TO FIGURE OUT the best way to work next to starting center Dwight Howard”..This is a TEAM CHEMISTRY issue. Also Gasol has never adjusted to the POWER FORWARD position because he’s always been a CENTER.
“It ISN’T working for Dwight Howard, who GRUMBLED privately in the locker room over the truths on THE STAT SHEET“. This implies that Howard only cares about HIMSELF, making this the latest example of ARROGANCE a fundamental characteristic of “Difficult People” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI).
“Most of all, it ISN’T working for the Los Angeles Lakers, on course to be remembered as one of pro sports’ biggest DEBACLES“. Again “debacles” or FLOPS usually ISN’T a word that we associate with THE LA LAKERS.
“On the issue of coach Mike D’Antoni stripping Gasol of his starting job, Bryant responded with A LONG,TELLING SILENCE and smirk when pressed on whether he believed Gasol’s benching made THESE Lakers a better basketball team”. Of course, “these Lakers” are DRASTICALLY different from the Laker teams of the past (e.g. the Laker teams from the ‘80s). “These Lakers” are MUCH WORSE from the Lakers we’re accustomed to seeing. There have been MAJOR PERSONNEL CHANGES. LAMAR ODOM and DEREK FISHER are no longer with the team. Odom was productive while Fisher brought LEADERSHIP and TOUGHNESS, two qualities that the ’12-13 Lakers SORELY LACK.
“On the issue of Howard’s belief that the ball SIMPLY DOESN’T go through him enough on offense, Bryant REJECTED the premise“. “I’ve tried to GO OUT OF MY WAY to get him (Howard) the ball“. Well, HOWARD DOESN’T think so, making this is Bryant’s INTERPRETATION (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). “Sometimes I end up LOOKING LIKE AN IDIOT, because I get up in the air, I;VE got a shot, but I try to find HIM. But he thinks I’m going to shoot, so HIS BACK IS TURNED. I’m trying to think about getting him the ball A LOT– take care of him as much as I possibly can. It takes me out of rhythm a little bit, but I’M FINE WITH THAT (?)” REALLY? “If that’s going to help our team, I’m MORE THAN WILLING (?) to do that“. Bryant is “willing to do that”, but GRUDGINGLY.
“When Howard did get the ball on Monday (January 21, 2013), he MISSED FOUR of eight free throws”. This ISN’T surprising given that Howard is only shooting 50% from the free throw line this season (2012-2013) and 58% for his career (Web-site/URL: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/players/playerpage/498287/dwight-howard). “He let the Bulls STRIP him. He MISSED three of his five shots. His aggression seems to COME AND GO, on offense and defense. PERHAPS it’s the back; perhaps it’s SOMETHING ELSE” like ARROGANCE perhaps? (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). Howard is clearly a guy who deserves only one label now: OVERRATED.
Bryant went on: “I’ve CONSTANTLY TRIED to help him out,TRIED TO talk to him, Two o’clock in the morning, three o’clock in the morning. TEXTING him. SHARING READING MATERIALS. ANYTHING to try and HELP him“. Well at least up to this point whatever Bryant is doing ISN’T working. “He’s COMING OFF MAJOR SURGERY in a market where it’s just MERCILESS; where there’s demands and responsibilities of athletes. It’s been TOUGH on him“. This is an expression of EMPATHY (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI), something which is/seems to be in EXTREMELY short supply these days.
“Deep into the fourth quarter, within a basket, the Lakers CRUMBLED TO the Bulls. As one Western Conference assistant coach told Y! Sports, “If you JUST keep running your stuff (and) TRUST YOUR OFFENSE, they will eventually BREAK DOWN ON DEFENSE (and) You’ll get what you want“. Again this just reinforces the fact that this Lakers’ team is UNCHARACTERISTICALLY BAD. “break (downs) on defense” ARE NEVER A GOOD THING.
Finally, Bryant finished off: “We need to GO BACK TO BASICS. We need to put guys in positions to do what they do BEST. We need to STRIP IT DOWN“, an interesting way to put it. “Steve (Nash) is best in pick-and-roll (situations). Pau is best in the post. I’m best from the free-throw line extended down”. Wait. Isn’t Kobe Bryant the “best” player ON THE PLANET? “Let’s GO BACK TO BASICS“. This is what got LEBRON JAMES his first title in 2012 after being “humbled” in the 2011 NBA Finals: “(going) back to basics” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nVEHoAzSjM). “We’ve got to EVALUATE what’s going on“. “Management is looking at it. The players are looking at it. I’m looking at MYSELF. I’m shooting a low percentage right now, and I’ve got to look at that. It’s on ME to make shots, but I’m having to make TOUGH shots, getting the ball 30 feet from the basket and [expletive] like that“. Bryant is COMPLAINING ABOUT “tough shots” and as we know, he DOESN’T always pick up many ASSISTS/he IS NOT ALWAYS a willing passer (as MARK JACKSON likes to say). “Originally, teams would have to play our pick-and-roll coverage, which left me open on the back side quite a bit. But they’ve MADE ADJUSTMENTS and they’ve decided to STAY HOME ON Kobe NO MATTER WHAT” just to make life EXTRA DIFFICULT for THE BEST PLAYER ON THE PLANET. “So I’m TRYING to space the floor. I’m TRYING to do my job the best I can. I TRY to CREATE OPPORTUNITIES. But most of them are trying to take the ball to the basket with four or five seconds left on the [shot] clock, trying to MANUFACTURE TOUGH SHOTS. Listen, NO ONE is more critical of their game, of how they’re playing, than I am. And right now, I’ve got to shootat a higher percentage, have to PLAY BETTER“.
This is the latest example of A CELEBRITY being FRUSTRATED, a fundamental characteristic of “Difficult People” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI).