|You can fault Kobe for a lot of things, but certainly not for a lack of effort or commitment to winning|
Kobe does it again. The Lakers' elder stateman, never known for keeping his thoughts to himself, spouted his mouth again earlier Wednesday, blaming his team's recent struggles on age.
From ESPN Los Angeles's Dave McMenamin: "Cause we're old as s—," said the 34-year-old Bryant when asked why a lack of energy has been a problem for the Lakers all season. "What do you want? We just got to figure out how to play when we don't have that energy. We got to change things up a little bit defensively. We got to figure out what we want to do offensively, figure out what we want to do on nights when we don't have those legs or have that energy."
Bryant went on that tirade a day after the Lakers fell in blowout fashion to the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that beat LA at the Staples Center on the strength of double-doubles from both Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, who McMenamin notes are 22 and 24 years old respectively. Those comments come on the heels on Kobe mentioning the day earlier that he is playing "probably the best I've played in awhile".
When looking at the overall gist of what Kobe was trying to say, it makes a ton of sense. He is having yet another career season in averaging 30-plus points while the rest of his team muddles along to a 15-16 record. However, you just cannot throw your teammates under the bus the way Kobe did because that is the way teams in the Lakers' situation go from poor play to absolute rock bottom.
Maybe it would help Kobe and the rest of the Lakers if they would be unlike the city they play in for a few weeks. As Hollywood and Los Angeles are vibrant centers of arts and culture — with a lot of people saying whatever they want without much consequences — Mike D'Antoni's team should do the opposite, and lay low under the radar for a little bit as it works out its kinks.
Certainly, the Lakers having their marquee player blast the rest of the team's players for their age and perceived lack of effort is not nearly what it takes to change the negative attitudes in the locker room right now.
You know what will change those attitudes?
More unselfish play, less calling out of teammates, and less talking to the media in general. Kobe should know better.