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Lakers' Kobe Bryant is chippy, Ron Artest is bald, Sasha Vujacic is healthy and Derek Fisher isn't worried

The Lakers were already sporting a different look upon their return to Southern California on Monday, with Sasha Vujacic back on the court and Ron Artest unveiling his second hairdo in two days.

Coach Phil Jackson said Vujacic would likely return Tuesday against Toronto at Staples Center from a shoulder injury that has sidelined him since Feb. 19.

Artest shaved his blond hair, but the dye with the word "defense" inscribed in three languages remained.

Kobe Bryant described the Lakers as "a little edgy" in the wake of their first three-game losing streak since January 2008, and the guard lived up to his description with a series of short answers to reporters' questions. Asked if his stomach was feeling better a day after it forced him to miss the team bus to Amway Arena, Bryant said, "I'm getting a stomach virus now with all these questions."

But veteran guard Derek Fisher downplayed the Lakers' struggles.

"There's been a lot of rain in L.A., but it's not our fault," Fisher said. "The sky is not falling."

-- Ben Bolch

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Off topic but does anyone agree that ABC’s coverage of the NBA in a word sucks! I do not want to see Ron Artest's Hair dresser interviewed especially on a National televised game. More reason for the folks in the mid West and back East to think we are freaks. Well, I am a freak, a freak for Basketball, not hair styles.

M

Very tiring to keep hearing about Kobe going 12-30. If he makes 3 more, he's at 15-30, which is great. Why aren't we complaining about Drew going 1-5 from 3 feet! Fish at 4-12, as usual! Ron at 2-10!
Kobe had 7 Rebounds, second on the team! He also dished 7 assists, would have had more had not Ron, Fish and Farmar clanked. Oh yeah, Farmar didn't clank, he AIR-BALLED! Kobe also had a team leading 3 steals. Get off his back, he's trying to do his best to win games, which is alot more than his crybaby teammates! They weren't crying much last (CHAMPIONSHIP) Year!
Doesn't matter if Kobe takes 50 shots a game, guys could still play DEFENSE!

DJ WRITES:

***Very tiring to keep hearing about Kobe going 12-30. If he makes 3 more, he's at 15-30, which is great. Why aren't we complaining about Drew going 1-5 from 3 feet!***

----------------------------------------------------

Because basketball is a rhythm game. When you shoot and you're not in rhythm, it's difficult to make the shot, even if it's from...

...3 feet.

If the Lakers don't retain Phil, look for him to coach New Jersey...you have Stern and the Russian Billionaire....who will ask, who is the best available coach????? And the only other team that may consider paying Phil what he has been getting and deserves (???/unsure) is the Lakers....It's a perfect fit, Phil ended playing career in New Jersey, had best years as a player in New York, rumor has it that is close to Brooklyn.....the thing is which Laker players will he try to take with him...after all, the new coach will want to implement his own system, which will most likely be showtime (Byron)....as for the rumors of LeBronk to LA, I seriously doubt it, our owner is cheap, and in order to get him, they would have to unload most of the team, then why would he want to come, other than the fact that he's coming to realize he will never rack up championship after championship, so why not live in a nice place?

Kobe's shooting percentage takes hits because he takes the last shot at the end of quarters and he also takes the shot after a teammate has dawdled the clock down to 6 seconds, then unloads it to Kobe...if it were a true team, (Kobe....I don't know) and Kobe took his shots within the structure of the offense, he would easily be closer t 50%.

M, the MidWest is still Far East of us, who cares, they have to check the corn. I don't like plaid, so there it balances out....and that reminds me, why did they make us honor St. Patrick's Day if we were not Irish. Personally I find Irish ways to be a little dated. They don't like to lose at anything in their Irish Pubs, and they are I ran into quite a few racist ones....maybe they were upset that the Chinese did a better job building the transcontinental railway, completed on May 10, 1869, Irish building from the East, Chinese from the West....I think....hey, it's been 43 years since U.S. history in the 4th grade, so I may have forgotten some things. Kobe needs to drive to the basket to draw contact, not to make contorting shot avoiding contact, yes I know he is older and will be more prone to injury, but then the Lakers will just have to learn how to play without him.

DJ,

you wrote: Why aren't we complaining about Drew going 1-5 from 3 feet! Fish at 4-12, as usual! Ron at 2-10!

my response: You must be a competitive person. This is a good thing. This is
my take: You hear people whining about Kobe because they hate GREATNESS.
People compare Kobe to Magic & Showtime. They loved the no-look passes.
They love how everyone competed. They have believed the lie that it's possible
to make your teammates better.

If people complained about Bynum going 1-5 then they'd have to be upset
about why we didn't trade Bynum for Bosh.

If people complained about D-Fish then they'd feel that they weren't being
loyal to him. His daughter. His big shots.

If people complained about Ron Artest then they might have to rethink the
wisdom of not signing Ariza.

They would have to admit that Kobe has carried this team for years.

They would have to admit that Gasol has been playing soft.

They don't want to face their mistakes. It's much easier to blame Kobe. He's
responsible for all that is wrong with the Lakers. It's *ALWAYS* Kobe's
fault.

The bottom line is that Kobe shines like a star and those that hate him are
burned by his brilliance. The melt in his radiance and curse him for the
cruel light that he shines upon the slackers who where purple & gold.

There's not really much you can do about it. They only see the numbers
they want to see. If they respond to you at all [ LakerTom ].

it is what it is.

Still, Kobe is the problem. Individual heroism cannot win games without motivating team mates. Why should he hogging the ball all the time?

*props* DJ - thanks for keeping it real.. this Curry guy still around? I take his appearance as the "market bottom" for the Lakers. When guys like that show up, ain't nowhere to go but up. Calls it - Laker bottom is in. Onwards and Upwards from here!

GO LAKERS ! Time to rally around the team, and support Kobe and all his efforts.

kensey

I am not a Kobe hater but he does hold on to the ball especially when the game is close and the last quarter.
This is what I've noticed:
When Kobe was out, the Lakers' wins were all by double digits.
That one loss without Kobe, they needed a closer (Kobe).
Yet those were quality teams the Lakers blew away.
With Kobe, and when the Lakers have a big lead, the other team makes a comeback and when it's tight near the end of the game, Kobe will take over. Which he does make winning shots. But if you ask me, I'd rather win big.
Also lately, the team seems to be behind late in games a lot. I mean, I am talking about 7-10 pts behind with less than 2 minutes left in the game. Sometimes, I wonder if that's by design. It's very frustrating to me because I feel like the Lakers should win some of those games by blow outs i.e. Miami heat. Instead they let them stick around and give them a chance to win games.

I'm glad Sasha's healthy. I hope Luke is back soon.

People may complain, but we are at our best when everyone is healthy.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Hobbitmage,

your thought process is all wrong.

No one is thinking the things you write about.

Wow. Madd negativity all around. Go Lakers!


RydeOrDie! WinOrLose

Welcome back, Sasha! I hope you brought your three point shot with. The team needs it! As so many have said, it all comes down to making shots. The Lakers had plenty of good looks on Sunday that wound up as bricks. It's just that simple. Even the last shot that Kobe missed was out of character for him. That was HIS shot. Off the dribble...moving to his right...I'm surprised whenever Kobe misses a shot like that.

Teams are daring the Lakers not named Kobe to make an outside shot. People talk about how Kobe compromises the offensive flow. I'll agree that there are times when he does. But, to me, there is nothing more deflating to a team than missing wide open shots.

I don't mind ABC's coverage except for the excessive amount of commercials, but all the nationally televised games seem to share this problem. Announcer wise though, I prefer ABC to Fox Sports. Joel Meyers drives me crazy as an announcer. I'd much rather hear ABM, anyone but Meyers.


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