Kobe Bryant speaks again ... sort of
Kobe Bryant didn't have a very fun afternoon on Christmas, his anger at a lopsided loss to Miami rolling over into a post-game sermon in which he demanded more fire from his Lakers teammates.
He was more subdued Tuesday, offering clipped phrases when asked what he hoped to see a few hours later against San Antonio.
"Just some more effort," he said.
On offense or defense?
Did he specifically talk with any teammates at Monday's practice?
Did they understand what needed to be done?
Bryant eventually opened up as reporters began asking if the Lakers (21-9) could turn it around against the Spurs, who are an NBA-best 26-4.
The Lakers' coaching staff has been pointing toward this game for almost a week, even more so than the Miami game because the Spurs are a Western Conference opponent.
Bryant wanted to see more direction from his teammates.
"We haven't been really pointing at anything. That's been one of the problems," he said. "We don't really get too excited about anything any more. I'm excited about this game. I'm excited about the challenge of it. Hopefully the rest of the guys are too."
Bryant said the Lakers' recent malaise since an 8-0 start reminded him of the 2001-02 season, when the Lakers encountered some regular-season losing streaks on the way to eventually winning their third consecutive championship.
"We had to deal with it when we won a three-peat here last time," he said. "Same type of situation that you deal with."
That championship team went through a 3-6 skid in January 2002 and a three-game losing streak a month later but never lost four consecutive games, which the Lakers did four weeks ago.
-- Mike Bresnahan
Photo: Kobe Bryant seems a bit frustrated during the Christmas Day loss to Miami. Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld, Getty Images.