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Kobe Bryant says he'll do 'everything' to send Phil Jackson off with one more title

Kobe_450 Month by month, Coach Phil Jackson's departure from the Lakers draws closer and closer.

One particular player is finding a way to turn it into a positive.

Kobe Bryant doesn't need any added motivation, but he acknowledges the importance of winning one more championship under Jackson.

"Yeah, for me especially because we’ve been together for so long," Bryant said. "I’m going to make sure I do everything in my power to send him off in the right way."

Jackson, 65, reiterated Thursday that he would be done after this season.

Jackson said last season was a "maybe" as far as retirement, but added that "this year, there's no 'maybe.'" 

He then joked that he would find a way to stay in the spotlight.

"I'm actually going to have a press conference once every two months just to kind of feel right," he said. "Maybe like Jerry [West], just getting it out."

West recently made headlines by saying at an Orange County auto dealers confab that the Lakers' defense looked slow and old.

Bryant didn't want to look too far into Jackson's departure after 11 seasons with the Lakers, five of which have ended in championships.

"It’ll be a sad day but I’m sure I’ll get together with him and go fly-fishing at some point," Bryant said.

-- Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (16)

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@LAKERTRUTH... “If there was one forward spot left, and I suggest that Kevin Durant deserves the nod over Lamar, does that make me an ungrateful Laker fan?” Of course not. In fact, if there was one spot open and it was between LO and AB, I would select LO. The issue, however, is that the fans vote for the starters and they have given Drew more votes than any other healthy center. That is why Drew should start. PERIOD.
..........................
@MVP... Thanks for your comments. I really do not care about the All-Star game but it really irks me the extent that some supposedly loyal Lakers fans go to justify why Drew should NOT be selected for the All-Star Game. Am I biased? Of course. It reminds me of the comment by the great Marquette basketball coach Al McGuire when one of his point guards asked him why he started his son Ali when he was just as good a guard. Al’s response was that he agree the guy was just as good but Ali was his son. The point is that there definitely are other deserving players, but Drew is our boy so why not support him.
...
Of course, the biggest joke of all is those who speak in the third person singular who are clamoring for Blake Griffith as the next greatest superstar when he has only played half a season and still doesn’t even know how to shoot or has not developed any post moves.
............................
TOM

@BAY TO LA... “Lakertom, it's nothing personal against Andrew Bynum.” Is that so? Well, in my mind, you either root for your team’s players or you don’t. You either look for reasons to support your team’s players or you don’t. Obviously, many of you don’t agree with that position because I’ve heard every excuse in the world why Drew should NOT be an All-Star despite the fact he has the most votes of any healthy West center. Here is just a sample of the comments by supposedly appreciative Lakers fans:
...
Drew should NOT be an All-Star because: (1) He did not get his knee operated on time. (2) He missed 24 games to start the season. (3) He could reinjure his knee if he played. (4) He’ll have plenty of chances to make it in the future. (5) Pau Gasol can play center since there is no defense in the All-Star game. (6) Getting selected will send him the wrong message. (7) He should concentrate on helping the team win the championship. (8) LO deserves it more (at least a comment with which I earlier stated I agreed).
...
Bottom line, 660K fans voted for Andrew Bynum to be the starting center for the West. If David Stern had any integrity, he would appoint Drew to replace Yao as the starter. Unfortunately, I have as little faith in Stern as I have in many of the fans on this blog who never have given Drew the respect or credit he deserves for what he means to this team. Obviously we’ll have to agree to disagree on how you properly support your team. Maybe a trade Drew for Jefferson or Nene bandwagon would be more like your style.
..................................................
TOM

Kobe and Phil fly-fishing? A "River Runs Through It", NBA style. It's truly amazing how their relationship, which was once adversarial, has evolved over time. They're "headed for the last round-up" in what has been an amazing journey. Stay tuned. This promises to be good!

63,

You win with Los Shakers, that's too freaking funny.

For no apparent reason whatsoever other than I love this scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW-jSa9_k3M&feature=related

LongTimeLakerFan,

you wrote: To make this more succinct, before Bynum was starting, the Lakers were 2-5 against teams winning more than 50% of their games. Since Bynum has been starting, the Lakers are 6-1 versus teams with over 50% wins.

Again...

Without Bynum - 4 seed who struggles with playoff teams
With Bynum - 2 seed who manhandles playoff teams for 30 point wins.

my response: So this type of comment is sketchy from a logic perspective.

Where, in your logic, is the change made to the defensive scheme by Pearson?

I am not telling you that Bynum is not a good center or that he doesn't make
a difference. I'm saying that you're not comparing Apples to Apples.

If the Lakers had made *NO* changes and we had started to play much
better, I'd agree with you.

However, multiple articles have multiple quotes from multiple Lakers players
that the attitude/spirit/behavior of the team changed due to the losses.
Kobe going to practice was one. Phil Jackson holding a two hour practice
was another.

Drew should NOT be an All-Star because: (1) He did not get his knee operated on time.
His doctors delayed this surgery, besides who says that the doctor had an opening as soon as the playoffs were over? Not a good reason.
(2) He missed 24 games to start the season.
I recall a certain retired player by the name of Magic Johnson having played in the All-Star game because he was voted in and was no longer an active NBA player. Yes I know Bynum isn't Magic but if you're going to allow for one you have to allow for all.
(3) He could reinjure his knee if he played.
Traumatic circumstances caused him injury. Could have happened to anyone. That would be like saying Kobe shouldn't play because he could injure himself as well. Stupid reason.
(4) He’ll have plenty of chances to make it in the future.
See reasons for not playing in number 3. What if he blows his knee and never gets the chance in the future? What if some tragic situation happens that leaves Laker Nation sobbing tomorrow? You never know what tomorrow brings and you must take what's there today.
(5) Pau Gasol can play center since there is no defense in the All-Star game.
Gasol played center most of the season, this is as good as any reason for Bynum not to play.
(6) Getting selected will send him the wrong message.
Yao getting voted in sends the wrong message. Time to change the All-Star selection format!!
(7) He should concentrate on helping the team win the championship.
By improving himself to be an annual All-Star, he's also improving the Lakers chances on winning a championship. This pretty much goes hand in hand.
(8) LO deserves it more (at least a comment with which I earlier stated I agreed).
This is probably the only other good reason. Gasol first, Odom second. All other reasons, bull.

@Truth – Never? Never ever ever? Not even when no one can hear? Wow.

@LJP305- Nice post on “what ifs”.

@Laker Tom – regarding Blake Griffin. You should listen to Jerry West opinion him I posted at 10:04am.

@Mark G – Great pick with Dave Edmunds….doing a song by Fats partner and one of the great songwriters…Dave Bartholomew. I wanted to post Smiley Lewis version, but I couldn’t find a quality one on YouTube and can’t even find a poor quality one of Little Richard.

I wasn’t familiar with Ducks Deluxe. I like.


@63 Footer - Breaking out Los Shakers….that’s like trying to put the letter R on somebody in horse.

@HOBBITMAGE... I generally agree with your comments about the defensive changes being important as well as Kobe getting healthier and focusing on facilitating. However, the one factor to remember is that the only reason that the defensive strategic changes worked was Drew was ready to play starter minutes. The same changes with Pau at center would not have had anywhere the same impact. In fact, I recall Phil stating that that no Drew was part of the reason why the team did not make the changes earlier. Interesting that the defensive suggestions came from an assistant known for his offense.
........................................
TOM

Mark G - Great scene! Classic - everything perfect about it.

LRob -and if you think THAT'S weird... here's my "S" for the game of HORSE (one of the semi-great unknown proto-all-girl bands, though you probably know them):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-essM3zzcrY&feature=related

As for the whole All-Star debate: one can think a player on the Lakers is great and still not necessarily deserving (for MANY reasons), and one can think a player on the Lakers is great AND deserving. It's like someone liking vodka and another liking tequila: result after enough "shots" (feed the bigs!) is the same...

Oh, as for Blake Griffin, I think he's everything a rookie superstar should be: 1. changes the team in a major way; 2. makes a team relevant (more people are talkin' bout the Clippers - in a good way - than in a loooooong time) 3. puts up some great stats, while still having room to grow. Almost all the "greats" had this effect in either their first or second year. Whether Blake can sustain and grow is one thing, but right now, he's the most exciting new superstar-quality player to come along in the last few years (Durant probably before him); poor John Wall. This takes NOTHING away from Andrew Bynum's play, so dissin' Griffin does not build a case for Drew.

LakerTom,

you wrote: However, the one factor to remember is that the only reason that the defensive strategic changes worked was Drew was ready to play starter minutes. The same changes with Pau at center would not have had anywhere the same impact. In fact, I recall Phil stating that that no Drew was part of the reason why the team did not make the changes earlier. Interesting that the defensive suggestions came from an assistant known for his offense.

my response: I respectfully disagree. The one factor to remember is that
the Lakers had had two multiple game losing streaks, the fans were up in
arms and everybody on the Lakers was pissed.

You can certainly argue that the defensive scheme favors having Bynum at
C. You can *not* make the argument that the defensive scheme would not
have worked with Pau & LO.

re: Not making the changes earlier because of Bynum absence. I respectfully
disagree with that. No coach wants to see his team go on 3 or 4 game losing
streaks. The actual words of the Lakers players & coaches *clearly* point to
a lackadaisical attitude that permeated the team. Pau pouting because Kobe
wasn't practicing. If all it took was Bynum's return the coaches would have
said ... things will change as soon as Drew get's back. That is not what they
said.

Tonite at 4pm Pacific on TNT we will find out if Pau,LO and Drew made the All-Stars. What an honor it would be to have all of them,since WE have been to the Finals the last three years and Back to Back Champs!!!!!!!!!! They deserve it. It's Blakes 1st year playing, let him earn it!! We have our own BEAST!!! GOOD LUCK to our SUPER LAKER'S in letting them playing in front of our home town fan's.

This is definitely a special season for both player and coach. Focus everybody because this is the last time we'll see those two guys together but I have a weird feeling that they'll be going against each other in another Finals one day. Epic times in the NBA.

"This is definitely a special season for both player and coach. Focus everybody because this is the last time we'll see those two guys together but I have a weird feeling that they'll be going against each other in another Finals one day. Epic times in the NBA.

Posted by: frmkt | January 27, 2011 at 04:36 PM "

I don't know where he'll be, but I also have a really hard time believing Phil is leaving the NBA for good after this season.

I don't think drew has played at an all star level and therefore should not make the team.

But if stern decides to go with the 2nd highest vote getter at center then I guess he technically deserves to be an all star.

hobbitmage,

>>>Where, in your logic, is the change made to the defensive scheme by Pearson?

Admittedly, they have been talking a lot that they've revised their defensive strategy. The big new thing is that they're steering people to drive toward the baseline instead of into the lane and counting on the bigs to challenge or block shots.

Nothing against Lamar's defense, but he is not a great shot blocker.

Pau is. Bynum is. It's Bynum's return that ALLOWS them to make this defensive change and make it stick. If they were steering people toward the baseline and counting on Lamar to make weak-side blocks, they'd still be only top 1/3 of the league in defense. Having all the blocks and alterations that Drew provides moves them into top-5 in the league level defense.


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