Posted January 14, 2013

Mike D’Antoni minces words when describing Kobe Bryant’s defense

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Mike D'Antoni, Rob Mahoney
Mike D'Antoni, probably advising Kobe Bryant on a matter of defense. (Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Mike D’Antoni, probably advising Kobe Bryant on a matter of defense. (Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Rob Mahoney

When Kobe Bryant plays defense off the ball, he can’t be bothered with foolish notions of diligence or discipline. He simply puts years of experience and reinforced bad habits into action and loses himself completely in the moment. He pursues the ball endlessly, like a house cat chasing after a laser pointer, and though he may wind up making ridiculous gambles with startling frequency, the turnovers he is able to create typically wind up generating uncontested scoring opportunities for the Lakers.

All of that considered, Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni was put in a tough spot when asked specifically about how Bryant defends off the ball — a sore spot in any season, but one that’s been particularly harmful to L.A.’s altogether disorganized defense this year. This was his response, in all of its bumbling glory, courtesy of ESPN LA’s Dave McMenamin:

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It’s essentially the Lakers’ company policy to avoid publicly criticizing Bryant at all costs — even if the head coach winds up tripping over himself in an attempt to sidestep the question as a result. It’s no matter, really; D’Antoni said more than enough with his pauses, as if an accurate description of Bryant’s off-ball defense needed to be articulated at all at this point. It’s simply a fact of life: the sun rises, the tides recede, and Bryant cheats over from the weak side.

4 comments
Newek444
Newek444

@The problem is not any of the players. It is Jim Buss not knowing that these GREAT players need a coach that can best utilize the talents that they have and build a system to best fit them. But in the infinite wisdom that hired Mike Brown and D'Antoni instead of Phil, who gave them 5 rings, Jim Buss continues his brain farts and makes all of us fan sit and smell them. Kobe does good on Defense. He gets steels and creates turn overs.  We just need a good owner or let Mitch do his job without the ignorance of Baby Boy Jim. Jim Buss, the problem,We need a coach that can build around the GREAT talents we already have PERIOD!

Savage
Savage

Kobe gets burned back door so often they should name an adult film actress after him.

Mark V.1
Mark V.1

It was about time Kobe was no longer given a spot on the NBA All-Defensive teams last year.  If for some reason he makes it again this year, ugh...

Newek444
Newek444

 @Savage Jim Buss the problem. We need a coach that can build around the GREAT talents we already have. PERIOD!