Bryant measures his leadership of Lakers

A fantastic article on Kobe Bryant and his leadership.

Yahoo! Sports: Privately, people wonder: How many more passes does Kobe Bryant give Pau Gasol for speaking so boldly about him? How long until Bryant’s public and private reprisal comes with a ferocity that could bring a 7-footer to his knees? All season, Gasol has been a relentlessly consistent, if not passively aggressive, critic of the franchise star’s shooting habits, of an offense that doesn’t deliver him the ball with the frequency that he wants.

“I believe in what I believe,” Gasol said.

Hours before Friday night’s victory over the Phoenix Suns, chatting on a chair inside U.S. Airways Center, Bryant let out a laugh and insisted there will be no public rebuttals. “I’m not touching that,” Bryant said with a smile and shrug.

Bryant could come out and say that Gasol had never won a playoff game until arriving to the Lakers. He could tell Gasol that the Lakers still had the NBA’s best record without him for a month to start the season. He could tell him to make a free throw in the last minutes of tough games, tell him to toughen up.

Truth be told, Kobe Bryant could tell Pau Gasol to simply shut the bleep up.

Only, Bryant doesn’t do it. Tempted? Well, of course. Yet, the reason for such restraint is simple: The Lakers desperately need Gasol, and a public chastising of him would almost assuredly reduce his fragile psyche to rubble, costing Bryant the player he needs to catch Michael Jordan and his six championship rings.

Bryant responds with polite, processed reason: He isn’t playing differently this season, he insists.

Perhaps circumstances have changed, but not him.

Continue reading ‘Bryant measures his leadership of Lakers’

Chris Manning is a co-owner and video producer for TheLakersNation.com. In addition to his "LD2k" fan-video productions, Chris is working as the "Production Manager" for HS3; A Digital, Brand Strategy and Marketing company based in L.A. which represents the digital entities of numerous high-profile athletes. You can follow him on Twitter for a wide array of sports/Lakers talk!
  • 007

    nice read. i think pau needs to learn to keep things behind closed doors. if you have a problem with Kobe or “the team” as a whole then meet with them. dont tell everyone else (the media) about it.

  • 09champs!

    Wow, this is probably the best article I´ve read this season. People, really, you need to click continue reading and follow the link , not just read what is published here.

    Pau, i love you, but you need to toughen up, and back your words with your game if you want to say something, not ask for the ball and go 5-14 with 5 turns.
    KB , man the growth this man has made has to be the biggest ever by a basketball player compared to the early stages of his career. GOAT

  • kisofdeath

    pau needs to realize that he’s lucky to be on this team.

    had this been the kobe from a few years ago, not only would he crush pau’s psyche, pau could have easily been traded for chris bosh with no hesitation if a feud ensued earlier. while he ends up on an average team, the lakers wouldn’t have skipped a beat.

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    lets hope gasoft realizes he just has to stfu and play hard even though he aint getting the ball

    otherwise i see this team blowing uppppppppp

  • Eidraq

    pau was great last year..and sure he got the ball more then as well (primarily bc andrew was out)..but as of late he hasnt been himself, shooting below 50% in the past ten games and high amount of turnovers…what pau needs to do is get back to playing a high level and try to adjust with bynum in there…and the lakers definitely should pass the ball to pau more than they do to bynum

    • kobe-wan kenobi

      well why is that?
      bynum being more effective scoring more than 60%
      sp if u want the ball play better and talk less
      gasoft

  • http://www.singoramalessonsrevealed.com Varick Hudson

    I agree with 09champs! This really is one of the best if not the best article I have read all year long about this team. Gasol got this big head because, all year long some sports writers, fans and maybe even some of the team coaches and players, have been playing him up as the greatest thing since the electric shaver. When I have maintained all season that although he is one of the leagues best at the Forward position, he is no Kobe B Bryant, he is not the franchise of this team. Before coming to the Lakers Gasol’s Memphis Grizzlies after being there for 6 or 7 years never even made it out of the first round of the playoffs after going there 3 years in a row with him all the years he was with the Grizzlies, as their star player. Kobe on the other hand has been 1 of the architects of 3 NBA L.A Lakers Championship teams and now a 4th. And my point is, knowing each players resume’ whom should we be more attentive to. I think the answer should be more than clear and Gasol, even though he has the freedom and the ability to voice his concerns he should not get it twisted. That for now this is still Kobe Bryant’s team and Gasol would do well not to try and usurp nor forget that.

    • Toni

      Nice post Varick. – What gets me is that Pau (although he is the main reason why I became a Laker “convert”,) constantly feeds the media that he needs to get more touches, and when he does, me majorly messes up!

      He can’t hit most of his free throws (not even mentioning when it’s clutch time,) and more importantly, with his incredible height, he does not slam the ball in the basket. – Forget the “finesse” style of play and put the darn ball in the basket!

      God gave Pau his height as a gift and he should use it for the benefit of the team and give back to the fans that pay good money to see them WIN!!!!

  • mims

    I think Gasol had good points as much as i love Kobe….It is a team sport,and we could have beat the magic ,and didnt ,,if someone has a better shot, we must passs the ball and make them..we want wins, not just numbers

    • kobe-wan kenobi

      i guess 4 rings are not a good proof enough about kobe’s game
      while 0 poffs win of gasoft before coming to lakers speaks a lot about him

      mmm
      think again
      that is kobe’s game he won 4 rings like that, that’s why he is so great in the clutch
      he aint gonna change, fortunately

      gasoft better swallow it, or get ready to get shipped his soft ass out

    • laker realist

      I swear you guys act like the man jacks up 30 shots a game! If a player can get a good shot and that player happens to be one of the all time greats let him shoot. If he misses he misses. I agree that the ball should be given up to someone who is open but when does kobe not do that. This team lives or dies by how Kobe plays in the 4th quarter. This is the NBA folks

  • Pac Div

    What Pau needs to do is not play for Spain in the fukin summer, and hit the fukin weight room. Also dude needs to start making his damn free throws.

  • Robert

    Pau did pretty well in Kobe’s absence. I think he had a 20/20 one game, right? That ain’t easy. He found out that if he’s the ‘point man’ of the team, that he can win big in the Triangle – Yes – in Phil’s system. Pau is ‘made’ for Phil’s system, and would definitely have a winning team (without Kobe) in Phil’s system. If he were to have been drafted by the Lakers years ago, and been there instead of Kobe, the Lakers would have still done pretty well. Pau’s style of play did not work well on the Griz. So I can see why he would want to ‘get more touches’. If he were the point man for the Lakers, it would be great — for him (and not bad for the Lakers either).
    .
    BUT ….. (and this is a BIG but)
    .
    This is Kobe’s team, and Kobe is simply the Greatest Player of All Time. (ok, some would argue, but I’ll say it now). The Triangle is made to distribute the ball and give the team an ‘even’ chance to make a play – HOWEVER, it is also “Specially Designed” for a marquee player like … um … oh …. Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant. It ‘features’ (and enhances) an already great player. Shaq didn’t win big until he came into the Triangle. MJ thrived on the Triangle. Kobe knows the Triangle – it works great for him.
    .
    Pau has to take a second seat here, to the greatest. That’s just it. Pau has to THEN figure out how to enhance this – how to FIT IN. How to do what he can in this system which features a marquee player OTHER THAN him. That’s it! Pau has a ring already. Does he want more? This is the way to do it. Does he want to be one of the 50 Greatest? Have his own team? He HAD his own team. Too late (sort of). BUT, Pau was the greatest Euro Player last year, right? If he plays it right, he could get a few more rings, and if he’s smart, he can get himself cemented in ‘One of the greatest forwards in history’ talk. Just Figure It Out, Pau. This is Kobe’s team now, but you can achieve basketball immortality, even as the ‘second best player’ on the team.
    .
    Here’s the secret, Pau: when you have the chance, make BIG plays. BIG BIG plays. Find that moment in which it seems the Lakers are gonna go down, and at that ‘last second of hope’, COME THROUGH. And COME THROUGH CONSISTENTLY. Shoot 100% in those moments. If you do, you’ll find that a basketball appears in your hands, magically, that someone has passed to you – to make that big play. Who is that someone who is passing you the ball? …………………… Kobe.

    • Eidraq

      20/20 against gsw isnt too difficult

      • Pnoy

        kobe got 81, come from behind win w/o gasol..and lots and lots of more…gasol 0 playoff win w/o kobe I hope gasoft realize that if he don’t want to get out of LA….

        • http://www.facebook.com/thejahjah Green Flannel

          never get tired of reading your posts Robert.

  • http://57.amklac REALITY

    if the self glossed mamaaamba would play the whole game like he does the last 60 secs(camera time!)he would be laughed at less…………..less rat-like

    • http://lakersnation showtime4eva

      145

  • comeflywithme

    Gasoft stop actin like you’re the man! 4 game win streak without kb and you’re actin like you’re the man.. just listen to what Ron said “don’t get me twisted, it’s still the mamba show”

  • http://57.amklac REALITY

    BOSTON AT CLEVELAND TODAY!!!!THATS NBA AT ITS BEST.WHEN SHAQ WAS ON LAKERS THEY WERE MUST SEE………..NOW I GUESS NOT

    • http://www.facebook.com/thejahjah Green Flannel

      145

      • http://www.facebook.com/thejahjah Green Flannel

        146

  • http://57.amklac REALITY

    gay cardigan rocks!!

  • 16

    Contreversy & adversity, for 29 other teams this equals self destruction for the Lakers it could mean 16th Championship….Never base your opinion of the lakers on the reg. season because 1minute everything is going great and you have the best record in the nba and the next minute you hit some adversity and end up losing to the orlando magic in the conf. finals

  • Kobe “3peat” Jordan

    Bell says Kobe’s the best:

    Raja Bell is one of the best defender’s in the NBA and had a rivalry with Kobe Bryant when he played for the Suns. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony are all terrific players, but Bell says Bryant is still the best in the NBA.

    “Kobe,” Bell tells The Oakland Tribune. “He’s a winner, man. Not that the LeBrons and D-Wades and ‘Melos aren’t. But he just seems to have a sixth sense about closing and timeliness with his game that I think he’s developed over time. I think they don’t necessarily have it to the degree he has it yet. They’re on his heels. But if you ask me who I’d take to win this year, I’d take Kobe.”

    Devean George played with Bryant in Los Angeles and agrees with Bell.

    Kobe wills his team to win,” George said. “LeBron does the same thing, he just doesn’t have the championships. I think that is probably what sets Kobe apart.”