Star guard refutes coach’s quote that he ‘hasn’t thrown his heart and soul’ into his effort in the preseason.

L.A. Times: Three days before the start of a season prefaced by a summer of discontent and a fall of uncertainty for Kobe Bryant, the Lakers guard is still not fully committed to the team in the opinion of his coach, Phil Jackson.

“Obviously he hasn’t thrown his heart and soul into performing on the floor,” Jackson said after practice Saturday at the team’s El Segundo training facility. “That hurts me a little bit. . . . He was going to work at this thing and [would] put his full being into this. Right now, he’s having a hard time doing that.”

Asked specifically what Bryant is struggling with, Jackson replied, “Mentally getting himself here and playing hard. . . . Is that a surprise to you guys? I mean I’m not breaking new news.”

It came as news to Bryant, who responded to Jackson’s remarks by denying any lack of commitment on his part.

“That [should be] the least of his concerns or anybody’s concerns,” Bryant said. “You don’t have to worry about that. . . . I’m ready to play. Period. You don’t have to worry about me.”

Bryant has sent tremors of concern through the organization since the end of last season. His frustration over a quick first-round exit from the postseason by the Lakers caused Bryant to criticize the front office, demand a trade, back off from that demand, then criticize a decision not to trade center Andrew Bynum.

Continue reading ‘Jackson worried about Bryant’s commitment’

Related:
As team rests, Bryant trade talk lingers

  • JBMONKEYMAN

    I am glad Phil is calling Kobe on his crap, his teamates and us fans deserve better. This just serves as more proof that Kobe should be gone soon hopefully. I am just holding my breath to see what the Lakers can get from the Bulls. Luol Deng is a must in any trade for Kobe. I am proud that the front office is playing hardball according to the ESPN article which is difficult to do considering Kobes childish actions. I cant believe i have gone from being upset about Kobe’s trade demands to now hoping this gets done before the season starts. I dont care how good he is, Kobe is a cancer. Ask Shaq, Karl Malone, Jerry Buss, Phil Jackson just to name a few.

  • BEC

    No offense to anyone, but if youre hoping for a Kobe trade, youre a complete moron. We’re talking about one of the greatest players of all time to step on the hardwood. If youre hoping for a trade to happen for the best player in the NBA, theres something wrong in your logic. To those who think Kobe is a cancer? Why dont you ask everyone on TEAM USA what they think about Kobe, players who are about WINNING.

    Although im not happy about the lack of effort from Kobe, but its acceptable. Hes been in the league 12years, knows the system better than anyone on this team, he has a lot of mileage on him, why would kobe go full blast for pre-season games and practice? It doesnt matter. When Kobe lets his frustration get to him by showing lack of effort in regular season games, then and only then could we criticize Kobe for his effort.

  • steve

    Bec….If your hoping for a trade to happen for the best player in the nba, theres something wrong in your logic…..That is your opinion just like its my opinion that if a player does not want to be on a team he should be dealt..its not right or wrong its an opinion..Both parties have made mistakes throughout his time with the LAKERS…lets not paint this as a one sided picture ..the guy does have flaws as well

  • steve

    BEC..YOUR ASKING THE PEOPLE NOT TO TAKE OFFENSE IN YOUR OPENING LINE BUT IF YOU WANT TO TRADE KOBE YOUR A COMPLETE MORON……OK BEC ALTHOUGH IM A COMPLETE MORON ….LETS SEE …NO OFFENSE TAKEN…WHAT IS THAT?????????

  • r3dempti0n

    [Comment ID #15516 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Lol… “no offense.. but ur a stupid ass.”

  • http://deleted JBMONKEYMAN

    Yah BEC no offense but your take on the situation is completely retarded. At this point let me hear a more realistic option that is a better outcome for the Laker TEAM. The owner feels betrayed, the coach feels he is playing without heart, his teamates according to the coach are having more fun playing without him. You tell me a better option than recieving a few studs from the Bulls and building for the future. Kobe has no interest in developing our young players, his presence on the team in my oppinion only hurts their development. If you want to see us creep into the playoffs with Kobe looking good at the expense of the other players. Get bounced in the first round and have less trade leverage next summer, your logic is, well, retarded. That time i kinda meant it to be offensive.

  • gugy

    I will be very sad if Kobe leaves, but if that wil help the Lakers be a contender, then so be it.
    I love Kobe, I love Lakers, but t seems that at this point both cannot coexist together, so somebody have to leave. Sure we need to blame Lakers FO and Jerry Buss for not able to keep one of the best player ever. It will be hard to watch Kobe on a different jersey. But we need to have a player commit to winning and I understand Kobe’s frustration, so I guess then let him go and try to get the best package in return.

    I hope this will be a lesson for the Lakers FO, hopefully they will get their act together and make the Lekers shine again.

  • LakersFirst (Change) (Close)

    BEC,

    It’s obvious you are a Kobe fan, NOT A LAKER FAN. This is a Lakers TEAM web site. If you want to praise Kobe all you want then go to the Kobe web site, as I, and maybe I speak for others, WANT TRUE LAKER FANS HERE. I’m sick of Kobe, it’s time for the true Laker fans to take the team back away from him.

    In addition, let me tell you something about the supposed “best player in the league”, the Spurs, Pistons and Heat and won titles without the “best player in the league”.

    Kobe’s teammates don’t want him here, Phil is questioning his Laker commitment, the FO can’t stand Kobe, and now the fans are seeing his true colors and turning on him – It’s time to ship his a** out!

  • MacBSlick

    BEC
    I completely agree with you. Read Kevin Dings Blog this morning. Phil asked the reporters if they had spoken to Kobe yet. They said “No we havent”. Kobe will be completely motivated come Tuesday. This is Phils way of getting under Kobes skin. He knows what buttons to push. Kobe for 11 seasons has given more than 110 percent every single game hes played. His work ethics are without question the best in the league. Kobe will be angry and hungry to start this season off. If no one has every seen Kobe play angry, Hes the best there is. He also knows how to play team ball. Just go back to the 2001 season when we rolled our way through the playoffs losing just 1 time. I dont question his heart at all. I know come tuesday Kobe will be on fire and Houston will go down in flames. Thats Phils whole point. He wants his best player to be motivated and questioning Bryants heart is the only way to get him fired up. I guarantee everyone on this blog and Ill eat crow if Im wrong, Houston will lose Tuesday night.
    And as far as Kobe not wanting to develop other players, thats what Phil gets paid 10 million a year to do. Thats why we have 5 other coaches on the bench. Its Kobes job to play ball. Kobes presence doesnt hurt thier “development”. These are fricking grown adults not children. If thier not ready to play its the coaches fault and thier own, not Bryants.
    To end this Byrant didnt betray management, They betrayed Bryant. Buss isnt running a damn Walmart whos goal is making money. Hes running a NBA Basketball Franchise whos goal is winning Championships. They promised to build around Kobe and they’ve wasted 3 seasons not doing what they promised. So stop blaming Bryant for everything thats gone wrong. Blame a very split, mixed up Front Office that doesnt let thier GM do his job.

  • Butch

    MacBSlick I totally agree with you. Don’t blame Kobe. Blame Buss and FO. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to win championships.
    Butch

  • lakerfan81

    I agree with BEC (somewhat but you shouldn’t call people names because you disagree with them its immature). You can’t go after Kobe for a lack of effort until he doesn’t try during games in the regular season when they count. If he pulls a Vince Carter and doesn’t try at all then you get on him about it… but until then you can’t.

    I think Phil’s comments were meant to motivate Kobe. Jackson is a master motivator and I think this was his way of trying to motivate Kobe.

  • BEC

    Some of you are taking what ive said way too personally and getting all sensitive about it. No need to take what I said for more than it really is. Ive followed the lakers my entire life pre-kobe to the campbell, jones, van exel, and caballos days, till today, ive seen kobe pretty much every game and not once did i question is effort and commitment. Just because he takes it easy for one summer, in this particular turmoil we’re in, we question his effort and commitment to play hard. Thats not right. He did play with TEAM USA this summer, he does have 12 years of NBA milage on him, and his knees are starting to catch up with him. Let him take it easy, NOTE WHAT I SAID EARLIER, theres no need to question his commitment and effort NOW, when the regular season starts, and we see that hes lacking in effort and commitment then its valid to question and criticize him. Theres no need for him to abuse his body and play hard when it doesnt even count, especially in this part of his career.

    Im all about winning. I want a title for the Lakers and we’re not far from winning a title with Kobe here. The best option isnt to trade Kobe, its to appease him. We do have two years to trade Kobe, we can get always something for him later, its not like trades are good now or ever will be. We can always rebuild, but players like Kobe only come once in a lifetime. To me the best option is to play things out, hoping we can get a title contender on the floor and appease Kobe, so we can move forward and win a title. Why hope for a trade now when its not necessary? Why kill all hope of winning a title, we do have a realistic shot with kobe, for scrubs and 3-5 years of lottery? If after two years Kobe still wants to leave, I say ship his a** out but for now we all should be hoping this team can contend, and not to trade him, hopefully something will be done about it so we all can go forward and win. Be patient theres no need to trade him now, let things play out, its not appropriate to trade him now, lets not give up all hope of winning a title in the next couple of years, until Kobes opt out becomes a threat and the possiblity of him leaving for nothing is really an option, then we all should be hoping for a trade.
    I know Kobe doesnt want to be here, hes a distraction, hes frustrated, and so on. But the only reason Kobe feels like this is because our FO is clearly showing theyre not about winning at this point. Nothing has been done to really put a contender on the floor.
    Theres no need to jump the gun now, we still have a shot at a title while Kobe is here, phil said it himself, we’re close and only one key piece away. If we’re winning everyones happy, this whole summer and situation will be nothing but a meaningless distant memory if we start winning, and trading Kobe at this point isnt the best option to move forward towards that.

    Also, Kobes teammates dont want him here??? Where did you here that? Im at this site everyday and not once did I here anything about that. Theres no need to get all sensitive and start making stuff up.

  • c

    as AI once said “It’s practice, practice,….practice….it’s practice, practice……practice……practice”

  • MILO

    [Comment ID #15544 Will Be Quoted Here]

    umm did he say practice???lol

  • LakersFirst (Change) (Close)

    BEC

    “Also, Kobes teammates dont want him here??? Where did you here that? Im at this site everyday and not once did I here anything about that. Theres no need to get all sensitive and start making stuff up.”

    One of my very best friends is good friends with a particular Lakers center, (who will remain nameless). I know he’s good friends with him because that’s how we sometimes get Laker tickets, and he admitted to me that the Laker teammates are tired of Kobe and want him to finally leave.

    MacBSlick
    “Buss isnt running a damn Walmart whos goal is making money. Hes running a NBA Basketball Franchise whos goal is winning Championships. They promised to build around Kobe and they’ve wasted 3 seasons not doing what they promised. So stop blaming Bryant for everything thats gone wrong. Blame a very split, mixed up Front Office that doesnt let thier GM do his job.”

    You are VERY WRONG here. The Lakers, like every other sports team, is a business. They have employees to pay and profits to make to potential investors (should the franchise have investors). EVERY TEAM (i.e. business) needs to make money to survive (wake up and smell the coffee). Yes, championships are a goal, but, profitability is even a greater goal. It is very difficult for any sports team to balance profitability and winning championships. You cannot have fiscal losses for the year and be fine with it just because you’ve won a championship. Now I know the Lakers are the second highest valued team in the NBA (New York is #1), however they still need to make a profit.

    Secondly, the decision maker for the Lakers, since he’s owned the team, is indeed Jerry Buss. He’s the one that told Jerry West to hire Phil Jackson (actually Jerry West did not want Phil Jackson, Chick Hearn even said so), he’s the one that told Jerry West, when Shaq was a free agent, bring me Shaquille O’Neal at any cost. He’s the ultimate decision maker. What Mitch and Jim Buss do is monitor draft potentials (which they have a done a decent job in doing when they drafted Farmar, Crittenton, Walton, and so on). In addition, our GM’s do seek out potential players/trades that they think would be a good fit, HOWEVER, at the end of the day it’s the decision of Jerry Buss to go through with the trade or not. In the last few years, Jerry Buss has not been as hands on as he used to, but now that Kobe is b**ching like a little girl, making the Lakers look bad in front of the whole NBA, he’s going to step in and be more active.

  • fatty

    92% of the GM’s, the guys who evaluate talent, say Kobe is the best at his position, can create his own shot when necessary, and is the premier clutch shooter in the game.

    Getting quality value for him is almost impossible at this point in the season.

    So what does Coach Jackson say, “this is not a fire sale” “we are not giving Kobe away” “the chances of Kobe being traded are slim, very slim”

    Kobe needs to get his head on straight for sure. Give him some time to do that and not act rashly. The Lakers staying calm through out all this is the wise thing to do.

  • ab4sure

    No offense BEC and don’t take this personally but your a total moron… LOL By the way when you call people moron’s that is personal and people take it that way. Maybe you don’t understand why people want to trade kobe and that is understandable but those who hold that view aren’t necessarily moron’s. At least my mom said so..LOL.. Anyways, PJ has questioned his effort before and didn’t you wonder about his effort in the Sac game or game 7 with PHX. We can question it, because those games were highly unusual. As far as appease Kobe the only thing that will satisfy him or appease him is for him to be traded. Do you still want to appease him???

    I do agree that perhaps the best thing is to play things out because I don’t know if other possible GM’s around the league are looking at Kobe value fairly. They think they can pick up kobe for cheap and therefore it would probably be best to keep him. Until we get a good offer or until Kobe backs off his trade demand and commits to his team then and only then should we keep him.

  • PHANTOM

    ab4sure,

    you really want a season with kobe not wanting to be there? we all see what he is going to do, proof is in the preseason… get the best deal you can and move on, the team chemistry is horrible right now!!!

  • TonyStarks79

    I’m all for Gilbert Arenas for Kobe..Lets do it..Honestly, I’m glad everyone see’s that Kobe’s not the same anymore..He doesn’t wanna be here..You can see it in the preseason and you can see it in his game..Those pump-fake moves that he used to do is just not the same…Stop complaining and run back on defense..

  • http://www.lakers.com Ed

    I watched the entire interview and I know for a fact that Kobe is going to bring his best every night. You can watch the interview of Phil and Kobe on Lakers.com

  • Fan of the Mamba

    You know I didn’t know that there are so many that are so easily manipulated by what they read in the press. Sam Smith in Chicago Tribune said what he thought Kobe was thinking and bloggers have been going off on Kobe for something someone in the press said they think.

    It’s a sad day when Kobe hasn’t said a thing since May and he’s now TO and ship his ass out and he’s wrong and a cancer and etc. He hasn’t said or done anything different than what he said in May but he’s now the problem because Jerry Buss went back on his word and put Kobe on blast. But there’s nothing wrong with Buss not keeping his word. OK… For those who really think the Lakers are trying to trade Kobe Bryant, watch him be a Laker for the season.

    He will play and play his best because that’s who he is, that’s who he’s shown himself to be and until you see him not give his all in a game stop making things up.

    It’s sad that so many are so easily manipulated by reports in the news.

  • foxxy

    [Comment ID #15511 Will Be Quoted Here]BE REAL JBMONKEY!!!!