It’s a start…
O.C. Register: “(Bryant) brought up a notion of determination,” Jackson said.
Bryant declined to get into the specifics of what he said — noting the words were meant for his teammates to hear — but was brusque when asked how his teammates received his words: “I don’t give a (crap).”
Bryant had told reporters Friday night: “You have those periods during the season where you are kind of stagnant. The important thing is that when you hit those stretches, you don’t go backwards. You just kind of weather the storm, and you come out of it as a better ballclub.”
Jackson was also wary of saying much about Bryant’s words to the team but suggested Bryant’s point was that there is a “willfulness” that is necessary to be a great team that plays great defense.
I asked Jackson if he was glad Bryant spoke up, and Jackson said: “He wasn’t the only one.”
In fact, Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol stayed on the court long after all their teammates had wandered off, talking through more positional theories about defense with assistant coach Frank Hamblen. Josh Powell, one of the team’s connectors despite not playing much, also had more to talk through with Bryant and later with Fisher. Orlando runs a lot of pick-and-roll plays, this season leaning heavily on one with Dwight Howard and Vince Carter and increasingly using Carter with point guard Jameer Nelson lately.
Jackson described the team Saturday as “somber” and gave players “a personal day” on the court to do as they wished or opt for rest.
“They’re frustrated,” Jackson said.