Lakers guard Kobe Bryant joined the Dan Patrick Radio Show to talk about where the team currently stands, the dunk heard ‘round the world against the Clippers on Wednesday night, Mike Brown and more. Here a few highlights from the interview:
On whether he took it personal that the Clippers were the media darlings at the start of the season…
As a group we used that to motivate us. We haven’t been in the position of being the underdog in our championship runs…and we kind of use that as fuel.”
On the how the schedule has affected him…
I find myself getting a little bit more rest than before. Its funny remembering back to when I was 23 and 22 [years old] I’d just bounce back and all of a sudden the injuries that you have don’t linger as long…now I find myself constantly taking care of my body, having to watch what I eat and all this stuff, its pretty crazy.”
On if there are any parallels between Andrew Bynum and Kobe when he was Bynum’s age…
The thing that we both have in common when I was his age is he has the drive to prove himself, you know on the court he’s very hungry to prove that he’s one of the top players and he goes out every night and tries to do that. You can tell when he plays he plays with confidence, he plays with determination no matter who he’s matched up against to prove night in and night out that he’s one of the best.”
On whether Andrew needs to be handled/motivated….
I don’t think so…It probably comes from playing for Phil all these years and how he’s dealt with players. Sometimes you have to let players find their own way. Not that you let them do whatever they want to do but you kind of let them find their own way a little bit and he’s out there performing extremely well so whatever he’s doing, the edge that he’s gaining from how he’s preparing for games is clearly working.”
On whether he teased Pau at all over being dunked on by Blake Griffin…
You have to. That’s the kind of group we have. You have to have thick skin to be in our locker room because we’re going to tease you, we’re going to ride you…We were teasing him during the next timeout…I told the guys its just 2 points. Pau just go out there and do your job, wear him out on the block. But we’re all going to tease you after the game so might as well just know that right now.”
On whether we are all being fair to Mike Brown in his first year:
It’s a tough spot to be able to come in after a group that’s been raised by Phil. But he has the ambition and the drive to want to be able to do it. He works extremely hard at it. He’s open to listening to the group because he understands he has a group that has a lot of experience and has been through a lot already so he has the drive to want to prove himself.”
Kobe also discusses whether or not he thinks Phil Jackson will return to coaching, who he thinks the top NBA MVP candidates are and whether or not he’s now a Dodger fan after Magic Johnson’s ownership group purchased the team. You can hear Kobe’s comments on these topics and more here.