It is pre-season, of course. Nothing to worry about, right? Well, sound-off in the comments and tell us what you think!
Fox Sports: In the first quarter of the Lakers’ first preseason game — Tuesday in Honolulu against the Warriors — the Lakers relinquished 41 points. Kelenna Azubuike (try saying that once fast or slow), a development-league recruit late last season, notched 27.
He torched Kobe Bryant so often, a luau broke out.
The L.A. Times beat writer depicted the Lakers’ defensive negligence as “mushy and pliant.” Phil Jackson portrayed it as “pretty slack.”
Typically, neither author dared to mention Bryant as the leading culprit. Where’s Smush Parker when a scapegoat is craved?
No, Azubuike was not Bryant’s missed assignment the entire evening. Yet he was matched up against him when the chiseled 6-foot-5 guard — enjoying a productive training camp second only to Al Harrington, noted Don Nelson — for several of his offensive outbursts.
When Azubuike drained seven of Golden State’s first 11, Bryant was supposed to be guarding him. That included one basket when Bryant committed a turnover and didn’t get back, resulting in an Azubuike dunk. Bryant also guarded him at the start of the third when the Warriors went on a 9-0 tear.