Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Kobe Bryant: I trust management


Kobe Bryant, having watched Carmelo Anthony and Rajon Rondo not join him in Los Angeles, still firmly believes in the Lakers' hierarchy to come up with a plan to turn it around.
Kobe Bryant, having watched Carmelo Anthony and Rajon Rondo not join him in Los Angeles...

"I really do trust management," Bryant told USA Today Sports in Wednesday's editions. "I mean, I really, really do. They'll get things turned around pretty quickly. I'm not really concerned about that."

Bryant expressed his disappointment at seeing his friend Rondo landing with the Dallas Mavericks after a trade with the Boston Celtics. Rondo, who will be a free agent after the season, met with Bryant over breakfast earlier this season.

"Oh yeah," Bryant told USA Today Sports. "Of course. Of course. But all you can do is control what you can control. We did our part. We did what we could. ... It's not from a lack of effort. It's not from a lack of smarts, so I trust the process. It's hard going through this [expletive], but our management will figure it out."

Part of the the team's effort included a pitch to Anthony, who ultimately re-signed with the New York Knicks after a summer free-agency tour.

As part of a plan to limit his minutes, Bryant sat out the Lakers' 115-105 victory against the Golden State Warriors after having one of his worst performances of the season on Sunday.

"Looking at our schedule coming up, I just thought it was a good time to give him a day of rest and let him prepare for the next game," coach Byron Scott said after Tuesday's game. "Kobe told me last night, anyway, 'Coach, whatever you want me to do. Just let me know.' So he's on board with it.

"I think this is something that has to happen periodically."

Scott said Bryant would return to the lineup Thursday as the Lakers visit the Chicago Bulls.

Bryant, in his 19th season, is averaging 24.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists while playing a team-high 35.5 minutes per game. He's also taking an NBA-high 22.4 shots per game and averaging just 37.2 percent from the field.