Tex Winter always says what he thinks, a privilege he earned way before entering his 61st year of earning a paycheck from basketball.
Now 85, the Lakers' consultant is a little more removed from the team because he has been battling shingles, but he still has his thoughts and opinions, some of which are surprising, some of which mirror past critiques of Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom.
First and foremost, Odom needs to get back on track, Winter said Tuesday in a phone interview before the Lakers played Seattle.
"On that trip, all of a sudden he hit a wall," he said. "He couldn't get anything done. I don't know if he's trying to do things he's not used to doing. It's kind of hard to put your finger on it. Lamar has to be a scorer and a better all-around player. We need that."
Winter also revisited a constant theme -- Bryant's shot selection.
"He's playing a scattered game," Winter said. "He's taking shots he shouldn't be taking and passing up shots he should be taking. He's trying some real tough shots -- I wouldn't say they're forced because he can hit almost anything -- but he's not hitting them consistently. He should be taking an awful lot of shots in practice."
Winter thought Bryant's slump was only temporary.
"One thing about him, he's always going to swing out of it," he said. "He'll find a rhythm."
Bryant had 35 points on 12-for-22 shooting against Seattle.
Winter also suggested jump-starting Luke Walton by re-inserting him into the starting lineup and delivered a dose of praise toward rookie Javaris Crittenton.
"I'd like to see Crittenton get a little time," Winter said. "I think he's special."
Kwame Brown could return next week from moderate sprains in his left knee and left ankle.
"I kind of ignore him like he's a leper on the table, but as I was walking through the training room, the trainer said, 'Kwame's ankle looks great today,' so that was really good news," Coach Phil Jackson said.
Brown is expected to miss at least three more games. Jackson said it was "debatable" whether Brown would go on a two-game trip that starts next Tuesday in Minnesota.
Brown has missed five games since Chicago center Ben Wallace crashed into his lower body after taking a charge from Bryant.
From the now-it-can-be-revealed department: Andrew Bynum said he misread the play Jackson diagramed in the huddle at the end of the Lakers' 102-100 loss to New Jersey.
Vladimir Radmanovic ended up shooting an off-balance three-point attempt that grazed the front of the rim and fell short as time expired.
Jackson did not blame Bynum because the team had not worked much on the inbounds play.
Forward Trevor Ariza was on the inactive list Thursday against Seattle. He has played seven minutes in one game since being acquired Nov. 20 from Orlando.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times