"Our transition defense has been our Achilles' heel. It was our Achilles' heel last year and it's certainly been that way this year," Bryant said to Smith. "Whether that's because of defensive balance or lack of speed, or a combination of both, teams are really taking advantage of us (makes and misses)."
Bryant preached patience on merging Coach Mike D'Antoni's style of play with the Lakers' personnel.
"I think it kind of remains to be seen," Bryant said. "Steve [Nash is] not in our offense. He's the conductor of our offense. He's the one that is familiar with orchestrating it. Are we the fastest team in the league? Not even close, but you don't necessarily have to have speed to be an effective running team."
The Lakers star guard spoke positively of D'Antoni, saying both the coach and players will continue to adapt to each other.
"I think Mike D. is a very, very smart offensive coach," Bryant said. "If it's not working, I'm sure he's open to mixing things up."
Bryant also took up teammate Gasol.
"It's tough for Pau," he said. "Since we won our second championship, that next season and every season after that he's been an afterthought, for whatever reason. The following year we moved Andrew [Bynum] into that second slot. Then obviously after that it's Dwight [Howard]. Pau, I'm sure, is a little frustrated about it. We won two championships playing through him and now he finds himself on the perimeter."
"He needs to be in the post," continued Bryant on Gasol. "When he gets back, he'll be in his sweet spot for sure."
Talking about Howard's free throw shooting, Bryant admitted to his own need to reduce his turnovers, just as it's Howard's responsibility to improve at the line.
Smith's interview is broken into four sections with more to come . . .ALSO: