Question on Facing Allen Irks Bryant

Times Staff Writer

In what could easily qualify as a rough couple of weeks at the office, Kobe Bryant has been disparaged by his former coach in a tell-all book and portrayed as a selfish player by a fellow All-Star.

Apparently having seen and heard enough, Bryant snapped at a reporter’s question before the Lakers’ exhibition game Sunday against the Phoenix Suns.

Bryant, the target of much of Phil Jackson’s sharpened wisdom in a controversial diary of last season, bristled when asked about tonight’s rematch with Ray Allen of the Seattle SuperSonics.


Allen criticized Bryant after an Oct. 12 exhibition, predicting that Bryant would act selfishly this season and would demand a trade within a year or two if the Lakers were not of championship caliber.

“Don’t even put me and him in the same breath,” Bryant said angrily when asked Sunday night about Allen.

Bryant pulled on his high-tops, walked out of the Laker locker room and ended a pregame interview almost before it had started.

Allen, a four-time All-Star, picked at Bryant after the Lakers’ 87-80 loss to Seattle in an exhibition opener. Allen was angry after Bryant blocked his shot and glared at him as he fell to the floor. After the game, Bryant approached Allen, smiled and briefly draped an arm around him as the teams shook hands.

Bryant’s response the day after Allen’s remarks: “Let people talk. I don’t really care. He’ll have to see me on that court, though.”


Jackson’s book has had a splashy debut, but not everybody’s scurrying to the bookstore to secure a copy.


Jackson’s book has irritated some members of the NBA fraternity, and they’re not all named Bryant. To some, Jackson violated a code of silence and secrecy by revealing what transpired behind closed doors.

“It’s garbage as far as I’m concerned,” Cleveland Cavalier Coach Paul Silas told the Akron Beacon Journal. “We always talk about the locker room being sacred; there’s certain things you don’t talk about.”

Silas said he also could write an interesting book about his team.

“But what purpose does it serve?” he said. “You don’t need enemies.”

Cleveland center Scott Williams, part of three championship teams while playing for Jackson in Chicago, also was surprised.

“It seems a little bit like a low blow from Phil,” Williams said “He’s always handled himself with class as a coach. He’s always the first to say things should be internalized, kept in-house. Now that he’s outside the circle and wants to sell a book, he seems to be taking the low road.”


On another literature front, the Lakers checked into their rooms at the team hotel in Las Vegas, only to find copies of a monthly magazine with Shaquille O’Neal’s face on the cover. The magazine was available in every guest room at the hotel.... Brian Grant had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and the Lakers defeated Phoenix, 111-103, at the Thomas & Mack Center. Luke Walton played his first game of the season after spraining his left ankle in training camp.... Laker Coach Rudy Tomjanovich, a self-acknowledged rebel without a pause before he stopped drinking and smoking several years ago, was more tame than he had ever been in Las Vegas, hanging out at a $10 blackjack table Saturday night and managing to get to sleep at a reasonable hour. “I’m a lot better than I used to be,” Tomjanovich said. “I did two hours, was $5 up, gave the $5 to the dealer and went to bed.”