Jackson supports Bryant’s attitude

Times Staff Writer

Kobe Bryant was criticized for leaving the court with three seconds left in Game 4, but he wasn’t brooding or stewing in the Lakers’ locker room, perhaps a surprise to many people.

“I thought his mood was uplifting,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said Saturday. “I guess that’s the best [word]. I think he sensed the fact that he had to be the one that brings them back in this situation, that says, ‘Hey, we’re going to take this thing on back to Boston. We’re just going to keep standing and keep playing.’ So he was very supportive of that and I didn’t feel there was any kind of dark or angry mood about him at all.”

As he typically does, Bryant shrugs off questions about his relationship with teammates, of which there were a couple Saturday, the first time Lakers players spoke since their historic meltdown Thursday.


“Our relationship is great,” Bryant said. “I think people pay attention to it a lot more when you lose than you do when you win. When you win, it’s great leadership. When you lose, it’s ‘you’re a tyrant.’ You’ve got to take it and roll with it.”

Like Magic

In a brief ceremony Saturday, Derek Fisher received the Magic Johnson award, presented annually to the NBA player who combines on-court performance and steady cooperation with the media in the tradition of Johnson’s Hall of Fame career.

“Anything where I’m compared to him is the best award in the world, and that’s probably the only place I could ever be compared to him,” Fisher said.

“It’s definitely humbling to think that I’ve been able to carve out the type of career that I have on the court, but . . . to be recognized for basically being a human being and not being a supernatural athlete I think is a cool thing, and I’m very appreciative of receiving the award.”

Members of the Pro Basketball Writers Assn. voted for the award.