Kobe Bryant talks Lakers’ struggles with Stephen A. Smith, Part 3
In the third part of Kobe Bryant’s conversation with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, the Lakers guard talks about winning championships and supporting Pau Gasol.
“I’m probably the fastest guy or one of the fastest guys on the team, and I’m 50,” Bryant joked. “Speed doesn’t win championships.”
“Togetherness, finding a way to play that maximizes each other’s talents. It’s not about speed. It’s not about athleticism,” said Bryant, noting the team needs to get Steve Nash (leg) and Gasol (knees) back on the court.
Bryant believes the group already on the roster can recover from the desolate start.
“We have the intelligence to do that,” he said. "[Coach Mike D’Antoni] is very, very smart. Steve obviously has a high basketball IQ. Myself, Gasol, we’ve all been there before. We know how to conduct this thing. It’s just a matter of figuring it out. Once we figure it out, we’ll be fine.”
Bryant spoke highly of Gasol, who had initially struggled to fit into D’Antoni’s offense before sitting out with tendinitis.
“I don’t look at it as Pau’s days being done,” Bryant said. “You just don’t see too many seven-footers who can shoot, pass, make solid decisions and is a two-time world champion. You just don’t find them walking around the street.”
As far as Gasol’s questionable fit in the offense, Bryant isn’t concerned.
“Those are correctable things.... Those are things that just require adjustments,” he said. “I think he’s the key to the whole thing.”
Bryant also put the onus on Gasol to return with the right mindset to help get the Lakers back on track.
“It’s his responsibility to make sure he comes back in tip-top form, tip-top condition,” Bryant said. "[That] his mind’s in the right place to play with the aggression, to play with the moxie that he played with in 2010.
Smith’s interview is broken into four sections with more to come.
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