Found January 19, 2013 on
Fox Sports West:
Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni recently moved Kobe Bryant on the ball defensively, asking him to spend tremendous energy guarding younger, athletic guards like Kyrie Irving and Brandon Jennings.
Will D'Antoni stick with that plan with Bryant, even if it wears him down?
"How many more games do we have?" joked D'Antoni. "Unless he dies before ... like an old mule, you've got to shoot him. No, he can do it; and you know what? There will be games where we take him off and put him on Dwyane Wade for example," laughed D'Antoni.
Naturally, if Bryant is guarding the point guard, Steve Nash is going to have to defend a bigger player. In some cases it will be the opposing shooting guard or a small forward.
D'Antoni isn't worried about Nash getting exposed often on the cross match.
"Well, he doesn't get hurt down there and he's always in the right position," said D'Antoni. "We do have Dwight Howard behind him."
The Lakers might give up a few points from players like Alonzo Gee or Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, but that's something D'Antoni is willing to live with.
"Nash can front and we'll take a couple of buckets. I think Gee from Cleveland got a couple of tap-ins," said the Lakers coach. "I think what Kobe is doing offsets by 10 times what they might get on a perceived mismatch that's not their strength anyway. We're not going to put Nash on their leading scorer at a small forward, but if he's defending the fifth scorer on the team and they want to go there, then so be it."
D'Antoni noted that Nash is a strong team defender.
"The best thing about Steve, what he's doing, he's organizing our weak side," said D'Antoni. "He's always in the right spot. He's always cracking back at the right time and he's getting guys organized and that's been valuable."
The issue the Lakers ran into on Thursday in their 99-90 loss to the Miami Heat was dealing with Miami's lineup with Ray Allen, LeBron James and Wade. If Bryant is on Wade, Nash certainly can't take James, which leaves Allen -- who hit a crucial late bucket for the Heat.
The Lakers have played better since moving Bryant onto the ball defensively, but there's still a lot left to resolve as they try to climb into the top eight in the Western Conference.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
ALL BY MYSELF
The Black Mamba says no one, not even LeBron James, can't take him in a one-on-one matchup, but he does say one current NBA player might give him trouble.
This is how it was supposed to be.
Canadian national hero Steve Nash returns to his native country in the twilight of his career, chasing the dreams of a championship that has eluded him for sixteen years. Welcomed warmly by his fellow countrymen, he would be the toast of the provinces.
Sunday that's exactly what will take place at the Air Canada Centre.
The Lakers’ latest attempt to turn their season around involves Kobe Bryant guarding every opponent’s best perimeter player night in and night out. That sounds doable for a 25 year-old Kobe Bryant. But Bryant isn’t 25 anymore; he’s 34. Not being able to rest of defense will quickly take its toll on Bryant. Which means that his play on the offensive end could be affected....
Have you seen it yet? If not, here it is, Kobe Bryant’s new Nike commercial. This thing packs a punch, it’s such a solid commercial and really puts Kobe in a great light. Bryant is having one of his better seasons thus far and this commercial really rewards him for such a performance. Take a look:Kobe deserves a commercial like this, and it was very well put together. We...
Kobe Bryant is one of the most confident athletes you’ll ever come across. So it’s no surprise that he would say that he’s the best one on one player of all time. In an interview with ESPN, Kobe told a story about how he beat Tracy McGrady in a game [...]
Kobe Bryant has modeled his entire career off Michael Jordan’s, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that Kobe (through his own admission) hasn’t studied Jordan’s tapes in years.
“Wow, it’s been a while. Probably not since 1999. I used to watch a bunch, but that was a long time ago…for me the comparisons didn’t work because our situations were totally different. I came...
16-year veteran Kobe Bryant admits this has been one of the most physically taxing seasons of his career:
“It’s the most challenging in terms of trying to figure out which button to push to try to get us turned around, from a leadership perspective,” Bryant said. “Physically, it’s probably the most taxing one.”
But can he keep it up, at age 34, playing 39 minutes a game...
Kobe Bryant has taken a bigger role on defense in recent games.
Kobe Bryant said he was the greatest one-on-one player ever in a Q&A with ESPN’s Chris Palmer while also claiming he “roasted” Tracy McGrady:
“I played T-Mac. I cooked him. Roasted him. Wasn’t even close. Ask him, he’ll tell you. When I was about 20, we were in Germany doing some promotional stuff for that other sneaker company and we played basketball every day....
One of my favorite things is reading personal interviews with athletes. The interviewer asks the typical questions like, “what were you thinking during this play?” or “how are you going to turn this season around?” but also asks about movies, family and any other random topics that show that athletes have lives outside their respective sports.
Kobe Bryant recently sat down...
Remember back in the summer of 2010 when LeBron James decided to take his talents to South Beach? Remember when the Miami Heat then held a pep rally and LeBron James himself stated that they’re going to win “not 2…not 3…not 4…not 5…not 6…not 7″ NBA championship titles? They claimed [...]
Once again the “Black-Mamba” (still the coolest nickname in modern sports) led the way in the voting as “NBA.com” announced the starting lineups for next month’s All-Star Game in Houston, on Thursday night. Los Angeles Lakers veteran guard Kobe Bryant, will appear in his 15th straight All-Star game, a new Association record, as he breaks a four-way tie, he became part...
The rivalry between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant was not as large a television draw as usual Thursday night. Thursday’s Heat/Lakers NBA regular season game drew 3.6 million viewers on TNT, down 14% from the [...]
Image Credit: Noah Graham | Getty Images“Another disappointing week in the books for the Los Angeles Lakers.” This seems to be a recurring theme for the season.After a promising 2-0 start to the week, the Lakers finished this past week with a 2-2 record; a record that will simply not cut it for the 17-23 Lakers. The Lakers started the week off with solid wins against Cleveland...