Originally written March 21, 2013 on BlackSportsOnline:
For years now people have tried to dissect and analyze what exactly is going on in Kobe Bryant’s head. However as with many super star athletes, as years progress you start to adhere to the fact that there isn’t a formula to their masterminds, unless you’re Dr. Mbogo. So if you can’t understand their madness, you might as well embrace it with storytelling from teammates who know firsthand. That’s exactly what Los Angeles Lakers forward Antawn Jamison managed to do during a brief interview with ESPN’s Max and Marcellus Show. “Kobe will tell you,” Jamison said. “He’s like, ‘Look, you guys as my teammates, yells at me. Let me know that you’re open because I’m so programmed and this guy has told me this, ‘I see nothing but that basket. You could be open, there could be three guys on me, but the only thing I see is that basket so you have to tell me, Look, I was open. Or yell at me mid-play. That doesn’t affect me at all and I respect that. “ Jamison is a vet so it’s no surprise he isn’t affected by Kobe’s hostile antics on the court. You can certainly understand why some of the younger players are, however. Here is a guy who has five championships, many individual milestones, and majority of the young athletes coming out of school now were fixated on Kobe during their younger years. Now they are being thrown  into the lion’s den to play with him. That could be intimating unless you’re keyed into who you are and your game. “I think the thing we’ve seen in the past was most teammates might have been afraid to come to him or express, ‘Kob’ I was open,’ or, ‘That’s not what we drew up,’ ” Jamison said. “The thing I like about this team, Steve Nash — who is a Hall of Famer — and Dwight [Howard] as well, Dwight and Kobe have gotten into shouting matches on the bench because Dwight will be like, ‘Kob’, that’s your rotation. Get there.’ And after the game he’ll be like, ‘Appreciate it, big fella. I needed that.’ “ Who would have thought, Kobe Bryant getting chastise on the bench by Dwight Howard out of all people. Although I didn’t foresee that bit of news, this interview was very telling about the transition the Lakers  are making as of late. “It’s great to be with him,” Jamison said. “I love a guy who expects so much from his teammates. He pushes his teammates. After games, we’re traveling, guys are on their laptops, their iPads, watching movies, listening to music, this guy is watching film. He’s breaking down situations. I’ll be watching a movie, he’ll tap me like, ‘Come here.’ He’ll dissect plays like, ‘This is what we got to do, me and you got to get this going.’ I mean, this guy eats, sleeps basketball and the only thing he wants to do is to win another championship and I’ve never seen anybody as focused, as dedicated as Kobe.” If you expected the Lakers to ban together and start the season off as if they were the Showtime Lakers, you were sadly mistaken which probably caused to more depression as the season went on. However if you’re a Laker fan this information is encourage. Jamison is able to see the sometime stubborn, competitive Kobe Bean Bryant making an evolution as a player, which impacts the rest of the Lakers in a positive way. The Lakers appear to be able to take accountability for their mishaps, while being vocal about mistakes to learn in preparation for the future. The change is starting to show on the court. Now I wouldn’t go as far as to proclaim them to be the favorites to win this year. However, if this momentum can go into next year with a similar core group of guys well the Lakers may very well have a chance.
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