Found November 15, 2012 on Fox Sports West:
Kobe Bryant heard what Magic Johnson said about Lakers Vice President Jim Buss. It wasnt kind. But Bryant said hes had no problem with the younger Buss. Johnsons opinion is valued greater than most others because of what hes done here with this franchise. I can only speak from my perspective in my dealings with Jim. Hes been phenomenal, Bryant said. Hes seemingly made all the right choices. Going back in time, Im sure he would have called me and consulted me on the Mike Brown hiring but that is what it is. Other than that, hes been behind some pretty good moves, some pretty good trades for this organization. Johnson said Wednesday on Twitter he was mourning because the Lakers hired Mike DAntoni, not Phil Jackson, to be their coach. Johnson, a Lakers executive, later said on ESPN that I dont believe in Jim Buss. Hes made two critical mistakes already in reference to the hiring of Brown and the hiring of DAntoni. Will DAntoni have a fair chance to do his job with all the pro-Phil sentiment? Probably not, but thats L.A. for you, Bryant said. Thats just being in a big market. Hes fine with it, hes comfortable with it. He understands the situation. Hes not going to sit around and poor me type of thing. Thats not who he is. Hes pretty sarcastic so hell fit in with this bunch quite well. Bryant preferred Jackson but was perfectly fine with the hiring of DAntoni. If Im in here pouting and upset then hell have a very hard time here, Bryant said. The fact that Im genuinely excited about it, Steve Nash is, Dwight Howard is, Pau Gasol is, it makes it easy for everybody else to fall behind that. DAntonis brother, Dan, was the only addition to the Lakers assistant coaches. Bernie Bickerstaff, Chuck Person and Eddie Jordan were among the holdovers. Bryant was impressed with the DAntoni brothers. Theyre enthusiastic, very smart and in a very short period of time, they were able to give us a shell and structure of what they want us to do, Bryant said. Mike did quite a bit. He was moving around on his crutches. It just shows the level of enthusiasm that he has. DAntoni recently had knee-replacement surgery and probably will not coach Fridays game against Phoenix. He thought his Lakers debut would be Sunday against Houston but said it might take him a month for his knee to be fully recovered. Thursdays practice was more like a training-camp session, with DAntoni even saying it was akin to something a team would do in September. Its been a strange week -- the Lakers firing Brown last Friday and junking the Princeton offense as well. Its better than doing it halfway through the season, Bryant said. Its not like were having to kind of re-learn things. We never really learned what we were doing in the first place. The Lakers were conducting a series of pick-and-roll drills when reporters were allowed into Thursdays practice. Well do a lot of that, Bryant said. Well put them in positions where they have to pick and choose what theyre going to do. Then its on us or the ball-handler to make the right decision. This offense is obviously easier to adapt to. We have a lot of guys here who are extremely skilled from a basketball standpoint and can do a myriad of things. Its a pretty seamless transition for us. There was one overriding need for a team with a 3-5 record. Hopefully well start winning some games here, Bryant said. -Mike Bresnahan
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