Monday, March 3, 2008

Kobe Bryant: It's "Cute" That Lakers Still Think He Needs Teammates

Los Angeles, CA (Mar. 3) - Moments after leading his Los Angeles Lakers to a 108-104 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks, scoring 52 points, superstar Kobe Bryant said yesterday that it's "cute" how management still thinks he needs talented teammates surrounding him.

"They're so naive. It's actually kind of endearing, and cute," Bryant said of the team's repeated attempts to provide him with top-shelf talent. "But that's OK. Bless their heart, but I'm fine, really. As long as I get the ball all the time and y'all get out of my way, you can have as many great players out there with me as you want. It won't change things."

The Lakers added Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies in a trade last month, a move Bryant termed as "adorable."

Bryant took 27 shots yesterday to Gasol's 14, and played 51 of 53 minutes against the Mavericks, to Gasol's 44.

"That was nice," Bryant said of the Gasol trade, "but they shouldn't have gone to all that trouble."

Bryant (right) smiles at the cuteness of the ultimately unnecessary efforts of Gasol (left) in a recent game

In yesterday's thriller, Bryant scowled whenever a teammate dared to touch the ball, at one point even taking the ball from Derek Fisher's hands and swatting him on the back of the head in a blatant act of scolding.

Coach Phil Jackson called Bryant's performance, "Selfish, boorish, bullying, and disgusting." But he then quickly added, "Which is exactly what this team needs right now."

Fisher, after the game, dismissed reporters who suggested that Bryant's public head-swatting was inappropriate.

"I lost my mind for a moment, man," Fisher said when describing the incident. "I was nearly 22 feet from the hoop, which I KNOW is Kobe territory. I should have given the ball up. No question. My bad. It'll never happen again."

Bryant added that future attempts by management to add, "quote-unquote 'missing pieces'," in his words, would be met with his derision -- but also empathy.

"I forgive them, for they do not know what they do," Bryant said.

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