<
>

Lakers reflect on Kobe's 'passionate' lecture after latest loss

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Two days after Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant delivered one of his patented fiery speeches in the locker room following another blowout loss, his teammates reflected on his message and what impact it had.

"It was a very heartfelt, passionate speech to us," Lakers rookie forward Larry Nance Jr. said after practice on Monday, while speaking of Bryant's impromptu lecture following the team's 121-103 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday at Moda Center.

"I think everybody took away the same message: 9-37 isn't all right. We've got to do what we can to change that, and I think things started today."

Bryant was given the day off at practice and wasn't present to speak with the media.

At 9-37, the Lakers have the worst record in the Western Conference and the second-worst record behind the 6-39 Philadelphia 76ers.

Lakers coach Byron Scott said it was the first time all season Bryant has addressed his teammates in such a way following a game.

"He did that on his own," Scott said. "I had addressed the situation. He just wanted to say some things and frustration kind of took over, and he said what he had to say."

In that game, Bryant took control of one of the team's huddles during a timeout to lecture his teammates for not being disciplined on defense, particularly following the game plan regarding high-scoring Portland guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

Lillard scored 36 against the Lakers and McCollum posted 28; neither faced much resistance all night, and both were able to routinely find wide-open looks.

Speaking of the younger players, Scott said, "I think [Bryant's speech] can give them a wake-up call. It lets them know you've got a lot of work to do and you're nowhere near where you might think you are at this particular point."

"I think the biggest thing I got from all the comments that he made is that [he said], 'Don't blame it on anybody else. You can't blame it on the schemes or you're not getting your minutes or your touches or anything like that,'" the coach continued. "His message was, basically, you've got to compete every night. You've got to come ready to compete like he did was when he was 18, 19 years old until he was 37 years old.

"I think our guys, I think they took it the right way and I think they understand that they do have to work harder."

Second-year guard Jordan Clarkson admitted frustration is building.

"We've lost a lot of [games]," he said. "It's definitely frustrating. But you've got to want to change it. I think that's one of the big messages: If you want to carry this franchise, you've got to figure out a way to change it right now."

It's not the first time Bryant has unloaded on his teammates. Last season, he called them "soft" during a heated 5-on-5 scrimmage.

"You m-----f------ are soft like Charmin in this m-----f-----," Bryant said last December. "God damn, is this the type of s--- that's going on in these practices? Now I see why we've lost 20 f---ing games. We're soft like Charmin. We're soft like s---."

Of Bryant's tough-love approach, Clarkson said, "Some guys shut down; some guys come in here, they work. It's a two-way street. It's which one you're going to pick: You going to shut down or are you going to come in here and work?"

Clarkson said he was speaking generally and not about Saturday's efforts in Portland.

"Some guys might shut down during the game because of what [Bryant is] talking about," Clarkson said. "But you've just got to take it."