As one would expect, a 29 point beatdown put Kobe Bryant in a very light mood. Good one-liners about Shannon Brown's missed dunk and Lamar Odom's circus-style and-one were offered, plus praise for the Laker defense, despite whatever opinions Jerry West may have.
There was also a funny exchange between Kobe and ESPN.com's J.A. Adande, who wondered if Andrew Bynum's frequent time on the shelf means the Lakers are still learning what they have in Big Drew. Kobe considers the answer fairly self-evident.
"We know," insisted Kobe. "We've been playing with him now for years. We know exactly what he can do. It's pretty easy for us."
Is it then the media who sometimes forgets, Adande wondered? Out of sight, out of mind, so to speak?
Kobe couldn't resist a reporter walking right into a jab served up on a silver platter.
"I don't want to insult the weak minded," smiled Kobe.
"You just did," Adande cheerfully noted.
"I'm sorry," responded Kobe, before allowing a beat to pass. "But I shall anyway. No, no. We know. We know very well what we get from him on the defensive end, on the offensive end. It's pretty elementary for us intelligent folks."
Kobe then slapped Adande's leg as he fielded the next question. Everyone can take a joke.
Despite the frivolity, however, we learned Kobe takes his signature sneakers VERY seriously. A whimsical observation from 710 ESPN's Beto Duran about the irony of former nemesis Raja Bell wearing The Mamba's shoes sparked a very emphatic explanation about why that would be the case:
"A lot of people do," noted Kobe proudly. "My shoes are built for that. That's something that I always wanted to have happen. That means we're making the right shoe. My shoe is the second most played sneaker in the NBA. Period. That just means we're good at our job.
"It's something that, we don't look at it as, 'they're wearing my shoes!' It's we're doing the right thing technology-wise. The shoe something they feel comfortable playing in. It's got nothing to do with ego at all. It means that we're doing our jobs."
Put that in your "observational humor" pipe and smoke it, Beto Seinfeld!
(Click below for more video of Kobe, Phil Jackson, Pau Gasol, Odom, and Bynum.)
"That's a play that's fun," said Odom on his dipsy-doodle highlight reel shot. "That's basketball when you're seven years old, having fun with the game. The ball just goes in. Shoot it high enough, you give it a chance to go in."
Pau Gasol on the win, plus Sunday's game against the Celtics:
More from Gasol, on the focus necessary for a sustained effort with a huge lead:
Phil Jackson, on the win over Utah, Bynum and the defense:
More from PJ, on LO, Steve Blake, and the team's offensive rhythm:
Classic Andrew Bynum take on Shannon's bricked dunk: "He tried to get a little too freaky with it."