Los Angeles Lakers: Geln Rise
December, 26, 2011
By Arash Markazi
LOS ANGELES -- When Kobe Bryant’s last-second, game-winning jumper in the paint was blocked by Luol Deng, there was no flailing, no complaining and no blank stares at his bare hands.
As soon as the buzzer sounded, Bryant looked at Derek Fisher then quietly walked off the court.
This will be a different season that will require different responses to heartbreaking losses, and no one knows that better than Bryant and Fisher.
The only players on the Los Angeles Lakers who have played in a lockout-shortened season are Bryant and Fisher, and they are the only ones who know what the team’s dreaded back-to-back-to-back games to start the season will feel like.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US PresswireThe Bulls and Derrick Rose snatched a victory right out of the Lakers' palms.
Four hours after Bryant’s missed shot gave the Chicago Bulls an 88-87 win to start the season on Christmas Day, the Lakers were scheduled to board a chartered flight to Sacramento to play the Kings on Monday night. Immediately after that game, they will board a chartered flight back to Los Angeles to play the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night.
If the Lakers' players missed basketball during the lockout, they will certainly get their fill over the first 72 hours of the season.
When the Lakers left the locker room after the loss, there were no messages about the game or words of advice for tomorrow, just a travel reminder.
Bryant had to pause when he was asked to recall the last time he played a back-to-back-to-back series.
“I really don’t remember much,” he said. “I was like 19 so I don’t even know if I was tired or not. We had one in Vancouver and the next day Kurt [Rambis] lost his job. It was a mess. It was a mess. That’s all I remember.”
Actually, Bryant was 20, and it was Del Harris who lost his job. It was Rambis who replaced Harris after the Lakers started the season 6-6.
“Whoever,” Bryant said. “One of them.”