First of all, thanks for all the comments on my last post. I was curious to see what you all were thinking and feeling went wrong this year and what can be done in the offseason. I’ll get you guys the full transcript of today’s marathon media session with Kobe, Phil, Mitch, Andrew, Sasha, Smush and Chris Mihm later tonight, after I finish writing. It was an interesting day to say the least.
Kobe Bryant’s had almost two days to cool off from the Lakers season-ending loss in Game 5, but if anything, his stance on the situation of the team has grown stronger. Kobe reiterated his calls on the front office to “Do something” about the team’s current state. Asked point blank whether the team can just sit back and wait for Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar to develop, Kobe said, “No. Something needs to be done.”
Later on, Mitch seemed to indicate that Andrew might be on the table this time around. I’m sure it would still take a lot, but Mitch basically said that the Lakers were going to build around Kobe and that they’d aggressively pursue every opportunity to improve as a team via free agency, the draft, or trade.
The No. 1 priority seemed to be to find help in the backcourt. Phil Jackson acknowledged that they need an upgrade over Smush Parker at the point. And I don’t think they want to put Jordan Farmar in the position of being the starter so early on into his career.
Kobe wasn’t interested in outlining specific changes — “I don’t know who has to stay and who has to go,” — but it’s clear that the Lakers know they’ll need to do something to keep their superstar happy this summer.
Anyway, here’s a little of what 24 had to say today. More later….
“This summer is about getting ourselves to an elite level and doing whatever it takes to make that happen. This is a competitive city. We’re used to winning titles not just winning games or getting to the first round, we’re used to winning championships.
“I just voiced my opinion and now they’ve got to go out there and do the best they can to make it happen. When I resigned here, they promised that they would build a contender and build a contender now. I don’t want to have to wait anymore than I already have.
“I don’t know (how we do it). I just voiced my opinion. Now it’s on them to go out there and do their job and make it happen. I’m sure (Mitch) understands that patience is running thin in myself and coach. We want to be able to contend. I’m sure he understands that.
On his window for playing at a high level:
“Obviously, there’s a window. I feel fine physically. I still eat like crap. The important thing to me is winning, now. We had a season where we missed the playoffs, then we got bounced from the playoffs in the first round the last two seasons. We got to the playoffs the next to last game of the regular season … it’s enough of that.
On whether making the Western Conference Finals next year is enough:
“I don’t play for anything but championships…”