Below is a transcript of Kobe Bryant’s post-game press conference on the Lakers’ 113-106 win Wednesday over the Portland Trail Blazers. Bryant posted 47 points on 14 of 27 shooting, eight rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
On how he managed to play 48 minutes
“I don’t know. Just rest I gues and been training over the summer. Im’ in good shape.”
On adjustments in the second half
We had to trap [Damian] Lillard and just go get him. He’s really really good. You can’t expect a player like that to cool off. We have to get the ball out of hands and make other guys make shots.
On Pau Gasol’s game
We’re just featuring him more. D’Antoni has really figured out how to use him within the system and put him n positions to make the defense pay.
On Damian Lillard
He’s fantastic, really fantastic. There wasn’t a game where he was just hot. A lot of players get hot making shots. The moves, the patience, the intelligence, the balance on the jumpers, he’s the real deal. I told him he was a bad boy. He was out there cooking in gasoline tonight. He was fantastic.
On the challenge of playing so many minutes
I just have three more [games]. Then I’ll have a couple of days off hopefully.
On the win
It’s significant. We haven’t won a back to back all year. It feels good feeling this pressure situation and having to do it and keeping control of our destiny in our own way. We have some tough games ahead of ourselves. But we’re taking it one game at a time.
On Steve Blake grabbing two late rebounds
He was a monster. He’s a monster.
On his effort
That’s what you try to do. You try to do everything. You don’t look for excuses. You don’t wait for anybody else to try to make rotations. You do it yourself. By doing that, it sets an example for everybody else to do the same thing. It’s not to sit and wait on for everybody else to be aggressive and make plays. Everybody has to go out there and do it as yourself. That’s how you wind up getting good collective wins.
On Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard
They’re playing extremely well together. We found a really good mix with Pau at the high post and Dwight ducking in on the block and me coming off of Pau. It’s tough. You have to rotate to them and take them somewhere. Pau has a short jumper or Dwight at the rim.
On his current mentality
This isn’t breathing room at all. I’m still on edge. I’m still on edge. I remember very well what Golden State did I remember very well what Golden State did to us up there and also they let us down against Utah the other night, so I’m looking forward to getting some revenge.”
On what he does in between games to recover so quickly
Honestly man, I just worked my [tail] off in the summer time. There’s no secret. There’s no magic formula. I watch what I eat and I train my ass off. I’m in the type of conditioning right now where a lot of my predecessors at this age probably couldn’t be in.
Can he keep playing full games?
I hope not. But if I have to, I’m up to the challenge.
How he and Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni figures out when to rest or if he’ll keep playing
He looks at me where they’re in between quarters I give him a thumbs up or I say I need a break. Against Memphis, a couple times I took myself out the game because I was so exhausted. But I’m honest about it if I feel I’m out there cutting corners. I’ll sit down for a minute. It will only be a minute. I’ll take myself out.
On fans chanting MVP to him at the end of the game
That’s very unexpected particularly in this building considering all the history that we have. But I greatly appreciate it especially at my stage in this career.
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