SALT LAKE CITY — Jordan Hill sat on the bench staring at his cell phone and looking fairly downtrodden. It marked a much different mood than following the Lakers’ overtime win on Sunday over the Boston Celtics where Hill, Nick Young and Carlos Boozer crashed Jeremy Lin’s post-game interview and expressing elation over a rare victory.
Such images became light-night fodder on Jimmy Kimmel Live that featured Kobe Bryant offering an annoyed and silent reaction. Lakers coach Byron Scott saw the footage and scolded his team about his behavior during Tuesday’s practice.
“We’ve been doing this the whole season, but I guess it’s a problem now,” Hill said in an interview with Los Angeles Newspaper Group, referring to when Young frequently interrupts teammates’ post-game interviews after a win. “It is what it is.”
Yet, Hill walked the tight rope between understanding and respecting Scott’s criticism and also defending his behavior.
“He’s right about it,” Hill said about Scott. “But we’re just trying to finish this out with our heads high. It’s not the way we want it. But we don’t want to let our heads down.”
The Lakers (14-41) enter Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz (21-34) at EnergySolutions Arena destined to miss the NBA playoffs for the second consecutive season and are on pace to set their worst record in franchise history. That partly explains why Scott took issue with the Lakers’ celebration, the energy matching that after winning an NBA championship. But Hill chalked that up as the very reasons why he, Young and Boozer celebrated the way they did, trying to relish rare victories amid a season lacking many of them.
“We want to have fun,” Hill said. “We’re still trying to be together as a team and be on the same page. Everybody loves each other and are happy with each other. There’s been a lot of negativity we’ve had this season. So the only thing we got is ourselves. You want to enjoy the moment when you can.”
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