The struggling Lakers had better make the adjustments they need, Kobe Bryant warned, or “I’ll kick everybody’s ass in this locker room if that doesn’t happen."
"That’s just the attitude you have to have," Bryant said after the Lakers’ 113-103 home loss to Orlando on Sunday night, which dropped the Lakers to 3-4 under new coach Mike D’Antoni.
"Metta’s the same way," he added, referring to Metta World Peace. "You know, Dwight (Howard) has that in him as well; even though he smiles a lot he cares a lot about this thing.”
Howard was one of the main culprit’s during Sunday’s fourth-quarter turnaround, in which the Magic scored 40 points while Howard went 7 for 14 at the free-throw line to finish 9 for 21.
Howard, who had 21 points and 15 rebounds, walked off the court without shaking hands with his old team.
“If he’s upset, it affects the team. So everybody’s mood changes and it becomes more serious," said Bryant, who scored 34 points. "But truthfully, his biggest thing is just conquering the free throws a little bit.”
On Pau Gasol, who had 11 points and has the been the target of criticism for his conditioning and his inability to adapt to D’Antoni’s system, Bryant had this advice:
“Put your big boy pants on. Just adjust. Just adjust. You can’t whine or complain about it.”
Told that D’Antoni fears losing the 7-footer, Bryant replied: “As long as I’m here we’re not gonna lose him.”