Coming off their first win of the season, the next stop for the Los Angeles Lakers on their five-game road trip was Madison Square Garden for a matinee affair on Sunday against the New York Knicks.
The early-season East Coast road trip is providing opposing fans with the opportunity to perhaps get a final glimpse at Kobe Bryant in a Lakers uniform. The five-time champion largely struggled through the first four games this year, though showed some signs of improvement on Friday against the Brooklyn Nets.
That set the stage for Bryant’s perceived curtain call at Madison Square Garden, where he’s enjoyed playing throughout his 20-year career. Sunday’s game was also a reunion of sorts with several in the Knicks organization having ties to the Lakers.
Among them is head coach Derek Fisher, who runs Phil Jackson’s infamous Triangle offense. Having spent 11 seasons playing under Jackson, Bryant certainly has a firm grasp on all the intricacies that come with the complex offensive system.
As such, he pulled no punches when giving famed Knicks fan and film director Spike Lee his impression of the Knicks efforts to run the Triangle, via Randy J Cruz:
Kobe on Knicks offense: “That’s not a f’n triangle, that’s a square” pic.twitter.com/kkNMOMKntz
— Randy Cruz (@randyjcruz) November 9, 2015
Despite Bryant’s criticism, the Knicks fought back from a fourth-quarter deficit to drop the Lakers to 1-5 on the season. Bryant finished with 18 points on 6-for-19 shooting, which included a putrid 2-for-10 from 3-point territory.
Bryant added three assists and two rebounds in a season-high 32 minutes played. Next up for the Lakers is a date with the Miami Heat on Tuesday at American Airlines Arena.