Kobe’s Temper Rises as Lakers Melt Under Heat

After a half-hazard win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the usually calm and collected Derek Fisher had a few choice words for his teammates.

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) and Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) exchange some words in the second half of their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on December 25, 2010.  UPI/Lori Shepler Photo via Newscom

“The way we played tonight was irresponsible and it was reckless and it was disrespectful,” Fisher said. “I can’t get any clearer than that. There was an air of complacency, of arrogance, of ‘we don’t have to play as hard as the other team to win’ that I didn’t like tonight.”

Such post-game proclamations are usually reserved for Kobe Bryant, but in that instance, he opted to stay quiet and respectfully downplay Fisher’s comments. He didn’t want to be too harsh. At that point, the Lakers were 8-0 despite being without Andrew Bynum, there was no reason to panic, no reason to get under anyone’s skin, even after an ugly win over the lowly Timberwolves.

Forty-six days, nine loses and one Christmas debacle later, the Lakers still haven’t gotten the message.

Go ahead and add “oracle” to Fisher’s resume.

Okay, so maybe Fisher’s comments weren’t exactly a result of divine intervention, but the lack of effort he saw from his team that day was something that needed to be nipped before turning into bad habit. Timing aside, Fisher understood where his team was heading, even if no one else dared to point out the obvious.

The Lakers have a knack of not showing up for games and this just in, going up against three proven superstars isn’t reason enough to get the old competitive juices flowing.

Next: The Heat expose more than just the Lakers’ character flaws

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