Lakers News: Kobe Bryant On Why He Is A Polarizing Player
Game Recap: Lakers Swept By Raptors Despite Julius Randle’s Double-double
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

While Kobe Bryant is undoubtedly beloved and revered amongst Los Angeles Lakers fans as arguably the greatest player to ever wear the jersey, that same admiration is not always shared across the NBA.

Many fans despise Kobe for a number of different reasons spanning his entire career and it has made him one of the most polarizing players in the league.

Kobe understands that he is both loved and hated across NBA circles and offered his explanation as to why that is on Time Warner Cable SportsNet, as transcribed by Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:

“I played with a chip on my shoulder. I didn’t care who was out there in front of me. My job was to try to make your night absolutely miserable, that was my mindset, honestly. I came out there to destroy you. When players used to line up with me it was something like they knew it was going to be a very, very long night emotionally, physically and I think fans can sense that, competitors can sense that and that’s not a very likable characteristic to have, but I found comfort in that, and I think that’s why. It’s not so much the fact that people didn’t like it, it was the fact that I liked the fact that they didn’t like it.”

Kobe has often said that he enjoys being the villain. He loves being booed in opposing arenas and that was likely one of the reasons he didn’t want a farewell tour.

Despite being polarizing, fans across the NBA have been extremely gracious and respectful towards Kobe this season as everyone recognizes it will be his final season and whether fans like or hate him, he is still respected.

Relax Mitch, were PLENTY pissed off at you as well as Byron, there’s more than enough stink to go around this year. You failed yet again to put enough talent on the floor, and Byron mis-uses what little talent you give him.

  • Blah blah, been saying this since 2013. But just another year remaining unfortunately before changes are made.

  • While its good you realize some blame has to be directed to you and FO, letting this circus continue is a disgrace to this once great franchise. Since the season is lost , we were hoping to see some development in our young players , even that is too hard. Honestly like some of the fans in here , I have been watching and cheering laker basketball for 30 years + , this is the worst it’s been.

  • Just let your game speak for yourself idk why but looks like Randle is more mature compared to DLo

  • Why anger at him unless he feels like the fans are demanding wins? The true Laker fan is just demanding to see a commitment to growth of the young players, who all have potential, but need A LOT of minutes to get there. The anger should be squarely at Byron Scott. I agree that they needed to start games better, and yeah, maybe his plan will work, but you need to play Russell, Randle, Clarkson, Brown, Jr and Black 30 minutes plus. Everyone else is secondary. Sure, Start Kobe, but play him 20 mins max. He wants a curtain call in every city and at each home game, give it to him, but get him out of the way of the future of the team.

  • Whether it’s said or unsaid “tank” is the optimal word here: We need to secure another high draft pick – especially with this particular class coming forth in the 2016 draft – if we are to regain any semblence of our old glory selves.

  • “There are teammates that have to put him in positions and a coaching
    staff that has to put him in position where maybe he’d be more
    Are you kidding me! This is the same stuff he has been doing his whole career, the difference is that early on he was making the shots.
    As far as B Scott…I’m not sure if he is getting word from the front office to let Kobe do whatever he wants…again Kobe has been doing whatever he wants for 20 years.

  • So in Byron’s mind man = azzhole? There’s this thing called communication which helps a lot. I’d hire Gordon Ramsey on a 1-day contract to chew Byron’s azz out: “Donkey! Muppet! MORON!”

  • Let Coach Byron do his job. I Love this new “line-up”, and have said this line-up should have been done much earlier.
    I’m the minority, that says, “Win” and make our Dleague players develop as any other NBA does, at a 10 min max.
    Let the Vets get the win!! With the 23 mil to spend on free agency, I’m confident Lakers should be able to select another Superstar, once KB is completely done.

  • btw, what’s up with the LN site??
    Time to change, I guess, or get left behind, lol

  • I don’t think it’s the best move, but I also don’t think that Russell should be expecting to start either.

  • Not sure why all you fans are so mad the Lakers suck so bad. We all knew this team wasn’t going to do anything and now Bryon is benching our young talent? Just like Clarkson, let Randle and Russell play to get some experience and flow of the NBA game. We will get Ben Simmons in the draft and have a core of Russell, Clarkson, Randle and Simmons along with Luke Walton as our coach next year. All young teams have growing pains and us Lakers fans have been spoiled and never had to deal with the rebuilding process and the patience it takes to get back on top.

  • You say that his plan may work but you also say that he needs to play th guys more. Maybe he is sending a specific message or letting the guys rest?

    Affecting 19 year old teenagers isn’t as easy as you make it seem.

  • Randle had a year being a professional and interacting with professionals. Last year at this time Russell was still bragging about his high school graduation.

  • Like your optimism. Lakers could have the worst record and have nothing to show for it. It’s not the NFL when colts tanked for Andrew Luck.

  • Maybe you’ve missed, but Kobe has quietly come out of his funk in the last 5 games. He might not be elite, but he’s playing a lot better than when the season started.

  • But this is the world we live in now. With the collective bargaining agreement, it’s nearly impossible to reload a championship caliber team strictly though free agency. Even Cleveland, would not have landed LBJ a second time if they hadn’t stockpiled assets through the draft. Spurs are the exception. We might be in that position if Chris Paul was a Laker. I think Mitch has done about as good a job as could be expected given the situation. Byron, now that’s a different story. Unless this is all part of a grand tanking plan, his actions have been inexcusable.

  • We won’t get Simmons. Even if we stay 2nd worst in the entire league, we will have only a 19.9% chance of getting Simmons. That’s worse odds than me putting five cards out in front of you and you guessing correctly which one is the ace of spades. If that’s what your hopes are riding on, it’s a sad day.

  • Scott doesn’t owe any of the players an explanation. That’s the way it is in the NBA, and has been for many decades: Coaches don’t have to explain their decisions to their players. And a good thing, too, because then every benched player would be arguing with every coach.

    Now, maybe an explanation might help some player, like, “If you pick up your defensive rotations, I’ll put you back in the starting line-up.” But if it’s not something cut and dry like that, then it’s often counter-productive and bad for the environment to have to explain your reasoning to your employees. They are men. They are hired. The coach runs the team. The coach makes decisions, and he doesn’t have to explain them to anyone but management.

    Let’s not infect the NBA with the Millenial whining and entitlement mentality.

  • I’ve been a fan for over 35 years. The Lakers have been Lucky not to have a low like this in 35 years. But it was bound to come one day and now it’s here. So it natural that the fans wouldn’t know how to act. Calling for another coach to be fired in the middle of a season. It took the Celtics almost 30 years to get back to the top. And all they got was a quick one and done championship before having to rebuild again. Fans need to just relax. This is going to be a long process. And dont be surprised if Russell isn’t the guy. He can just as easily turnout to be just another PG. As he could be the star he was projected to be. We have a bad team. No coaching change or line up change is going to make it better at this point.

  • Thomas I agree with you. The new line up was much more competitive. I thought Russell should have started the season on the bench. I also like that this gives the young guys a chance to play without Kobe. To help them find their own game. I know most will complain about the rookies losing minutes. But no matter if they only get 20 minutes a game from here on out. It will be the most minutes and games they’ve played in any one season. The kids are going to get more than their share of minutes.

  • Reporter: Hey Byron what kind of offense are you going to run tonight?
    BS: A man’s offense that’s what..
    Reporter: How about on defense?
    BS: We’re going to man up and be a manly man defense
    Reporter: What about playing the young guys
    BS; They are men, and I’m a man.. got that?

  • Adlaker12,

    You are spot on with your comment and I am being serious. I’m not one of these Lakers fans who actually thought we would make the playoffs. Tank and keep our top #3 pick!

  • the top 3 pick isn’t so far fetched, there’s more talent in this draft other than simmons and its not like the draft lottery is real anyway I’m sure the league already knows who they will be handing the top picks to this offseason. at this point the draft is all we have to hope for regardless of our odds we’re still one of the worst teams in the league with the worst coach and we’ll be in the running for a top pick.

  • You can tank, play Kobe some, and develop young talent all at the same time. BS needs to get a clue and figure out how.

  • I have and I don’t see anything different compare to any of us not unless she has a third eye on the back of her head or maybe 3 b00bies she’s a common looking woman

  • Randle ready to play. However he’s a great spark off the bench.

    Russell showing everyone he has high bust potential.

    Clarkson would be better at pg.

  • It’s on Mitch to put up a more competitive roster in Kobe’s last year but maybe they already told Kobe when he signed that 48M deal what’s going to happen in his last 2 years. Which is ok, Lakers need those picks to get either a franchise changing rookie or trade it to land a bonafide superstar(KD).

    The problem now is the coach, this season is already lost, the only positive thing they can salvage out of it is to play the young core as much as possible and develop them quicker. If BS thinks there is still a glimmer of hope the Lakers make the playoffs, he really is whack. This lineup should be given the chance to play together soon,

    Nance Jr./Black
    A. Brown

    It’s alright if they lose as long as they improve their play and chemistry. Added bonus is if we get that pick back from 76ers.

    Fire BS. He is not the right coach to develop this young roster, he has no player-coach relationship skills. Reason why he got booted out of Nets even if they went to finals back to back is because of his arrogance.

  • That 2nd unit is ok, Russell needs to play his style and he won’t be able to do it. A. Brown should play though instead of Huertas, adds more defensively and can also hit the 3. Young and A. Brown will open the lane for Randle and Russell can have more options to pass to. Huertas is good but Russell needs to gain his confidence with the ball in his hands and decision making.

  • That 2nd unit is ok, Russell needs to play his style and he won’t be able to do it in the starting lineup with Kobe and Hibbert playing slow. A. Brown should play though instead of Huertas, adds more defensively and can also hit the 3. Young and A. Brown will open the lane for Randle and Russell can have more options to pass to. Huertas is good but Russell needs to gain his confidence with the ball in his hands and decision making.

  • I’m in roughly the same timeline (Lakers fan since 1980 when I was five) and yes, we couldn’t keep it going forever. We’ve been fortunate to not have long Celtics-like lulls in championships. I mean after Bulls Lakers in 92 it was barely five seasons before we had something truly entertaining on the court when Shaq/Kobe got here and another couple of seasons of “almost there” before we started the new millenium killing everybody.

    Even the post-Shaq/pre-Pau years was reletively short. So we were due. I for one look forward to watching our youngsters develop and if they turn out to be all that they can be as projected, I potentially may be looking at watching yet another career era begin (after being able to watch the Magic/Kareem/Worthy-Kobe/Shaq-Kobe Pau LO eras) since I doubt that we’ll be out of the game as long as the Celtics were (or good god, the kNicks…for them, it’s been longer than either the C’s or the LAkers).

  • I half agree. But it’s one thing to not share with your players the method behind your madness, it’s entirely another when lack of communication is possibly affecting what you’re supposed to be getting better at.

  • You’ve made this comment more than once now. Diss on his coaching all you want (he deserves it) but attacking his wife like that is unnecessary. Specially since they’re not even together anymore. He’s got a new girlfriend now.

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