Lakers’ Byron Scott defends Kobe Bryant’s high-volume shooting

first_imgScott conceded that Bryant’s high-volume shooting “could” disrupt ball movement. The Lakers’ 37-year-old guard is averaging 16.3 points on a career-low 33.1 percent shooting. But Scott defended his star player. “He’s got 20 years in this league. We might not have six guys with 20 years in this league combined,” Scott said. “He has that privilege. From a coaching standpoint, I want Kobe to be Kobe. Other guys haven’t earned that right yet.”Bryant did not speak to reporters on Monday since he rested so he could play when the Lakers (2-11) visit the Golden State Warriors (15-0) on Tuesday at Oracle Arena. But Bryant defended his play on Sunday, saying, “I was trying to get us off to a good start.”STERN WARNINGScott told his team during Monday’s practice that he would make lineup changes if he continues to dislike the team’s various efforts on transition defense, setting screens, floor spacing and ball movement. Another debilitating loss caused Lakers coach Byron Scott to stay restless. He watched tape of the Lakers’ defeat to the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center. Scott then joked after Monday’s practice, “I woke up like I had a hangover and I didn’t drink.”Why?“Guys are playing one-on-one,” Scott said. “Guys have to play together. That was the thing that was keeping me up.”Yet, Scott refused to criticize the most prominent Lakers player for contributing to the poor ball movement. Kobe Bryant posted 18 points on 6-of-22 shooting, including 12 field-goal attempts in the first quarter. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img “Guys are getting too comfortable and have to be held accountable for their actions,” Scott said. “I’ve been lenient because they are young and learning. But there are times where you have to start getting it.”What did his players say?“They all shook their head like they understood,” Scott said. STEEP CHALLENGEThe thought of the Lakers facing the Golden State Warriors caused Scott to chuckle. But Bryant offered something that would spark laughs regarding the Lakers’ prospects. “I’ve seen stranger things happen,” Bryant said. “We’ve been playing like (crap). We might go up there and we might play like gangbusters up there.”Good luck. Scott called the Warriors “the best team I’ve seen in the league and it’s not close.” Yet, the Lakers like the idea of preventing Golden State from setting an NBA record for most victories to start a season. “It would mean a lot for our confidence,” Lakers forward Nick Young said. “We don’t like Golden State, either.”KOBE PRAISES WALTONIt hardly surprised Bryant that former Lakers forward and Warriors interim coach Luke Walton has guided Golden State to a 15-0 record. “He’s like Phil (Jackson),” Bryant said of the former Lakers and Bulls coach who won 11 NBA championships. Bryant then joked, “He was an average player with a messed up back.”Bryant then turned serious. “He always had a brilliant mind,” Bryant said of Walton. “He understood the flow and tempo and space and how to manage a team. I couldn’t be any happier for him.” last_img