Although a high level of shock and sudden nostalgia propagated throughout the city of Los Angeles after Derek Fisher had been traded last week, Kobe Bryant acknowledged that those feelings will have to be pushed aside when the two friends face each other in Fisher's return to the Staples Center one week from tonight, and also if they meet in the playoffs:
“I’m going to demolish him. He understands that. If he switches off on me in the post, there’s going to be problems. I’m sure he’ll put an elbow right in my back, and that’s why we love each other.”
He later added, "The most disrespectful thing we could do to each other is take it easy on each other. That’s not what we’re about."
Kobe has continued to be candid with his thoughts in general during the past few days:
- Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles cited an interview with Mason and Ireland of 710 ESPN, in which Kobe called owner Jim Buss a "great guy," proclaimed that the Lakers are a "championship caliber team," and questioned those who ruled them out of contention.
- Brian Kamenetzky of ESPN also referenced the same interview, noting that Bryant supports Mike Brown along with the current coaching staff and doesn't view the topic of whether or not to start Ramon Sessions as a major issue.
- After last night's win in Dallas, Kobe came to the defense of Lamar Odom after he was booed by his own crowd at the American Airlines arena. In a post game interview, Bryant chastised the fans for booing his former teammate, calling it "stupidity" (Tim McMahon of ESPN Dallas reports).