The Warriors keep on rolling, but the same can’t be said for Kobe Bryant, whose game has fallen off sharply in what figures to be his final season. Bryant matched the worst shooting performance of his career, going 1 for 14 Tuesday as the Lakers fell to the Warriors, 111-77, sending Golden State to the first 16-0 mark in NBA history. Bryant is shooting just 31.1% this season, a career low, but he leads the Lakers in field goal attempts per game.
“I’m not really worried about it, honestly,” Bryant said, according to Baxter Holmes of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link). “My shooting will be better. I could’ve scored 80 tonight. It wouldn’t have made a [expletive] difference. We just have bigger problems. I could be out there averaging 35 points a game. We’d be what, 3-11? We’ve got to figure out how to play systematically in a position that’s going to keep us in ballgames.”
The Lakers are 2-12, but coach Byron Scott said he still has “so much confidence” in Bryant, his former teammate, who remains the NBA’s highest-paid player at $25MM this season, as Bill Oram of the Orange County Register relays. See more from the Pacific Division:
- An agent with ties to the Kings predicts chaos if the team were to make Nancy Lieberman the interim coach in the event of a George Karl firing, reports Chris Mannix of SI.com, who writes in his Open Floor column. Mannix finds it difficult to envision Lieberman getting the nod, despite a report that owner Vivek Ranadive would favor such a move if he dismisses Karl.
- Warriors interim coach Luke Walton reached out to Phil Jackson before the 2014/15 season to ask whether he should reach out to Steve Kerr, and Jackson, who’d wanted to hire Kerr for the Knicks, told Walton to do so, notes Marcia C. Smith of the Orange County Register. Kerr wound up hiring Walton as an assistant coach, setting in motion the events that would put Walton in charge of the team’s historic run.
- Draymond Green is one of the six or seven most valuable players in the NBA, as Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group observed Tuesday before Golden State’s game. Green re-signed with the Warriors for $82MM over five years this summer, more than $14MM less than his five-year max.