Pacific Notes: Bryant, Morris, Thomas

Lakers coach Byron Scott said that he found out that Kobe Bryant intends to retire after this season when the shooting guard informed him during the third quarter of last Saturday’s game against the Blazers, Baxter Holmes of relays. “I said, ‘KB, I played you 20 minutes in the first half. I’m going to cut those minutes down. I’ve got to cut them down,‘” Scott told ESPN. “He said, ‘That’s good, coach. That’s all right. I’m going to announce my retirement after the game.’

Bryant didn’t intend to inform Scott in that manner, Holmes notes. “I have no idea. I don’t know,” Bryant said on why he told his coach during the game. “It just slipped out. It just slipped out. He was worried about the minutes. I said, it doesn’t matter. I’m not playing next year anyway. He was like [gives an odd stare]. I looked at him at his face, and I realized I said it. He was just shocked. I said, you know what? I’m just leaving him like that. I’m not even going to soften him up. I’m just going to mess with him a little bit. Then after the game, he walks by and he goes, ‘Hey, um, remember what you said during the game?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘Did you mean it? I said, ‘Yeah.’ He was like, ‘OK, all right.’ But it just kind of slipped out.

Here’s more from out of the Pacific Division:

  • Markieff Morris disputes his brother Marcus’ assessment that he looks unhappy playing for the Suns this season, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic writes. “That’s just his opinion,” Morris said. “He knows me and he thinks he knows. Outside looking in, really. It’s his opinion. We don’t really talk too much about it. I’m just trying to get my job done. Missing [expletive] shots. I’m all right. If you didn’t hear it from me, then I’m all right.” The forward also downplayed any notion that he isn’t engaged this season, Coro adds, with Morris saying, “I’ve got to be the same,” said Morris. “Nothing different. I’m good where I’m at and just trying to move forward.”
  • Former Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas was disappointed that he wouldn’t have the opportunity to play in Sacramento this season since the teams squared off in Mexico City instead, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee writes. “I definitely wanted to go back to Sac,” Thomas said. “It’s always a home for me and always a special place in my heart. When the schedule came out, I was looking for that Sac game and then it was in Mexico, so I was like, I won’t be able to go back to Sac.
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