Wednesday December 24th, 2014

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant said he thinks team management will "get things turned around" in relatively short order, according to a report from Sam Amick of USA Today Sports.

The Lakers have not advanced past the conference semifinals of the playoffs since 2009-10 and did not qualify for the playoffs last season, finishing with a 27-55 record.

Los Angeles seemed to have emerged as a leading title contender when it acquired Steve Nash and Dwight Howard prior to the 2012-13 season, but that group fell short of expectations.

The Lakers also drew scrutiny for signing Bryant to a two-year, $48 million contract extension in November 2013, after he tore his Achilles tendon earlier that year. This offseason, the Lakers courted Carmelo Anthony, but he ultimately chose to remain with the New York Knicks.

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"I really do trust management," Bryant said, according to the report. "I mean, I really, really do. They'll get things turned around pretty quickly. I'm not really concerned about that."

Los Angeles drafted Kentucky product Julius Randle with its first-round pick in this year's draft, but the power forward is out for the season after suffering a tibia fracture in his NBA debut. 

The Lakers' additions in free agency included big men Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis as well as point guard Jeremy Lin in a trade with the Houston Rockets.

At 9-19, the Lakers are six games behind the Phoenix Suns for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. Los Angeles lost nine of its first 10 games but has gone 8-10 since Nov. 18.

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Bryant also told Amick that he was disappointed the Lakers were unable to acquire Rajon Rondo in a trade. Rondo landed with the Dallas Mavericks.

"Oh yeah," Bryant said. "Of course. Of course. But all you can do is control what you can control. We did our part. We did what we could. ... It's not from a lack of effort. It's not from a lack of smarts, so I trust the process. It's hard going through this (expletive), but our management will figure it out."

Bryant has averaged 24.6 points on 37.2 percent shooting with 5.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists over 27 games this season. The 36-year-old sat out Tuesday night's win over the Golden State Warriors, who own the league's best record at 23-4.

The Lakers have posted a -13.3 net efficiency rating with Bryant on the floor and a +11.1 rating with him on the bench this season, according to statistics compiled by

Los Angeles faces the Bulls in Chicago on Christmas Day.

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