Kobe Bryant had strong words for his Lakers team after losing to the Magic. (Harry How, Getty images)
The Los Angeles Lakers have been far from the dominant force many predicted going into the 2012-2013 NBA season. Yesterday, their franchise players made it clear that the up-and-down results aren't being taken lightly.
In comments made to reporters after yesterday's 113-103 loss to the Orlando Magic, Bryant fired a warning shot to his team that things must get better. Quotes via FOX Sports:
“I’ll kick everybody’s ass in this locker room if it doesn’t happen. It’s the attitude you have to have. Metta (World Peace) is the same way. Dwight (Howard) has it in him as well. Even though he smiles a lot, he cares a lot about this. Come hell or high water, this has to get done.”
Bryant also had some choice words for power forward Pau Gasol, who has struggled to adapt to life in new coach Mike D'Antoni's high-energy offensive system. The message was basically the same: Adjust, or else.
"Put your big-boy pants on," Kobe said with a trace of disgust in his voice. "C'mon ... just adjust. You can't whine about it or complain about it. Heck, I'm 34 years old, and I'm running screen-and-rolls out there because Steve is out, and my ass is running up and down the court more than I ever have in my entire career. But you have to adjust to it."
The Lakers will have a chance to heed Bryant's words tomorrow when they take on the Houston Rockets.