By Rob Mahoney
When Kobe Bryant plays defense off the ball, he can't be bothered with foolish notions of diligence or discipline. He simply puts years of experience and reinforced bad habits into action and loses himself completely in the moment. He pursues the ball endlessly, like a house cat chasing after a laser pointer, and though he may wind up making ridiculous gambles with startling frequency, the turnovers he is able to create typically wind up generating uncontested scoring opportunities for the Lakers.
All of that considered, Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni was put in a tough spot when asked specifically about how Bryant defends off the ball -- a sore spot in any season, but one that's been particularly harmful to L.A.'s altogether disorganized defense this year. This was his response, in all of its bumbling glory, courtesy of ESPN LA's Dave McMenamin: