A visibly annoyed Kobe Bryant snapped at Metta World Peace late in the first half Sunday for doing too much in setting a screen and was called for a foul. By the fourth quarter, Bryant threw his arm around World Peace as they sat together on the bench and hugged him. "Yeah, he hugged me," World Peace said after the Lakers beat the Chicago Bulls, 90-81, for their third consecutive victory. In their past 10 games, the Lakers have exhibited more harmony than the friction that threatened this season early on. And these feel-good moments have resulted in eight victories during that stretch, a jump in the Western Conference standings and a whole lot of smiling faces. "I think the character of this team has really come together," veteran forward Antawn Jamison said. "Instead of separating and pointing fingers, we have put that aside. We put all our egos aside and come together as a team and realized that we do have a special unit and if we put all of our talents together instead of against each other we can do something special." It hasn't always been hugs and smiles. For weeks, the Lakers quietly would point fingers when things went awry and team chemistry seemed as foreign as Bryant passing the ball. But then Bryant took on a facilitator role, Dwight Howard began setting screens for the Lakers star and concentrating on defense, Steve Nash started shooting the ball more and Earl Clark stepped up. "I think we have found a happy balance, guys finding more understanding of what needs to happen," Nash said. "We started the year with so much change and on top of that we had guys trying to fit into a new scenario and saying goodbye somewhat to what their comfort zone was in the past."
Lakers put aside blame game
Orange County Register | Mar 11