The Lakers returned home Monday after a two-week, seven-game, drama-filled trip to find that the noise hasn't quieted down. Questions about team chemistry, locker room controversies and their shaky pick-and-roll plays dominated the hour before they took the practice floor. Much of the attention centered on comments made by Kobe Bryant about Dwight Howard and Howard's father about Kobe and Coach Mike D'Antoni. First Bryant was quoted in an ESPNBoston.com report as saying that the Lakers didn't have time for Howard's shoulder to heal and that "We need some urgency." His comments were seen as needling the Lakers center. Then there was Howard's father, who suggested that D'Antoni needed to act as a mediator between Bryant and his son to hash out their differences. The Lakers coach had not read the elder Howard's comments but called his comments "cool. It's his father, he should come to his defense." D'Antoni said he would not monitor Bryant's words, adding "we're all big guys and we all have to do our job." D'Antoni complained that too many of the team's problems have surfaced first in the media and he would not coach that way. Former coach Phil Jackson often used the media to get his messages across to the team. "I don't like you guys at all, so I wouldn't want to go through the media," he said. "You don't do that." Bryant maintained that he didn't say anything wrong and if he had, he would "own up to it." "It's silly," Bryant said. "At least the Shaq (O'Neal) stuff (conflict) was warranted. This is silly. This is manufactured. "I wasn't hammering him over the head or taking a run at him I didn't say anything wrong." Bryant added that he thinks the rumors and comments are "entertaining. I have a sick sense of humor, I guess."
Lakers' road trip ends, drama continues
Orange County Register | Feb 12