"I've won so I can (tell people to shut up)," Bryant said. "For Mike (Brown) it might be a little tough to say that so I'll say it for him: 'Everybody shut up. Let us work. At the end of the day, you'll be happy with the result as you normally are.' "
Bryant said he's been "amused" by the criticism of the Lakers' new-look Princeton offense as the team got off to its second consecutive 0-2 start despite the offseason acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, comparing it to the team's struggles to learn the Triangle offense when Jackson came to the team in 1999.
Yeah, those were the exact same scenarios, Kobe. In 1999, you had a coach who had already won six NBA titles with that offense coming in. You had a young Kobe (21) and an in-his-prime Shaq. And you "struggled" all the way to a 67-15 record and an NBA title. Did that "struggle" include a slow start? Well, that team started 5-1 and was was 31-5 at one point.
So it's nice, Kobe, that you're trying to defend your coach. Maybe this band of misfits -- an aging Steve Nash, an occasionally interested Dwight Howard included -- will pull itself together and be a legitimate threat. It really could happen. But right now, it's more than just a system change. This team struggles to play defense. Continuity, even when the offense becomes more familiar, is no sure thing. And Brown? He's no Phil.