There is no joy in Mudville. Someone else is the champion of the Staples Center Shootout.
Try to keep it together.
Bryant spoke afterward about Steve Blake's immersion into the offense (good) and the progress of his knee (even better). Most intriguing, however, was his support lent toward an NBA team in the O.C., where he happens to lay his hat:
"It's fun playing in the Pond because I know how badly they want a team own there in Orange Country. They definitely deserve one. In that regard, it's fun to play down there. ... It's a beautiful place. Hopefully, it won't happen until I retire, this way they continue to have their allegiance to the Lakers."
Plus, say it with me: Mamba Chopper!
Jackson's postgame session was considerably less chipper, with displeasure expressed over the team's overall efficiency and the struggles of the second unit. And despite our thumbs up, he didn't seem particularly impressed with Gasol's efforts. The Zen Master is a tough man to please.
On hitting 12 of 14 free throws after struggling in the first four preseason games
"That's a little better. That's a little more like it, a percentage I want to shoot. 80 or over. That's kind of my goal for the year, so I kinda gotta be more consistent."
On needing to play well in Andrew Bynum's absence
"It's important. It's important that I deliver, that Lamar [Odom] delivers. Pretty much everybody needs to step up, probably. Theo [Ratliff] has gotta be ready, also. We understand the situation. Obviously, we want Andrew to be healthy and have him back whenever he's ready.
On how different the Jazz are with Al Jefferson instead of Carlos Boozer
"I'm not sure yet how different they're going to be. Obviously, they're two good quality players. Boozer is a very tough coverage. Jefferson, obviously, a very tough coverage. Very talented players. So we'll see if there's actually a difference and if the Jazz get stronger with Al.
On what he wants to see from the Lakers during the last week of preseason
"Just to continue to improve, specially defensively. Just come out and get stops when we need to. We're putting teams a lot on the free throw line, it seems. So we can reduce our fouling and also minimize our turnovers from 20 to 15 or 12, in that area. I think we'll be getting ready for the opening night."
On missing some close shots in the first half
"You have better shooting nights and you have worse shooting nights, and that's about it. As long as they're good looks and you move the ball and guys take good shots, that's what you want offensively."