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When: 10:30 PM ET, Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Officials: #23 Jason Phillips, #50 Olandis Poole, #40 Leon Wood
LOS ANGELES (Sporting Alert) – Was this a Kobe Bryant retirement hint?
Probably not, at least not for him, but you can tell that there is something eating away at the NBA great.
A very frustrated Bryant ripped into his Los Angeles Lakers teammates after the New Year’s Day 103-99 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday night.
The super star guard commented that the age of the current Lakers (15-16) team is the main problem why it is struggling to compete with the high energy sides in the league.
“Cause we’re old as s—,” said Bryant on ESPN.com when asked about the Lakers’ a lack of energy.
“What do you want? We just got to figure out how to play when we don’t have that energy. We got to change things up a little bit defensively.
“We got to figure out what we want to do offensively, figure out what we want to do on nights when we don’t have those legs or have that energy.”
The Lakers played well in patches, but were not consistent enough at both ends of the floor and paid the price with the defeat.
There were many difference kinds of excuses for the defeat, but Bryant presented his own observation.
He said: “You just saw an old damn team. I don’t know how else to put it to you. We’re just slow.
“You saw a team over there that was just younger and just had fresher legs and just played with more energy, and we were just stuck in the mud.
“I think individually we all have to figure out how to get ourselves ready each and every game to have a high level of energy. That’s all that is.”
A Bryant retirement date is the last thing on the player’s mind at the moment as he continues to lead the league in scoring and poured in 36 points in the defeat to the Sixers.
Meanwhile, in that defeat, Metta World Peace had 13 points and nine rebounds, Steve Nash added 12 points and 10 assists, but Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol combined for just 18 points.
Howard did pulled down 14 rebounds, but his lack of contribution at the scoring end didn’t help a Lakers side desperately trying to go on a solid winning streak.
Bryant, despite the slow start is still backing his team to win a playoffs slot.
“I don’t think there’s a doubt about that,” he said. “The problem is we’ve dug ourselves such a deep hole we got to do a lot of fighting just to catch up and get in that conversation.
“We firmly believe it’s going to happen but we have to do a lot of fighting just to get there.”
In the meantime, Jrue Holiday paced the 76ers with 26 points and 10 assists, while Evan Turner added 22 points and 13 boards in the win.
The Los Angeles Lakers will try to rest up ahead of their clash with the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, a game many are expecting to be a thriller.
Clippers recently had a 17 game win streak snapped by the Denver Nuggets, but the confidence are still high in the camp and the team is eager to get back on the court and put it right following Tuesday night horrible outing.