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Kobe Bryant After Game 5 Loss: ‘I’m Not Fading into the Shadows’ Reviewed by Momizat on . After winning two consecutive NBA titles under head coach Phil Jackson and suffering an ugly playoff exit last season against the eventual NBA champion Dallas M After winning two consecutive NBA titles under head coach Phil Jackson and suffering an ugly playoff exit last season against the eventual NBA champion Dallas M Rating:
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Kobe Bryant After Game 5 Loss: ‘I’m Not Fading into the Shadows’

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After winning two consecutive NBA titles under head coach Phil Jackson and suffering an ugly playoff exit last season against the eventual NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers have made another early exit in the postseason with the Oklahoma City Thunder being too much to handle in the second round.

Even though the Lakers had a chance to make this series 3-1 in their favor, Los Angeles collapsed in the fourth quarter of both Game 2 and Game 4. After the loss in Game 4, the Lakers were done in this series without even knowing it.

Once the Lakers were officially knocked out of the playoffs after the Game 5 loss to the Thunder, Kobe Bryant was asked about his future and the future of the franchise via Reid Cherner of USA Today:

“I’m not fading into the shadows, if that’s what you’re asking. I’m not going anywhere…We’re not going anywhere. It’s not one of those things where the Bulls beat the Pistons and the Pistons disappeared forever. I’m not going for that (stuff).”

Obviously, Kobe has no intention of giving up or calling it career in the near future. That elusive sixth ring continues to drive the future Hall of Famer as he still believes that the Lakers have one more championship run left in the tank.

There will be plenty of questions and concerns to address throughout the NBA off-season for the Lakers with the futures of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in Los Angeles up in the air at this point. It remains to be seen whether or not the Lakers’ front office is ready to move on by trading one or both of their big men, but there’s a good chance one of them has played their last game in a Lakers’ uniform.

Another problem the Lakers’ front office will have to find an answer for in the off-season is the poor play off the bench. With no consistent offensive threat from the bench, Lakers coach Mike Brown had no solid option to turn to throughout the regular season or during the playoffs. This must change in order for the Lakers to be a contender next season and beyond.

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About The Author

Ryan is a senior writer for Lakers Nation and Examiner.com with an undying passion writing about the Los Angeles Lakers. Follow Ryan on Twitter: @Lakers_Examiner

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  • Lindasngltn

    The Lakers need to address their “coach”; Mike Brown is just not the right coach for the Lakers.  When management makes decisions that you have to deal with, they expect too much; they expect miracles out of practically nothing to work with.  The coach in this instance is not right for the Lakers.  Had they given Brian Shaw a chance, a Laker that had won championships, assisted Phil Jackson, knows the triangle offense back and forth, and knows the Laker players.  Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss did not have a clue as to the gun they used to shoot themselves in the foot.  Players also have to be able to deal with the hand they are dealt as well.  Mike Brown had a “system” that did not work for the Lakers and it did not work for Cleveland.  Kobe used a lot of wisdom in not calling him out, but he clearly is not satisfied with an “on-the-fly” technique in trying to learn a new system and he said sometimes during games, Brown would employ changes … you cannot be consistent in a situation like that.  Brown had the Lakers looking like anything but the championship team that they were.  The core should have been left after that trade debacle with Chris Paul went array.  Management caused an upset that didn’t make sense.  Pau kept his mouth shut, but it weighed on him and affected him; Odom never recovered from the betrayal and asked to be traded and he was not stopped; the hasty decision to trade Fisher was a recipe for disaster … and Kupchak sat in the arena and watched Fisher walk off with a team that beat them.  He had to feel like a nickels worth of dog meat as my mother used to say.  Every time the season ends, you never know what those brainiacs are going to do.  Jerry Buss needs to make the decisions because his son is just not the best in making decisions and Kupchak should be shown the door.  Sessions should have been added and Fisher should have come off the bench.  There was no way, and the Lakers did pretty good working with what they had to be the third seed, that they could compete with a coach of Mike Brown’s caliber.  You can’t always blame the players when they have played in a system that worked for them, that they had won back to back championships with, and then you shove another coach in the door with a completely different system, no time to initiate practice time, and you expect a miraculous outcome.  I knew it would come back to haunt them and I was glad to see Kupchak in the stands realizing what horrible moves they made in this short season.  The Lakers would have been much better off with Brian Shaw, and if they take the chance to bring Mike Brown back, I am afraid they may suffer the same result.  He needs to coach the Bobcats or the Warriors … he is NOT the coach for the Lakers.  Kobe is passionate about winning and he wants his team mates in the same vein.  Mike Brown had those players as inconsistent as you can be because his “system” had too many components that just never jelled.  I hear people blaming Kobe, Pau and other players, but you can’t go and take a test and try to study when you get to school.  He is just not right for the Lakers and I am hoping that somebody realizes it.  If they keep tearing up the core, they are never going to get back to what brought them to championship form.  Pau helped them in two championship runs and the scenery changed when Pau was traded to the Lakers.  So instead of getting rid of your big men, put pieces around the core like the Spurs did.  They don’t keep changing what works for them.  Chris Paul made the Clippers better, but in the end, he couldn’t do it by himself either.  So, Kobe and the Lakers will return … just a temporary setback.  Management needs to leave the bargaining to the one better able to make a better deal than what was handed the Lakers this time.

    • Crystal

      You hit the nail right on the head. I thought the exact same thing of Shaw succeeding Phil because I believed he would’ve been the best fit since he was under Phil’s wing for so long and knew the triangle offense to the tee. I respect Brown as a coach, however, I don’t think he’s a great fit for the Lakers. Let’s see what changes are made and hope for the best.

  • moshe

    i don’t think mike brown is to blame if you give the best sharpshooter in the world a rifle without a bullet he will be useless this was the case with the lakers
    you cannot play with a bench that gives you max five points per game you can never win a championship.i am a hundred percent sure that with bynum gasol Kobe meta and sessions too and a bench that can give 25points average per game they can be the best team

  • Jrwally1970

    What the lakers really need is to make some trade and bring couples of players that like to win. Fixed the BENCH problems.

    Starters
    Daron Williams, PG
    Kobe Bryant, SG
    Derrick Williams, SF
    Howard? or Drew, or Pau Gasol
    Paul Millsap, PF

    Bench:
    Brandon Jennings, PG
    James Harden, G/PG
    Lamar Odom, PF
    Jordan Hill, C
    Devin Ebanks
    Ramon Sessions, PG ?

    3rd Unit;
    Christian Eyenga, SF
    Darius Morris, Guard
    Andrew Goudelock, Shooting Guard

    Lakers should also try to get rid off or Trade
    Meta World Peace
    Matt Barns, SF
    Troy Murphy, PF
    Steve Blake PG
    Josh McRoberts, PF
    Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum

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