NBA News: Antawn Jamison Won’t Count Kobe Out, Respects D’Antoni

NBA News: Antawn Jamison Won’t Count Kobe Out, Respects D’Antoni


NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Toronto RaptorsOne-time Laker and recently signed Clipper, Antawn Jamison, joined ESPN 710 Los Angeles on Friday to discuss numerous topics, including Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

While Jamison believes the Clippers will give him a better chance to win a championship this season, he was very complimentary of Kobe Bryant’s incomparable mindset and drive as the five-time champion recovers from his Achilles injury:

“I’ve played with some special players. Gilbert Arenas when he was at the top of his game, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal. I’ve played with a lot but never played with an individual player who had that type of mindset, the drive that he has.”

Jamison understands that many are counting the Los Angeles Lakers out this season, but he believes Bryant will find a way to lead the franchise to another championship:

“Of course, on the outside looking in you could say, that might not happen this year or whatever with him coming off the injury and the Lakers trying to get things together. But I mean, the guy, he’s going to do everything possible to get that sixth ring.”

Jamison had high hopes to win a championship with the Lakers, but there were numerous issues including his benching when Mike D’Antoni was hired. He voiced his displeasure during the season, but now understands where D’Antoni was coming and ultimately respects the coach:

“I don’t dislike Mike. I obviously respect him as a coach. In my eyes, one of the best offensive-minded coaches in the league. I just think he was put in a tough position, but toward the end of the season, you saw him kind of open up. We started to have a relationship, and I kind of understood where he was coming from.”

It was a difficult season for a veteran who had high hopes to win his first championship. Some may criticize Jamison for jumping ship and joining the Clippers, but he has been a true professional for the league who deserves a chance to win a championship.

In his only season with the Lakers, Jamison averaged 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds while appearing in 76 games.


VIDEO: Top 5 Lakers Finals Moments

  • Daryl Peek

    “I don’t dislike Mike. I obviously respect him as a coach. In my eyes, one of the best offensive-minded coaches in the league. I just think he was put in a tough position, but toward the end of the season, you saw him kind of open up. We started to have a relationship, and I kind of understood where he was coming from.” –Antawn Jamison

    Well, well, well? Looky here, looky here! *D’Antoni glare*

    • 3339

      Just curious. Why did you have to retype the quote that’s already written on the page?

      • Daryl Peek

        Just to further the point. Plus he spoke on more than just D’Antoni so I wanted the message to clear LOL

  • 3339

    That doesn’t mean dantonis the right coach for the Lakers

    • Jim213

      Who would you have as coach to replace Dumbtoni?

      • 3339

        honestly anybody else. dantoni is garbage. George Karl, Byron Scott, Jerry Sloan, or Jeff Van Gundy are the best options now that the Lakers blew it with Brian Shaw. all these guys have been to the Finals before and most importantly the guys would trust them more

        • Daryl Peek

          How are the others any better than D’antoni? None has won a NBA championship. Shaw is unproven. Kobe likes both Shaw and D’Antoni. Any way you look at it we are taking a leap of faith chance on who ever coaches this team going forward. Personal bias does not justify one over the other as fans.

          • 3339

            they’ve all been to the Finals and I guarantee the players would respect them all more than dantoni.

          • Daryl Peek

            According to Jamison and Kobe, D’Antoni is respected. Even Gasol who had problems with him does but Gasol is always professional through and through.

            Sloan would not fit this roster, his coaching days are done IMO, I see him as a consultant at this stage of his life. Karl would fit but is no better than D’Antoni, their coaching styles are the same but Karl seems burnt out as a HC to me right now. Again Shaw is unproven, and you really need to get over the, we blew it with him. He’s the McNuggets HC now.

            JVG, I like him a lot. I’d worry about how he’d be received by Kobe? Shaq calls him the master of panic and did not respect him. Shaq absolutely respected D’Antoni: “I heard a discussion about Mike D’Antoni not fitting Dwight’s style. That’s false. I played for Mike D’Antoni. He loves the big man and Dwight is a pick-and-roll big man. He has about a hundred million pick-and-roll plays to get Dwight involved.” –Shaq

            Byron Scott, I like him a lot also. We all know the fan base in LA would be behind him 100%. Scott would be like Bickerstaff, in that he’d adjust and defer to the talent on the team. That could work but could be problematic over the long haul, like it was in Jersey, Cleveland and New Orleans. We all know Kobe can be overbearing in that type of setting when things get tight. The one thing Phil ALWAYS fought with Kobe about was trusting the system and his teammates. I don’t know if B. Scott would challenge Kobe when things got rough especially given he does not run a specific system as discipline to fall back on.

            Of all the head coaches you feel are better choices than D’Antoni, Karl is the one I believe would be best fit for this group of Lakers. But again, I worry about his long term motivation given all he’s been through in his personal life lately. He would either work or bow out like Rudy T. did.

          • 3339

            Byron wouldn’t be afraid to challenge Kobe. Byron was his mentor when he first entered the league so the relationship is there. The Lakers are capable of giving Byron a much better roster than his previous stops. His leadership is much better imo. He knows what the Lakers stand for.

          • Daryl Peek

            We all know B. Scott understands what it means to be a Laker. Scott still is a Laker. Managing a Kobe Bryant is a different beast tho. Like has nothing to do with on the court between a HC and player. Like I said, Scott has no specific system to fall back on when things get rough. In Jersey it was give the ball the Kidd. In NO it was CP3 bail us out. In Cleveland he never got it going. We’ll agree to disagree again.

          • Paytc

            Kobe wants to win a championship every year he plays.Kobe probably knows how to win a championship as well as Phil Jackson does.It’s not about managing Kobe.Kobe is giving you 120 % on both ends of the court.But it takes someone who can hold the other 12 or so players accountable as well.
            Kobe is gonna do his thing,but Gasol,Nash,and all the role players have to give us their best as well.That’s how championships are won.All out team effort on both sides of the ball,not finger pointing or excuses making.

          • Paytc

            And heres a news flash for those who don’t know….
            A “so call” great coach can get out coached by another coach.We saw that when Phil Jackson Laker’s team got swept by Dallas.And here is another news flash for those who don’t know…..
            A coach is not always right.Systems,coaches,and teams can be studied and exploited.The best coaches don’t allow their ego’s to get in the way of the progress of the team or group their coaching.The best coaches realize they are not on the floor so they trust,and empower the floor leadership of the leaders who are on the floor.That is how I see things.If you don’t know know you know.Most will tell you to never challenge authority.I am telling you authority is not always right.

          • Daryl Peek

            Agreed. But you need a good coach to be able to motivate his troops and if he can’t lead them they will not win it all. A good coach understands balance and has a plan. Adjustments are made by the players. A good coach will calm the troops in the storm. And yes Kobe needs to be managed. He knows only one speed, but even a leader on the court, like him needs to push the right buttons in leading his teammates, it’s called trust regardless… see game seven of the 2010 finals. If you know Lake show history, you know there were many series when Kobe was off, shooting poorly, and needed help. Trust is built through the discipline of a system. Every championship team that wins multiple rings has a system that led to trust…

          • Paytc

            That’s right ! But probably the most important thing is accountability.
            You want to be the type of coach that players will want to crash thru a brick wall for.One who admits when he didn’t have his best day coaching.Even “so call” great coaches make mistakes,have bad days,and can be out coached on any given day.If they are man enough to admit that they are worthy of my respect.If they are the “I’m the boss” and I’m right even when I’m wrong”they don’t get my respect.The best coach is nothing without his/her players and their respect.

            Daryl you are right “motivation” is important and so is flexibility.You should not just force your “system” on every group of players you coach.What will work with some will not always be transferable.

            The best coaches empower the players and can usually sit back with confidence in the floor leaders and role players working together.

          • Daryl Peek

            Are you forgetting that Phil wrote a book about how he could not deal with Kobe anymore in 2004?

            From 99-04 Phil was managing both Kobe and Shaq. More so Kobe tho. Phil was also managing Kobe, Bynum and Pau, the second time around. Each core player had to be dealt with differently to effectively get the best out of them. It was no different for MJ, Pippen and Rodman with the Bulls and Phil. Riley went through the same thing with Magic, Kareem and Worthy.

            Flexibility does not come right away. The plan comes first. Players buying into it is next. Repetition in the system, via discipline leads to trust when the players are all in with the coaches message. That’s when flexibility becomes mutual between all involved.

            That empowerment comes once trust is earned. No player coach relationship is at that level from the jump. Again Phil bumped heads with Kobe for several years before that level of trust was conditioned. The sheer level of superior talent the Lakers had coupled with the struggles of knocking on the door from 96-99, is in part why they got over the hump in 2000 under Phil, right away. The team all believed in Phil and brought what he was selling.

            No player supersedes that no matter how experienced he is. Look at KG, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. They believed Doc and brought what he was selling. They were all seasoned vets who humbled themselves as the big three. Miami did the same thing with Spoelstra. Discipline in buying his defensive principals/system, coupled with acceptance of particular roles has them back to back Champs. When they thought it was just all about their talent alone they lost to Dallas.Wade was like Kobe in that he knew what it took to win, but he too needed to be managed for them to get over their hump.

            Managing a superstar player is not to be seen as a threat to their basketball IQ. It’s the player that’s willing to be managed that gets to next level with his team collectively. That’s how you win multiple championships.

          • 3339

            I agree with what you said about Doc and Spo and the players believing in what they were selling. The thing is, I don’t think dantoni knows what to do with the team. Last year I saw no plan or system. If the coach is uncertain, how can the players buy in and accept him? Doc and Spo put the players in a situation that would use their abilities best. dantoni makes everyone adjust to him.

          • Paytc

            Exactly! My point also is the coach is not always right.Both players and coaches have to be flexible.I am not saying we should not give D’Antoni and his system time to work.I am not saying F all coaches.Of course there needs to be a leader on the side lines.But a leader not a buster.

            My point also is if you asked D’Antoni if he thought Kobe was un-coachable he would laugh in your face.He’d tell you Kobe stepped up and did any and everything he asked of him,and then some.

            So lets put the focus on where it needs to be and it’s not bashing or blaming our best player.It’s accountability from everyone in the organization.

            My point is it doesn’t matter who’s coaching it’s the players(each and everyone of them)who have to execute.All players have to be held accountable,not just superstar veterans,but all players.

            I place the blame on lack of accountability from all.
            I would have given Kobe a share in the leagues MVP with Lebron from how well Kobe played and willed a team with so much adversity(injuries,immaturity,ego’s,coaching shifts,lack of heart,etc…).

            I certainly wouldn’t blame our teams most consistent warrior.

          • Daryl Peek

            Last years sample was moot because Howard didn’t want to be a Laker in the first place, and didn’t believe in Mike Brown and Kobe’s Princeton offense, idea. By the time D’Antoni came the damage was not repairable and there was no way he could implement his plan on the fly with all the injuries and bad blood between the players.

            Why can’t you take the players words on that? Metta and Jamison have both came out and admitted that was the problem. Phil was hesitant about taking the job because of not having a full training camp. Would he have taken it? Probably so but the point is the conditions were not to his ideal liking for proper implementation of his system, therefore you cannot make a judgement on MDA from last season. And four of the core players already had experience working with Phil in the triangle, unlike D’Antoni who only had Nash, who by the way was not on the floor when MDA took over. We never saw the MDA system. Players admitted this also. What we did see is a HC let his players free flow on how things were gonna go offensively. That’s flexibility isn’t it? Phil failed with players that were seasoned in his teaching. Give MDA a chance is all I’m saying.

            Now as for you and Paytc thinking I’m blaming Kobe? I’m not. Why are you guys jumping defensive on my words about him needing to be managed? All players do when it comes to winning multiple championships.

          • Paytc

            Ok cool ….as long as your not blaming Kobe.Kobe is the ultimate team player with the most desire to win championships.So of course he’s open to working within a system that everyone fits into.And most importantly everyone buys into.And I for one have always thought every coach to include D’Antoni deserves at least a couple of years to work on selling their philosophy and/or system.I did however not like dumping Brown at the start of the season.I thought it set up the disfunction that proceeded his departure.

            We have to be patient with MDA. And hope the full training camp ,and a healthy roster works to his and the teams benefit.

          • Daryl Peek

            I thought Brown was not given a fair chance also but I completely disagreed with his Princeton idea. He and Kobe agreed on that before Nash was in the picture. Once Nash was landed that idea should have been scrapped. Brown would have had more success if he ran the team like he did in 11-12 once Nash and Howard were on board. The Princeton is what got him the boot IMO. The 0-8 preseason could not be ignored 0-4 into the season. Especailly given the dream team high expectations coupled with the uncertainty of the FO with Dr. Buss on his last leg.

          • Paytc

            They play 82 games.I was never doubtful they could and would make the playoffs, as they did.Health early on also hurt Brown.Did’nt Nash go out in the first 3 or so games with the broken leg?Did’nt Howard and Gasol have health issues early on?It was too soon to panic! Brown had them playing team defense…..
            It was obvious to me they were trying to bring in someone to put a system in for Nash to flourish.I had, and have no problem with that…but Nash has to be healthy enough to stay on the floor.Nash was slow before the leg injury and is not a spring chicken.Hopefully the gamble pays off this year.I would love to send Nash and Kobe out with a few more championships.

          • Daryl Peek

            Defense… there in lied the problem man. Brown was so consumed with the Princeton he gave no time to his defensive foundation. Brown had Nash the entire training camp and preseason. It was a mistake going with that offense with Nash, Kobe Gasol and Howard. That offense is designed to help lesser talented teams overcome the elite talent deficiency.

            A simple PNR offense with the same defensive focus from 11-12 would have worked much better IMO. Firing Brown when they did was panic, and not a good look but in hind sight it’s understandable.

            Brown should have stayed true to his core beliefs as a HC. As bad as things were in 11-12 there was much better cohesion, and that says a lot given how Bynum acted up that year. 28-12 under MDA was Brown, 41-25 second round playoffs like, IMO. Bynum was seething at Kobe the same way Howard was. It was not so much they hated Kobe, as it was they wanted to assume more of a leadership role on the team and have their own shine.

            “Howard is gonna have to learn how to adjust to playing with Kobe this year” –Andrew Bynum

          • Paytc

            You may have a valid point about Brown and the Princeton offense.
            I was not the biggest Brown fan by any means. I thought he lacked the guts to change a few things Phil had done that no longer worked once teams studied the Lakers and coaches predictability.But even so firing a coach in the first couple of weeks in his second year after having an ok 1st year was horrible for building any kind of team chemistry.These are the Lakers not the Suns…… so we most keep that in mind.

            As far as Howard,Bynum,Lebron,Melo,or Durant etc…are concerned, if anyone in the NBA joins the Lakers while they have Kobe(one of the NBA’s all time greats) and he is playing at the level he played last year they would all have to take a back seat to him.They would have to ask him” how can i fill a role on your team and win a championship”.As much as I like Bynum he and Howard are two spoiled immature childish brats. Who cares what they say with regards to Kobe.Just like Kobe understands jealousy,envy,and hate,I do too.

            What …?is Kobe suppose to adjust to playing with them :)LOL,,,,
            One guy is the hardest worker on the team and one of the all time greatest.
            They are two unfocused,egotistical,disrespectful brats.

            I’ll build my team around Kobe and some role players and give you Howard,Bynum and a few more of the sort and we’ll win every time.

            We understand there are a few of you “so call ” Laker fans who love to take shots at Kobe and or point out any negatives you can find with him.Kobe is not perfect, but he also is our best player,hardest worker,and the most experienced and focused on winning championships !

            Go Lakers!

          • Daryl Peek

            Again with the defensive concerning Kobe. So let me get this straight, I’m hating on Kobe for saying what actually went down in Lakers history? I’m not taking shots at Kobe in any way shape or form. Will I be critical of him as a Lakers fan? Yes, if I see flaws but make no mistake about it, I am a Kobe fan. I just choose to stay grounded in reality when I speak on my favorite TEAM, the Lakers.

            Did I take Howard or Bynum’s side in my statement? NO. I just spoke what was going on. Kobe never took issue with Bynum or Howard wanting to be the man. As a matter of fact he encouraged it. Kobe knows first hand how it feels to be second fiddle wanting your own shine. The difference between Kobe and most of these new kids is taking the mantle VS. expecting it to be given to you.

            Kobe was once hated in LA for his beef with Shaq. I know many Lakers fans who are still sour over the Kobe, Shaq feud. I never felt like that about it. The inception of the beef was too complex to take sides IMO.

            Now as for building a team around a star. I’d take Kobe over Howard or Bynum also. Most Laker fans are Phil Jackson worshipers, guess what? Phil wanted to coach Howard this past season not so much Kobe. You might take that as me slighting Kobe but that’s not the case. It’s the Zen masters words… “I was intrigued about coaching the team last year with what they had but not so much now”

            Phil is even on record saying he’d choose Howard over LeBron in building his ideal team. Like you said, no ones perfect, and I’m not one of the Phil worshipers. (no ones bigger than the Lakers, NO ONE) Being critical of Kobe is not hating/taking shots at him. If I said eff Kobe then went on a rant about how he’s the problem you could say that. Kobe is arguably the greatest Laker of all time. But that does not mean he’s above critique.

            All of that being said, I didn’t even criticize Kobe but if the words one speaks are not absolutely flattering of Kobe, as perceived by what I call Kobe first Lakers fans, defensive mode comes into play.

          • Paytc

            I think we both said enough.If Phil would chose Howard over Lebron, or even Kobe at this stage of his career, I would disagree with Phil Jackson on that.Howard is not the players to lead a team better than Kobe or Lebron.

            We are both Kobe and Laker fans with our own perspectives,I respect your post. We both want to see another Lakers championship.

            Go Lakers!

          • Paytc

            My point is Kobe has not been the problem. He has been a part of the solution.
            Your making it seem as though Kobe is un-coachable.Kobe is flexible and can work within a system and has.But there are times when systems breakdown and or are exploited.So just as the player has to be flexible so does the coach.There is more than one ego to be “managed” as you call it.

            Phil Jackson was not ,and is not, always right.Phil Jackson is very good at getting players to buy into his system and managing egos’.But I repeat “I don’t think managing Kobe was the problem in 2012/2013”. “I also don’t think managing Kobe will be the problem in 2013/2014 season.”I try to live in the now.Bringing up Phil Jackson and 2004 is irrelevant to what’s happening in 2013.There area also two sides to every story.I guarantee you if you had a candid conversation with some of Phil Jackson’s past players you learn he had some coaching deficiencies.He was not perfect,nor would he have been anything special without the great players he coached.

            But it’s not about coach or player bashing.It’s about ” accountability”.
            Accountability from the top to the bottom.If everyone was as accountable as Kobe we wouldn’t be having this conversation.We’d be raising up a drink together and toasting to another Laker’s championship.

          • Paytc

            If a great player with a high basketball IQ needs to be managed then so does a coach.I don’t think Kobe was a problem.I see Kobe lifting and willing a below 500 ball club into contenders almost by himself.I think players took to many nights and plays off.Some of it was because of injuries,but much of it was lack of heart/ desire/effort,inexperience,and immaturity.So all the time spent trying to manage your best player would be better spent holding the busters and excuse makers accountable in my humble opinion.Kobe will trust players when he sees in their eyes and body language that they came to play.
            When he doesn’t see that he tries to will them to victory by himself.I don’t knock greatness I appreciate it.If Kobe had a few more players with a champions heart around him like MWP,Hill,and Antione Jamison who didn’t make excuses they just came to battle each night at home and on the road.
            Those are the type of players that you can lean on to carry loads.But then chumps and role players have to step up and be accountable to pick up the slack from time to time.

        • Eddie Lazaro

          Do you honestly think George Carl, Byron Scott, Jerry Sloan, Jeff van Gundy or Brian Shaw will be able to contain the ego’s in the locker room. You are badly mistaken. Phil Jackson was not able to contain this team that’s why we got swept by Dallas in 2011.

          Those coaches you’ve mentioned will go home packing on their first month with all the ego’s in the locker room, specially the ones we have last year. Aside from some of these coaches making the finals, what makes you think they are better than MDA? I am not a Fan of him, but we already have all these additions to cater to MDA coaching style and system. Do you really think your idea is a lot better than the ones spending more than half a billion dollars of their share to get the best coach for this team? MDA is one of the best “offensive” coach in the league, though he is missing that defensive quality that everyone at Lakers land is so used to watching, he brought in Kurt Rambis to help him tackle that issue. I know he has shown his stubbornness at times, in benching players, playing them to positions they are not used to, but his point last year was to make the team better, too bad (so many factors) it didn’t, but if it worked, there will be no issue. Also, he needed to have that edge with him to contain the locker room EGO! To show he is in command and the one leading this team. Having the same goal with everyone, including the FO, coaches and all the players, and that is to “Win the 17th, and getting Kobe his 6th Ring”.

  • Sti1lmatic


    Before the clippers do