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Atkins backs off criticism of Kobe


Laker says it's possible what he said was not what he meant to say
The Lakers' Chucky Atkins and Kobe Bryant aren't in moods to celebrate these days.


The Associated Press
Updated: 9:52 p.m. ET March 28, 2005

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - Drama seems to follow the Los Angeles Lakers, win or lose.

Laker says it's possible what he said was not what he meant to say
The Lakers' Chucky Atkins and Kobe Bryant aren't in moods to celebrate these days.

The Associated Press
Updated: 9:52 p.m. ET March 28, 2005

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - Drama seems to follow the Los Angeles Lakers, win or lose.

During the past five years, when the Lakers were winning, there was always something between Shaq and Kobe, Shaq and Phil or Kobe and Phil.

Now that Shaquille O’Neal is playing in Miami and Phil Jackson is out of coaching — at least for the moment — the Lakers are Kobe Bryant’s team.

And they’re losing. Los Angeles has dropped eight straight, the second-longest losing streak since moving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1960.

Bryant was at the center of another controversy Monday, albeit not of his own doing.

First-year Lakers guard Chucky Atkins was asked before Sunday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers what offseason moves he’d make to improve the team.

“I ain’t no GM. Ask Kobe. He’s the GM. It’s his team,” Atkins said.

The 30-year-old Atkins seemed to backtrack almost immediately. Following the Lakers’ 96-89 loss to the 76ers, he acknowledged that while confidence and morale were down, team members were “too professional to point fingers.”

Following Monday’s practice, Atkins acknowledged it was “very possible” that what he meant to say wasn’t what came out, although he insisted the reporter questioning him had been trying to get him to say something negative about Bryant for weeks.

“I don’t think you should try to divide my team,” Atkins said. “We’re not going to splinter. Kobe’s my man. Me and Kobe have developed a relationship where anything I have to say to him, I can say to his face. I’m in a no-win situation.”

Only Atkins knows his true feelings.

“We’re in a bad situation right now,” he said. “We know that.”

The Lakers (32-37), who will try to end their current skid on Tuesday night against the New York Knicks, lost their last 10 games of the 1993-94 season to finish with a 33-49 record. That was the last time they failed to qualify for the playoffs, something that will happen this year barring a complete turnaround in the last 13 games and prolonged slumps by two of the three teams immediately above them.

Bryant, the NBA’s second-leading scorer, supported Atkins.

“We really didn’t have much of a conversation (Monday),” Bryant said. “He was pretty adamant about how it happened, that it was taken out of context. Everybody here sticks together. We’re not going to let anybody divide us.

“If you guys are here to stir something up, you’re not going to get it out of me. All we want to do is come here, work hard, play basketball. We had a great day of work. There’s nothing going on.”

Lakers coach Frank Hamblen smiled when asked about the latest controversy, mentioning the problems the team had while it was winning.

“You always expect harmony to some degree,” he said. “Guys aren’t going to be best friends. You’ve got to work together. Anything that’s said in the paper is probably out of frustration.”

Notes: Lamar Odom, the Lakers’ second-leading scorer, said he won’t play Tuesday night, missing his fifth game because of a slight tear and bruised rotator cuff in his left shoulder. “At this point of the season, it’s frustrating,” he said, adding he wasn’t sure when he would be cleared to play. ... Jackson, the former and perhaps future coach of the Lakers, was at the team’s practice facility Monday, but not to talk about a job. Jeanie Buss, his girlfriend and daughter of owner Jerry Buss, said she and Jackson had lunch.

Here is something i found quite interesting.......

Its the credibility and support Chucky suddenly started to garner. hes been one of the most hated and critized players on this team all season.

He didnt like the offense....."Chucky, shut up, you dont play D anyway, and you suck at offense, you dont know what you are talking about"

He didnt like the shots he was or want getting......'Chucky, shut up, all you do is jack up 3's and yell Ole!, you dont have a say in that. You're not superstar"

He openly critiscized the teams effort......."Chucky, shut up, you try less than anyone, i cant wait until youre traded and i never have to hear your talk again"

He claims we would have made the playoffs if Rudy was coaching....'Chucky, shut up, you just like that offense because you got to chuck up more 3's. God i hate you chucky, youre an idiot"

He makes the kobe is the GM comment......suddenly the guy has all the support and credibility in the world. "Preach on Chucky!!!, youre right. obe is a cancer. Look how many teammates he doesnt get along with.....ect....ect...."

The media takes a soundbite, misconstrues it, and runs with it, and suddenly Chucky's edited statement is gospel.

Suddenly people forget the incredible support Kobe showed all th new guys before the season.

Suddenly people forget how Kobe took caron under his wing and worked out with him all summer.

Suddenly people forget about the effort Kobe made to bring this team together. he forgets the get to gethers at Kobe's house. they forget the constant calls all summer. They forget the fishing trip Kobe planned to proomote team bonding.

Suddenly people forget the effort made before the pre-season to get guys out here early and working hard and together.

Suddenly people forget the 11 double digit assist games, they forget the 14 assist games, they forget that Kobe is leading the team in assists.

Suddenly people forget the constant positivity kobe preaches, the constant unity, the constant effort to keep this team as ONE

Suddenly people forget the effort he pute into being the best player he can be. they forget his incredible work ethic and standards he sets forth as leader

One little comment, that may or may not be true, one little rift detected by a guy people blew off ALL SEASON LONG, and people forget all the great strides Kobe has made as a teammate and a leader. Its sad

Whats more sad is we all see the group of people that are the ones doing it. its the same group as always, you know who they are, and we know who they are. The same guys who claim that nobody blames kobe for anything.....while blaming him for EVERYTHING.

Intersting....interesting indeed
 

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In Phil Jackson's "The Last Season", he comments on this exact same thing. That every day last season, when Kobe was still on trial, LA beat reporters would try and extend the Shaq-Kobe or Kobe-Colorado drama just one more day in search of headlines and hits. It's was almost like the local media had OCD or something, and didn't know when to stop. I'll try and find Jackson's exact quote.
 

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Get use to it, Kobe is the leagues whipping boy until the Lakers start winning again. Positive stories are okay once in a while, but they know what brings the readers and viewers in, the negative and controversial stuff.
 

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lol at misconstrued, atkins said eveything he was accused of saying into a microphone then put his tail between his legs and tried to take it back and blame it on the media..


WEAK..
 
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