Jackson concerned about Bryant’s lack of focus

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Bryant did not practice again Saturday, the product of a sprained right wrist that remains painful. The Lakers are off today and have only one more day of practice before Tuesday’s season opener, but Bryant is expected to play. The bigger question is whether or not Bryant is dedicated to giving his all to the Lakers. “It was my feeling, from a conversation with Kobe (before camp), that he was going to work at this thing and put his full being into this,” Jackson said. “Right now he’s having a hard time doing that.” Jackson added his belief that Bryant’s attitude has had an adverse effect on the other players. “I think that they were, that they are, a little bit confused,” Jackson said. “Obviously, he hasn’t thrown his heart and soul into performing on the floor, and I think that hurts a little bit. “I think they’re enjoying their time together right now. I think they liked the game (in Las Vegas). They had a good time together, and it was good for them. But I think there’s a certain sense of, `How does this all fit together?”‘ By Rich Hammond STAFF WRITER Kobe Bryant showed up for training camp and declared himself ready to focus on basketball and winning games. Almost four weeks later, Lakers coach Phil Jackson isn’t convinced. After Saturday’s practice, Jackson issued a subtle, but biting, critique of Bryant’s effort this month, one in which the coach said Bryant has not succeeded in “mentally getting himself here and playing hard.” So, what to do? While not closing off the possibility of trading Bryant, Jackson called the possibility “very slim” and said the Lakers are not in “fire-sale time.” Jackson was asked if, as the coach, he bore the responsibility of getting through to Bryant and bringing him back into the fold of the team. “In a certain manner, yes,” Jackson said. “But in this regard, I’ve been working on it since June 1. Is that about the day the whole thing started?” Bryant’s trade-me, trade-me-not summer figured to be a distraction for the Lakers. Since June, however, Bryant has remained quiet and not made a public issue of his presumed desire to leave. Bryant, in a playful mood, froze up Saturday when Jackson’s concerns about his state of mind were brought up. “That’s the least of his concerns, or anybody’s concerns,” Bryant said. “You don’t got to worry about that.” Asked if he was concerned that his situation might negatively impact the team, Bryant shook his head. “I don’t know what situation you’re talking about,” Bryant said. “I told you, I’m not going to talk about it no more.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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