Bryant has learned to ‘roll with it’ when criticism comes his way…
Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has insisted that he understands the cyclical nature of the NBA and accepts criticism along with praise.
Having spent 19 years in the league, Bryant has learned some tricks of the trade with the media and that in turn he says has given him the perspective to deal with criticism in the right way.
A recent ‘ESPN The Magazine’ article suggested that Bryant had played a significant role in the Lakers’ recent slide over the last few years. The veteran’s current deal has put the franchise in a tougher than expected position in terms of salary cap space, but their inability to add key free agents was also a determining factor in their expected struggle this season.
Nevertheless, the 37-year-old remained diplomatic as he responded to the article following the 114-108 loss to the Phoenix Suns in a pre-season game on Tuesday night.
“It’s not the first one and it won’t be the last one,” Bryant said.
“One thing I’ve come to understand over the years is that you’ll have a bad story that comes out on a Monday and it seems like it’s the end of the world and it seems like everybody’s taking shots at you. But time goes by and then you look back on it and it was just a Monday.
“Stay focused on the bigger picture and things are never as bleak as they seem at the time,” Bryant said. “I just kind of roll with it.”
Point guard Jeremy Lin, who returned from injury to feature in the game, had plenty of positives to say about Bryant after his arrival from the Houston Rockets this summer.
Lin insisted that from the day he arrived in Los Angeles, Bryant has taken on a mentor-type role for him and teaches him in practice on a daily basis. He says it “has been great for me” and he will look to play a key role for the Lakers this season.
Meanwhile, Bryant finished Tuesday’s game with 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting which included several late baskets to force the game into overtime.