Last night, the Grizzlies traveled to Los Angeles to face the highly favored Lakers. While most of the conversation prior to the game surrounded the lop-sided trade that sent Pau Gasol out west, the post game question and answer session with the media had a far different tone.
After the Lakers were blown out 104-85, Kobe Bryant asked members of the media to help inspire his teammates saying, "I'm pretty self-motivated but I think for the guys, from talking to them, it's important to find little challenges so they can get up every single night, whether it's reading one of your...stories or whatever it is, you've got to find something that gets you going a little bit. That's the role that you guys play in this thing. You guys write doom-and-gloom stories. I think that actually builds up a lot of tension."
The Lakers' superstar caught some flak for his comments, with many doubting Kobe’s trust in his teammates. In a game where the Lakers were outscored in all four quarters, Bryant attempted thirteen shots more than any of his teammates while dishing out just two assists.
While Bryant may be correct that the media paints certain pictures, I would hope that professional athletes are capable of motivating themselves—after all, the league’s average salary is the highest of any professional sport at nearly five million dollars annually.
Then again it is a long season, especially for older teams that realize they are better served entering the playoffs with a lower seed and a healthy roster (i.e. Boston Celtics).
So was Bryant out of line during his post game interview? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.