By now we have all seen the Shaquille O’Neal excerpt from his upcoming book Shaq Uncut: My Story where he details a film session with then-Cavaliers coach Mike Brown. If you have not, here is the rundown.
Coach Brown yelled at one person for not getting back on defense but did not hold LeBron James to the same standard. The unflappable Cavalier leader at the time, Delonte West—is it still a wonder why LeBron left?—stood up and called out Coach Brown for not holding James accountable for not getting back on defense.
Before we continue, when Delonte West is your voice of reason you know something wicked is coming this way.
Nevertheless, what made this so interesting is now Coach Brown is faced with trying to instill accountability in a group of known slackers. That statement excludes Andrew “shiver bow” Bynum, Derek “until the casket drops” Fisher and Kobe “we do what we want here” Bryant.
There is little doubt the Lakers' new boss will institute an offense that features Pau Gasol and Bynum. The doubt stems from how the Bean will adjust.
If this is the Mr. Brown that is coming to town, all will go swimmingly well in Laker Land. There are only two players who will come back with vengeance on their minds for this upcoming season. One rests in Newport Beach, CA and the other is slumming in South Beach. Their names are Bryant and Wade—trust they will be ready to entertain the moment the ball goes up.
Few players in league history have ever been as self-motivated as Bryant. Imagine a film session in which Kobe sees Metta World Peace not getting back on defense, thus giving up an easy bucket. Hell has no fury like a Kobe scored on.
Bryant would love nothing more than to say "I won with your coach." The Lakers guard relishes the opportunity of taking the man who could not win with the “Chosen One” and putting a ring on his finger.
Bryant will not need someone to hold him accountable because no one is as driven as No. 24. He is self-motivated to be great and no coach’s correction is going to correct that.
Players search daily for things to motivate them; some use press clippings while others use slights from their peers. Bryant uses failure. In his eyes he is a champion, and regardless of who the media anoints or proclaims possessors to the throne, until Kobe has lost to them in the finals, he is not beat on the hype.
Whenever the owners decide to allow the players to take the floor again, the concern in Laker Land should not be how Kobe will adapt to new coach Mike Brown’s offense—his desire and game will adapt. He will share because he always has and he will win because he always does.
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