Throughout his 19-year career, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has never been shy about letting his feelings be known about any issues, from his relationships with teammates to the team's on-court strategy. A major question entering the Lakers 2015-16 season was whether or not Bryant would be comfortable playing more of an off-ball role after the Lakers front office selected playmaking point guard D'Angelo Russell out of Ohio State with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Bryant has probably at least one hundred different variations of this question about his transition since the team's media day on Monday, and he has tired of them.
"I do not like setting up the offense. I hate it. Phil made me do it years ago," Kobe told assembeled reporters after the Lakers' practice on Saturday. Bryant continued "You guys know I like scoring the ball, why the hell would I like setting the offense up?" Additionally aiding in Bryant's comfort to sliding off of the ball is the addition of Russell, because as Bryant told the media, "[I] haven't played with point guards that are playmakers at heart. D'Angelo is a ridiculous playmaker man. I'd much rather catch & shoot." Somewhere, Smush Parker sheds a solitary tear.
Bryant also told reporters he would "definitely" play in the Lakers' preseason tip-off game against the Jazz tomorrow in Hawaii.
Quotes via Bill Oram of the Orange County Register, Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, and Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News.