LA Lakers’ Kobe Bryant was partly motivated to score 62 vs Dallas because of Del Harris

first_imgHarris worked as a Mavericks assistant from 2000 to 2007. But before that, Harris coached the Lakers from 1994-1999 through Bryant’s first two NBA seasons. The Lakers then fired Harris after a 6-6 start in the 1999 lockout-shortened season. Bryant became frustrated playing for Harris, who featured him off the bench in 15.5 minutes per game his rookie season.“When I was a rookie, I hated Del,” Bryant said. “I always said if I get a chance to get revenge, I’m going to get it.”Bryant sought his revenge on Dec. 20, 2005 in the Lakers’ 112-90 victory over the Mavericks at Staples Center. He shot 18 of 31 from the field and converted on 22 of 25 foul shots in 32 minutes. He scored 30 points in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds remaining in the period to eclipse the Mavericks’ point total (61). Yet, Bryant argued that his career-high 81-point performance on Jan. 22, 2006 against Toronto became more difficult because “my knee was killing me.” When Bryant reported feeling “fantastic” against Dallas with both his health and for sticking it to Harris. “That being said, he pushed me back then to try to be as efficient as possible to get some minutes on the floor,” Bryant said. “I had to earn everything I got. I’m very appreciative now. But I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t part of the motivation.” Back to basicsThe question made Lakers coach Byron Scott offer a hearty laugh. What kind of students are his players?“We’ll leave that question alone,” Scott said, chuckling. “Very young students. Let’s put it that way.”That prompted Scott to conduct longer practices similar to the ones he had in training camp. That prompted Bryant to lead a timeout huddle in Saturday’s loss in Portland, criticizing the team’s defensive efforts against guards Damian Lillard (36 points) and CJ McCollum (26 points). That prompted Bryant to critique his team in the locker room, including calling rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell and second-year forward Julius Randle out by name.“We can’t move on until they learn it,” Scott said. “It’s not punishment. But until you can prove to me you’re ready to move on and you can do those things on a consistent basis, I have to go to the basics.”That likely won’t stop until the Lakers show significant improvement in total defense. They rank 26th out of 30 NBA teams in total points allowed (106) per game. “We just don’t do a good job of executing it,” Randle said. “At the same time, you have to go back to the film and see why. Part of it is maybe effort. But part of it is maybe something else. We have to figure out why.” The shots dropped into the basket with remarkable efficiency. So much so that Kobe Bryant initially outscored the entire Dallas Mavericks team. So much so that Bryant scored 62 points through three quarters, giving the Lakers enough cushion that he felt no need to play in the final period. So much so that Bryant became the sixth player in Lakers history to score at least 60 points in a regular-season game. And with the Lakers (9-37) facing the Dallas Mavericks (25-20) for the final time on Tuesday at Staples Center, Bryant narrowed in on one specific source that fueled his outburst.“Del Harris,” Bryant said, sparking laughter both from himself and reporters. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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