Quotes from the Lakers-Sonics game 11/30/99

Quotes from the Lakers-Sonics game 11/30/99

Post by Garret Okamo » Thu, 02 Dec 1999 04:00:00


OCR = Orange County Register     ST  = Seattle Times
TNT = Tacoma News Tribune        LAT = LA Times
SPI = Seattle Post-Intelligencer
USA = USA Today
AP  = Associated Press
ESPN = EPSN.com
LADN = LA Daily News
LBPT = Long Beach Press-Telegram
---

Kobe was cleared to play by the Lakers doctors, who
found that the bone was healed.  It was previously
thought that Kobe would have to wear a hard cast
even after getting cleared by the doctors, but now
they found that Kobe only has to wear a soft sponge
pad designed by trainer Gary Vitti.  Jackson will
decide when Kobe gets to play again, and my guess is
that he'll play tonight vs GS.  That is a perfect
game vs a struggling team without a big SG threat
to introduce Kobe to game conditions.  Jackson
suggested that Kobe would come off the bench tonight
(be ready for a huge ovation when he gets in) and
would probably be in the starting lineup vs Portland.

The Lakers held their third straight opponent below
85 points, something they hadn't done since 1954!
The 77 points were the lowest the Sonics have
scored this season.

They gave the Sonics their first home last this
season.  In fact, this was the Sonics first home
loss since last season when the Lakers beat them.

Note from the LA Times: "It was a day full of col-
liding imagery--at one point, the Laker bus was
briefly the target of an angry crowd on the street
that thought the Lakers were WTO delegates, then
turned into fans when they realized who was inside
--rumors that the game would be canceled, and, for
the Lakers (11-4), looking out from hotel windows
onto what the world was watching too." (LAT)

Note from the LBPT: "Players watched the events on
TV and out their hotel windows. Then their bus
ride to the afternoon shoot-around was delayed by
protesters filling the downtown streets near the
Four Seasons, which also housed several interna-
tional dignitaries. It took a police escort to
transport the Lakers safely to the arena for the
game. Earlier in the day, police and hotel
security decided to lock the doors for safety
-- and momentarily trapped the Lakers' unsus-
pecting public-relations director on the street.
By the time the Lakers reached the arena prior
to the game, the national guard had been
mobilized. By an hour before tipoff, a state of
civil emergency had been declared." (LBPT, LADN)

ST reports that the game was sold out with only
a few no-shows.

I thought that this was by far Horry's best game this
season. His defense was excellent, he rebounded well,
and he looked more comfortable in the offense.  The
energy he provided was a huge key in this game, IMHO.

I liked how Jackson gave Shaq and Rice long rests in
this game, even relatively early when the game was in
doubt.  The Lakers play again tonight, and it is good
to play the bench more in back-to-back situations.
---

Lakers spokesman John Black said that several players
were advised not to go out to lunch yesterday because
they might not be let back into the hotel:
"We were told to go out at your own risk. I called
Phil (Jackson) and asked him if this is what it was
like in the 60s, and he said, 'kind of.'" (SPI)

About Kobe's imminent return, Black said:
"It's now a coaching issue by Phil Jackson on how
many practices they want him to play before putting
him in a game." (ESPN)

Sounding like Kobe will play vs GS tonight, Jackson:
"Obviously, it's a decision we have to make with the
roster, whether we think he should practice or not
practice before he plays. But it's almost impossible
to keep him off the roster and not let him play
tomorrow night. . . . I talked to him on the phone
this afternoon, he's e***d about playing." (LAT,
LBPT, LADN, OCR)

About the surprising good news about Kobe, Jackson:
"It's great for us." (LAT)

Asked about Kobe's sudden return, when the latest
word had been that he'd be out 2 more weeks, Phil:
"Don't ask. Things heal quickly. . . . He had
magnetic resonance . . . a witch doctor . . . he
healed really quickly." (LAT)

"He had a magnetic resonance, a witch doctor and
I don't know what else. But it healed quickly." (OCR)

"The doctor came to him and said, 'It looks like
you're OK, the results were good.' Kobe said,
'Does that mean I can play?' He said, 'Yes.'
(Bryant) said, 'I'm playing tomorrow night.
. . .' " (LBPT, LADN, OCR)

Jackson said that Kobe has been wearing his
protective pad for the past 5 days and:
"I think he can shoot with it." (LBPT, LADN)

Unsure who will go on the "injured" list, Jackson:
"Obviously, it's going to change our roster. As a
coach, you have to make a decision, who's going to
have to go and who's going to be our starting team
and how are you going to get your rotation back
again." (LAT)

About how the protestors surrounded their bus, Jackson:
"We made it through without any problem. The bus was
met by a group of protesters, but as soon as they saw
that it was the Lakers and not anyone significant,
they let us through." (SPI)

Feeling that the protests distracted the Sonics, Phil:
"I think it must've been for Seattle. I didn't think
they were on their feet, at least in the quickness or
something. I just don't think they played to the same
aggressiveness after the first quarter. . . .[It was]
sort of like a road game for them. So they're still
undefeated at home as far as I'm concerned." (LAT, SPI)

"I didn't think (the Sonics) were on their feet. I
didn't think they played to the same aggresiveness
after the first quarter.  I heard they had to stay
in hotels rather than their homes. That makes it
kind of a road game for them, so they are still
undefeated at home as far as I'm concerned." (USA,
ST, SPI, TNT)
Note: If the Sonics were distracted from the protests,
wouldn't they have started slowly?  Seattle jumped
out to a 21-10 lead.  However, I believe that they
did lose a lot of their homecourt advantage due to
the protests because some people didn't make it to
the game and the ones who were there didn't seem as
loud as the Sonics fans normally get vs the Lakers.
The Sonics players also had to vary their normal
routine to prepare for a home game, and they had
to worry about family and friends caught up in
the protests.

Before the game, Jackson supported the protesters:
"I'm really glad to see this age group motivated
to protest something. I like it a lot. I think it's
great. I just hope that they can carry this from
such global perspective to individual actions. I
think that's where it comes down to . . . how you
do it in a school board or in your community. It's
nice to protest the major things, but some of the
minor things are where it gets started." (LAT,
LBPT, LADN, OCR)
Note: Jackson said this before most the ***
episodes had occured.

Asked when was the last time he participated in
a protest, Jackson said:
"It's been 20, 25 - I guess just about 30 years.
Some of the guys on the team wanted to know what
the WTO was, and some of them asked, 'Why Seattle?'
Never - not even being in the midst of it all -
did it seem like something that was not controll-
able by the police." (TNT)

After saying how the protests reminded him of
protests in the 1960s, Jackson said:
"It was amusing to a point, then it became a
distraction." (AP)

About playing Shaq just 33 minutes, Jackson said:
"He looked a litte winded at the end of the third
quarter and I wanted to give him a little blow.
The game disintegrated and we were able to sit him
the rest of the way." (USA)

Happy that Kobe was cleared to play, and that he
actually got to rest in a game, Shaq said:
"Great to have him back. It's going to be fun.
We've got our three weapons back [O'Neal, Bryant
and Glen Rice]. All the other players just need
to surround us and do what they're supposed to
do and we should be a very good team." (LAT, LBPT,
LADN)

"I'm glad to have him back. Now we'll have all
of our weapons at full strength. Now we should be
on our way. We should be a dangerous team." (ESPN)

"Now we're going to have all our weapons at full
strength. Kobe misses games, I held the fort down
for those games, now we should be on our way. We
should be a dangerous team." (LBPT, LADN)

"Yeah, I can't believe it, a miracle. Two miracles
in one day--Kobe's coming back, and that. My team
played well and I was able to rest in the fourth
quarter." (LAT, OCR)

About how he vowed to carry the team until Kobe
could come back, Shaq said:
"I did OK. Now we got our three weapons (O'Neal,
Bryant and Glen Rice) back at full strength, and
everyone around us is going to have to play well.
If we can do what we've been doing and Kobe adds
his 18-19-20 points to that, we should be a real
dangerous team." (OCR)

About how fitting Kobe into the triangle offense
won't be a problem, Shaq said:
"No, it's not going to be a test, because there's
rules (to the offense). First guy to the post
gets to take the post, everybody else has to
take the backside. Those are the rules. We ain't
going to be fighting over that." (LBPT, LADN)

"It's not like your average offense where you come
down and run set plays. Everybody gets to do their
thing, and you know me I'm going to get mine, no
matter what. If everybody has that get-mine atti-
tude and we all play together, it should be a real
dangerous team." (OCR)

About how he didn't get his normal rest yesterday, Shaq:
"It was a loud day. Somebody had a drum set outside,
and they were at it the whole time. I tried to sleep,
but I couldn't. I'd lay there and tell myself, 'I
don't hear it, I don't hear it.' But I was concen-
trating so *** that, I got a headache." (SPI)

"It was a loud day. I heard a lot of drumming and
I didn't want to have to think about it so I tried
to sleep through it, but they kept waking me up.
When I finally woke up this morning, I had a
headache." (AP)

"It was just the day. Drums, screaming, arguing.
. . . I didn't get no rest today." (LAT)

"All the screaming, arguing, I didn't get enough
rest today." ...

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Quotes from the Lakers-Sonics game 11/30/99

Post by Bill Sha » Thu, 02 Dec 1999 04:00:00

Paul Westphal:

Quote:
> "You score 77 points and shoot 39 percent, you are
> not going to beat anybody." (TNT)

Unless you're Philadelphia playing New York! That Phi/NY game last night must
have been one of the worst offensive games this season, no? Both teams under 40%
and under 80 pts...
--

        -Bill