Quotes from the Lakers-Clippers game 12/14/99 (plus some Atlanta quotes)

Quotes from the Lakers-Clippers game 12/14/99 (plus some Atlanta quotes)

Post by QUOTEP.. » Sat, 18 Dec 1999 04:00:00

Friday, Dec 17, 1999
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Quotes from the Lakers-Clippers game 12/14/99 (plus some Atlanta quotes)

OCR = Orange County Register      LAT = LA Times
AP  = Associated Press            USA = USA Today
AJC = Atlanta Journal-Constitution
LADN = LA Daily News
LBPT = Long Beach Press-Telegram

The Lakers won their 10th straight game vs the Clips, 95-68.  The Clips
went without a basket for the final 8:28 of the 1st half, going without
a point over the last 6:27.

I don't have NG access right now, so I'd appreciate it if Ralph or Geof
could send this post to the Lakers NG and RSBP.  This is a late--but
things are crazy here [Ralph: done].

The Clippers were 1-18 in the 2nd quarter.  The Lakers led by as many
as 45 points.  The 68 points that the Clippers scored tied a low for an
opponent in Lakers history.  The Clips scored just 3 points in the
final 15:50 of the half!  The Lakers went on a 20-0 run in the first
half.  The 19 points the Clips scored in the first half tied an NBA low.

Note in OCR: "A wide-eyed Shaquille O'Neal poked teammate Derek Fisher
in his side and pointed up to the Staples Center scoreboard. It
read: "The 19 points that the Clippers scored on the Lakers in the
first half marked an NBA-record low." O'Neal wore an incredulous smirk
on his face and then looked to see referee Hugh Evans' reaction to the
news. Evans just smiled." (OCR)

With all the talk of Kobe and/or Harper defending Odom, Rice and Odom
ended up being matched up with each other on both ends of the court.
Odom ended up with more fouls (5) than points (2).  Rice defended Odom
whenever they were both on the floor, and Odom made ZERO FGs.

Garbage time started *early* in this game.  No starter played in the
4th quarter.  In fact, Jackson had *all* of the starters on the bench
before the midpoint of the second quarter, an extremely unusual sight
this season (especially with Shaq sitting down so early).


Praising the way that Rice has handled trade rumors, Phil:
"I talked to Glen. I really congratulated him on keeping himself as
professional as possible during a period of time in which so much
speculation is always on his availability, his being a part of a trade
or situation. And I thought he's kept his head in the game, he's kept
his mood positive, he hasn't lost his concentration. He hasn't shot as
well as I'd like him to shoot. Glen came to me, simply because he was
disappointed that he wasn't playing better than he felt he should
play." (LBPT, LADN)

"I've really congratulated him on keeping himself as professional as
possible during the period of time when there's so much speculation on
his availability, his being a part of a trade. I've thought he's kept
his head in the game, he's kept his mood positive, he hasn't lost his
concentration, [although] he hasn't shot as well as I'd like to him to
shoot. . . . But he basically stepped up a level from training camp to
the regular season and helped us win a number of games before Kobe
[Bryant] got back." (LAT)

"I congratulate him on keeping himself as professional as possible
during a period of time when so much speculation is always on his
availability, his going, his being part of a trade. He has kept his
head in the game and kept his mood positive." (OCR, AJC)

Feeling that Rice has been distracted by the trade talk, which is why
his shooting has been off, Jackson added:
"but he's still found a way to compete and help us play.  And I told
him I have a lot of respect for his game, because almost every night he
comes out and outplays the opponent that's at the other side at that

About how teams can now trade players that signed contracts over the
summer, Jackson talked about how they are looking for a defensive-
minded PF:
"(We'll) try to improve ourselves if we can, and we're short big guys
obviously. ... Behind Shaq (O'Neal) we look rather sparse back there,
as far as big guys go." (LBPT, LADN)

About their search for a "plugger" at PF, Jackson:
"We're just way overloaded in the guard corps. We've just kind of held
out till this time period being the time period when things happen for
us or around the league." (OCR)

About how Jackson knows he'll give his best despite the trade rumors,
Rice said:
"I try to demonstrate by coming here, working as hard as possible,
trying to be as positive as I can be. In some situations, you're going
to be talked about in trades. It's something that's out of my control,
I don't worry about it. Right now, I'm here and I'm trying to do the
best I can for this team. And I'll continue to do that as long as I'm
here." (LAT)

"I just tried to come here and work as hard as possible, being as
positive as I can be. In some situations you're going to be talked
about in trade. It's just something that's out of my control, so I
don't worry about it. Right now I'm here and I'm trying to do the best
I can for this team." (OCR)

Asked if his shooting slump is due to the trade rumors, Rice did not
use that excuse:
"I try to go out there and hit the shot regardless of the rumors being
said all the time or [if] I'm hurt or anything. I try to go out there
and shoot as well as possible, and I haven't been shooting it the way I
would like to. But I'm sure it's going to turn around." (LAT)

Shaq walked by when Rice was talking and said:
"Just as long as you're there in the playoffs. I'll hold the fort until
then." (LAT)

Rice responded to that:
"I want it to come around before that." (LAT)

Shaq is purchasing several Krispy Kreme, IHOP and Taco Bell franchises.
But he tried to keep his image:
"I'm more thug than I am more corporate." (OCR)

About how he averaged 17.5pts/11.5reb in the 4 games before facing Shaq
and the Lakers, Olowokandi said:
"I might be better equipped to play the game, per se, but I'm not sure
I'm better equipped to guard him."

After saying that, due to his strength, Shaq is his probably his
hardest matchup, Olowokandi said:
"There's really nothing you can do. When you get behind him, daylight
just sort of shuts down." (LBPT, LADN)

About how his Dad (running the team in Italy) is now working for him,
Kobe said:
"I'm the boss. Nah, he tells me what's going on. We're both very, very
e***d about it." (LBPT, LADN)

About owning a pro team while just 21, Kobe said:
"If you look at my career, it seems like everything kinda happens
before you expect it to happen. The gun just sort of goes off before
anybody expects it." (LBPT, LADN, OCR)
Note: Kobe said that, due to the conflicts with the NBA schedule, he
won't get to attend any of the games in Italy.

About how his father told him that the people in Milan got e***d
about his purchase, Kobe said:
"They expected me to show up tomorrow.  Everybody got all e***d, like
I was going to come out there and suit up or something. Slow down."

"Everybody got all e***d like I was going to come out there and suit
up or something. <Kobe laughs> No! Slow down." (OCR)

About how he'd never try to play for the Italian team while still
playing for the Lakers, Kobe:
"I wouldn't do that. Jerry (West) would have a heart attack." (LBPT,

About how his Dad added Pooh Richardson to their team, Kobe said:
"My father mentioned it to me and I said, 'Can Pooh still run?' "

About his approach to being an owner, Kobe said:
"We'll take it one step at at time. It's like a basketball game. You
pick and choose players. Then you start dealing with the agents, and
they're a pain in the butt." (LBPT, LADN)

"It's fun just being in it with my father. We feel like kids, honestly.
It's like you're playing chess -- you get to pick and choose basketball
players. Then you start dealing with agents, and that'll be a pain in
the you-know-what." (OCR)

About wanting to retire in Italy, Kobe said:
"I would love to raise my family there. I have nothing against America,
don't get me wrong -- but that's the way I grew up." (OCR)

"I loved growing up in Italy and have always had a special place in my
heart for the country and its people. In fact, Italian is a second
language for everyone in our family. My involvement with Olimpia Milano
fulfills my desire to reconnect with Italy, while also providing future
business opportunities in basketball." (AP)

About Kobe's purchase, NBA spokesman Terry Lyons:
"We think it's great that Kobe is showing support for pro basketball in
Italy, where he grew up." (AP)

Not concerned about Kobe's attention wandering due to his purchase of a
team, Jackson said:
"It's a long ways to Milan. It's not like he can follow the team.
Keeping a hand on is going to be a summer occupation for him. I think
he's probably not going to get involved with them at that level until
he's through playing basketball here." (LBPT,

About how he previously had a player who owned a team that he was
coaching, Jackson said:
"The greatest scorer in Puerto Rican history. I got fired from that
job. I couldn't find an offense to match him." (LBPT, LADN)

Jackson noted that Rice looked: "wan." (OCR)

Rice was so sick that during warmups he said all he accomplished was to:
"damn near fall down." (OCR)

About the shape he was in before the game, Rice:
"I felt like I had been away from the game for about a month." (OCR)

Before the game, Rice felt so sick that he thought:
"It's going to be a long night." (OCR)

Asked if he'd expected a game like this, Rice:
"No, I've never seen anything like that. And I'm sure we won't see that
again from them. I think tonight was just an off night for that team.
It's a team that's very talented, a team that's a dangerous team, and
tonight they just didn't have it." (LBPT, LADN)
Note: Rice scored the Lakers' first 8 points of the 3rd quarter.  The
first 6 were against Odom, until he drew Odom's 5th foul and sent him
to the bench.  He scored the Lakers' next basket vs Piatkowski, who was
0-10 at one point in the game.

About the Clippers bad game, Jackson said:
"I thought the Clippers pulled a Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde on us from
last night to tonight.  However much I misunderstand a team, I
certainly misunderstood this team. We did some nice things out there
defensively, and offensively I thought we played OK at times, but it
wasn't a pretty game to watch." (LBPT, LADN)

"They came apart at the seams. I thought our defense had something to
do with it, and I also thought their players, [Lamar] Odom and
[Maurice] Taylor, were both in foul trouble, and some of them not very
conscious fouls. For a young team that's as talented as they are, they
can do a lot more. . . . I expected a competitive game tonight." (LAT)

"For a young team and as talented as they are, they could do a lot
better." (USA)

Expecting some coaches to be fired soon, Jackson:
"I would imagine this is a time when everybody kind of feels like
things are going to happen with coaching changes, etc. Their teams have
been together for six weeks of the season, and that's a good spell. A
quarter of the season is more than over." (OCR)
Note: Jackson gave this quote when asked about Ainge leaving his
job...he was not talking specifically about the Clippers in this quote.

About how AC's play has changed his plan (to start
Horry at PF and bring AC off the bench), Jackson:
"Since A.C. has been doing the job he has been doing, it has never
crossed my mind to put Robert back in the starting lineup. He has just
been doing a great job for us. Our defense is solid. Robert helps us
coming off the bench. You always need somebody who can start that's on
the bench to be a good team." (OCR)

Asked if he felt sorry for the Clippers, Harper:
"I don't feel sorry for anyone or anything."

"I don't feel sorry for anyone or any team. Our job is to go out there
and play our game, and that is what we did." (LAT)

"If they don't want to score any points, hey, that's fine." (OCR)

"It was ugly--really ugly. Some nights the basketball ain't going to
fall. The ball didn't fall for them tonight." (LAT)

At halftime, Magic shook his head and said:
"I can't believe this." (OCR)

Noting the Clips 19 points, Kobe said:
"Hey, I almost outscored them by myself." (OCR)
Note: Kobe had 16 points at halftime.

About how they didn't let up on the Clips, Kobe:
"We didn't want to give them any life.  Absolutely none." (LAT)

"We wanted to come in and play *** every possession and not give
them any life. Once we got them to start bleeding, we just let them
bleed to death." (USA)

About being embarrassed in the game, Taylor:
"We played like we didn't even know how to play basketball. It was a
horrible performance by all of us. I've gotten to the point where I
think I should be apologizing for the way I played." (LBPT, LADN)

Maurice Taylor added about the game:
"We were trying to do stuff too fast. We were rushing and trying to do
too much and it really hurt us . . . Every aspect of the game in which
you could play bad, we did." (LAT)

About the game, Piatkowski said:
"This was by far my most embarrassing loss. The first half was the most
embarrassed I've been, moreso than anything, outside of basketball."

About the blowout loss, Clips guard Troy Hudson:
"I used to think that losing a game at the buzzer or (by) one or two
points was the worst. After tonight I don't think that way anymore."

--- Quotes from the Atlanta game ---

Note from AJS: The Lakers are the NBA's best road draw this season. As
a Laker, Shaq is 4-0 vs Atlanta.

About how Shaq was limited by foul trouble, Phil:
"Everything seemed to be a foul, whatever he did.  One thing led to
another, and ultimately, he wasn't even given a chance to play the last
part of the game." (AP)

About how Kobe compensated for Shaq's foul trouble and referring to the
3rd quarter where their 15-3 got them a comfortable lead, Jackson:
"Kobe picked up the scoring slack. And, we were able to play a pretty
good third quarter." (AP)

"Kobe picked up the scoring slack. We were able to play a pretty good
third quarter. They started overplaying the wings." (USA)

About his foul-plauged game, Shaq said:
"I'll just have to get back on track tomorrow.  I don't like to have
two bad games in a row." (AP)

"I haven't had one of these nights in a long time, so it was due." (AP)

"It was probably just one of those nights where you aren't hitting any
of your shots, but my teammates stuck up for me and we still came out
of here with a win. I'll just have to get back on track tomorrow.  I
don't like to have two bad games in a row." (USA)

About how they struggled in this game, Kobe:
"Our energy wasn't there tonight. We were kind of sluggish so we kind
of had to pick our spots where we could hold their team down in the
third quarter.  Sometimes we just came down and scored and had an
opportunity to shoot the ball and I shot it." (USA)

About how this offense is better for them, Kobe:
"Last year, the offense was stagnant, but this year, with all the
movement, it can work with me and Glen." (AJC)

Asked again by reporters if he, Shaq, and Kobe can be effective on the
same team together, Rice:
"Whoever says we can't play together, that's the most ridiculous thing
I've ever heard." (AJC)

Asked if he was concerned about having to get Shaq, Kobe, and Rice to
share the ball, Jackson:
"I just don't think it will be a problem.  Everything I've heard about,
I haven't seen yet." (AJC)

Note in AJC: What he has not seen too much of is the Lakers operating
as they did last year as a group of one-one-one players. Bryant, in
particular, tried O'Neal's patience by looking for his shot no matter
if O'Neal had low-post position or if Rice was open. It got so bad that
O'Neal had words with Bryant, and the word traveled around the league
that the young stars were at odds. If that was true then, it is not
now. Bryant invited O'Neal to his birthday party in the summer, and
O'Neal attended. Since Bryant's return from the injured list, he's had
only brief flashes of the doing-too-much antics that were troublesome
last year." (AJC)

Praising Shaq, West said:
"I look at him at 27 years old, and if he's not MVP of this league so
far I don't think the  award means much." (AJC)

About how they had wanted to show something with this game, Rider said:
"We definitely wanted to make a statement tonight and wanted to do
better than we obviously did. We came up short against a good team.
They had a better night and we played really sluggish." (AP)

"We definitely wanted to make a statement tonight and wanted to do
better than we obviously did.  We came up short to a good team.  We
started out  really sloppy if you ask me. They had a better  night and
we played really sluggish." (USA)

Before the game, Wilkens talked with Mutumbo:
"I've talked to Dikembe about playing tough.  I've told him he cannot
allow Shaq to get his rhythm between the dotted line (10 feet from the
rim) and the basket. If he does, Shaq will dunk; we can't stop him."

Before the game, Mutumbo talked about facing Shaq:
"I know my job. I have to play physical against him. I can't let him
push me around like he wants to do because he is so powerful and such a
great player. The keys for me (against O'Neal) are two.  First, like I
said, I must play him physical so I don't back down from him. But also,
I must make him work hard when we are on offense. If I allow him to
rest then I am giving him too much of an advantage." (AJC)

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