Clippers center DeAndre Jordan hasn't been surprised to see Kobe Bryant take on a facilitator role. Bryant, after all, has more than 5,700 assists in his career.
"When he wants to pass, he will pass, when he wants to get everyone involved, he will and when wants to score, or take over the game (he will). It's Kobe," Jordan said. "So he's going to score whenever he needs to or whenever he feel like it's needed."
On Thursday, Jordan witnessed first-hand the new Kobe Bryant, the one who lately has focused on getting his teammates involved instead of shooting. Bryant did a little of both in the Lakers' 125-101 loss to the Clippers, scoring 20 points and handing out 11 assists.
"He's a tough cover," Jordan said. "He can pass, he can post up, he can shoot from the elbow, shoot the long ball. So, he's really a tough cover.
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro was eager to see Bryant create shots for his teammates.
"If he doesn't want to shoot, that's fine with me," Del Negro said.
Bryant and Dwight Howard have made recent progress in their relationship, and they were going to get some more bonding time since they were scheduled to travel together via private jet late Thursday night to the NBA's All-Star Weekend in Houston.
Bryant's wife, Vanessa, was also expected to on board, but Bryant last season used the extra time during the All-Star break in Orlando to strengthen his bond with teammate Andrew Bynum.
"The All-Star break was really when our bond cemented itself," Bryant said last season. "Even though we were around so many of our other peers, it was just he and I. We were always around each other and we really didn't care what the other guys were doing."
The Lakers won't gather to restart the season until a Tuesday afternoon practice. They have two home games next week: Boston on Wednesday and Portland on Friday.
Kobe's versatility no surprise to Clippers' Jordan
Orange County Register | Feb 15