The Los Angeles Lakers are old, slow and embarrassing right now. After his squad fell to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, Kobe Bryant publicly copped to two out of three.
When asked why his team -- a star-laden group that hasn’t been able to crack .500 since the start of the season -- looked so awful against Philly on New Year’s Day, Bryant resorted to stating the obvious.
"Cause we're old as s**t.”
So that’s what the problem is. Because if that is the Lakers’ biggest problem, one can’t help but wonder why team brass decided to fire a defensive-minded coach with a slower offense like Mike Brown in favor of a run-and-gun specialist like Mike D’Antoni. Similarly, if old age is the problem, then why (as recently as two weeks ago) was the return of 105-year-old Steve Nash supposed to be the magic elixir that would fix everything?
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"You just saw an old damn team," Bryant continued (via ESPN). "I don't know how else to put it to you. We're just slow. You saw a team over there that was just younger and just had fresher legs and just played with more energy, and we were just stuck in the mud. I think individually we all have to figure out how to get ourselves ready each and every game to have a high level of energy. That's all that is."
That’s not all it is, of course.
L.A.’s two oldest players, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, were also the team’s best players yesterday. Bryant scored 36 points on 14-of-29 shooting. Nash added 12 points and 10 assists.
Unfortunately the two youngest players in the starting lineup, Darius Morris and Dwight Howard, scored a combined 10 points on 1-of-11 shooting.
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Age is not the problem. I don’t know what the problem is – but it’s not age. The voice of reason who ultimately echoed that sentiment was Metta World Peace.
"That's no excuse, the Knicks are playing great, so that's no excuse," World Peace said. "You can't use it as an excuse for us. Thank you. Thanks for trying."
The Knicks are the oldest team in the NBA this year. That hasn’t stopped them from having the second best record in the NBA, though.
L.A.’s next five games will be against the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. They could very easily go into Jan. 13’s showdown against the Cleveland Cavaliers (to whom they have already lost once this year) having gone 1-4 in the four outings prior.