Jackson gets a dig in on Bryant
Ever since Kobe Bryant made his initial demand to be traded by the Los Angeles Lakers in May, coach Phil Jackson has attempted to ease the friction between Kobe Bryant and the front office.
But if Jackson's comments after Saturday's practice are any indication -- he questioned Kobe Bryant's commitment -- the coach is growing increasingly frustrated and may be joining those who believe it's time to accommodate the trade request.
''Obviously he hasn't thrown his heart and soul into performing on the floor,'' Jackson said. ''That hurts me a little bit. ... He was going to work at this thing and put his full being into this. Right now, he's having a hard time doing that.''
If Jackson's assessment is correct, it could hasten a deal -- and could lessen the compensation the Los Angeles Lakers are seeking from the Bulls and other possible suitors.
Kobe Bryant, though, disagreed with Jackson.
''That [should be] the least of his concerns or anybody's concerns,'' Kobe Bryant said. ''You don't have to worry about that. I'm ready to play. Period. You don't have to worry about me.''
But Jackson said he's worried about how the other players are handling the constant rumors that Kobe Bryant will be dealt soon.
''They are a little bit confused,'' he said. ''They are enjoying their time together right now, but there's a certain sense of how does this all fit all together, which is natural because they haven't seen a situation like this before.''