This isn’t how Coach Byron Scott wanted to celebrate his birthday. The Lakers coach was pretty pissed about the defensive effort of his young guys, especially on Rodney Hood, after the Lakers 48 point loss – tied with the worst in franchise history – to the Utah Jazz on Monday. But he did have some praise for his 37 year old 12 x All-Defensive player, Kobe Bryant.
“Kobe wanted to take on the challenge,” Scott said when talking about Hood, who dropped 30 points in a half with a franchise record 8 3-pointers. “It’s a damn shame our oldest player has to take the challenge. It says a lot about him, obviously. It’s what he has done all his life, but nobody else wanted to step up and take that challenge.
“That’s a shame that the oldest guy on our team that is leaving this league in eight games was the one that kind of had to shut him down.”
Kobe didn’t just “shut him down” from scoring, he never allowed Hood to get a shot off.
“He stuck to me,’’ said Hood, who added that he’s never had an opponent, even in high school, defend him that closely.
Although Hood wasn’t able to score 3 more points to break his career-high against Kobe, Hood couldn’t have been happier.
“We were just talking a little bit of trash,” Hood said of his match-up with Kobe. “He was just congratulating me on the season. I just told him he was the greatest of all-time. A guy I’ve been looking up to since I was a little child. … It was just a great night tonight.
“Those are memories I’ll forever take. Going back to Hawaii (during preseason). Tonight. Every single time I get a chance to play against him, that’s something I’ll remember after I’m done playing ball.”
BONUS: HOOD’S CAREER-HIGH VS GRIZZLIES
Source: Deseret News