LOS ANGELES - Curt Schilling vs. Kobe Bryant, Round 2.
Apparently, a controversial blog entry never dies. After practice yesterday at Staples Center, Bryant talked about the infamous Schilling blog entry that portrayed the Lakers guard in a poor light. Schilling described how Bryant berated teammates during Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Boston.
"You're asking for my response to it?" said Bryant. "Go, Yankees."
Then Bryant defended his leadership and added, "I know my team. After the time of all those beeps, we almost pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in history. It seemed to motivate them pretty well.
"We all have thick skin around here on the team. We're brutally honest with each other. Our team is built for that. We all love it."
Disgraced former referee Tim Donaghy also continued to be a popular topic at the Finals. It didn't help that the Lakers were involved in one of the playoff games Donaghy claimed was manipulated by officials - Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals against the Sacramento Kings.
"I don't know how you determine that game was rigged," said Lakers guard Derek Fisher. "Do you go back to Game 2 of this series that because Boston shot 38 free throws, the game was rigged? I don't think you can say that. I don't remember at any moment feeling like they're helping us out here. If they gave us Game 6, what about Game 7? You still have to go and play the next game, and we won the game. I'm not going to give my ring back, I know that."
All the talk about Donaghy brought Patriots coach Bill Belichick into the conversation, though in an unexpected way.
When asked what he thought of the latest developments regarding Donaghy and the timing of the news, Bryant said, "We don't think about it too much. I'm sorry to be Belichicky, but we don't think about it too much, to be honest with you."
Eyes are upon him
Since joining the Lakers in February, Pau Gasol has enjoyed a much better reputation around the league. Yesterday, he was smart enough to credit the exposure as much as his play.
"Being in LA, the exposure is a thousand times bigger than being in Memphis, so people probably didn't notice me as much when I was in Memphis," he said. "I probably had one or two nationally televised games, and probably when the games came on, people really didn't want to watch our game."
Now, after scoring 9 points (3 for 9) in Game 3, Gasol needs to pick up his play, or face the kind scrutiny that also comes in LA.