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Asked to grade himself, Kobe was pretty blunt. "F." Kinda harsh, considering the circumstances, but there you have it. AK
Re game, MDA said: "Everybody got hyped up and psyched up and excited ... and to come out and just lay an egg, thats basically what we did."
Gasol said his sore ankle still is bothering him and might have affected the way he played, but won't sit out.
D'Antoni called Kobe's first game "baby steps. "He's coming back from a tough injury ... he's human, I think."
Important, encouraging points for Kobe were his ability to get in the lane and turn the corner and his ankle did not tighten up on him.
Kobe said his favorite "Star Wars" movie is "Return of the Jedi." Gotta admit, the notion of him embracing Ewoks disappoints me. AK
Best news from tonight moving forward for the Lakers: Bryant said his Achilles tendon feels "completely fine."
Kobe: "It was hard every single day just to get to this point. Every day. ... From that standpoint, I'm very proud."
Someone ask Kobe if he can feel that string on his head.
Kobe gave himself an "F" for his game tonight: “I can’t wait to watch film and start criticizing every little thing.”
Where did that Star Wars intro come from? Kobe: "I think they know I'm a huge John Williams (the composer) fan"
Kobe: "I feel optimistic, like I know exactly what I need to do. That part is exciting."
Bryant is excited about things moving forward. He is optimistic because he said he knows exactly where/how to improve.
Kobe: "I feel very optimistic, I know exactly what I need to do."
Kobe gave himself an F when asked to give a grade for his first game back
Bryant said he'd give himself an "F" for the game. He's pleased w/the effort of his teammates, and said at least he physically feels good.
On Darth Vader music Kobe said, "I think they know I'm a huge John Williams fan."
Kobe says "a little bit" of his explosiveness was there, one encouraging sign
Kobe's been quite critical of his play, especially the turnovers. Said his legs aren't quite there yet explosively to catch and shoot.
Kobe says he'll watch film "pretty much all night."
Kobe is being pretty critical of himself. Lamenting his turnovers, saying he messed up. Says he will rip himself more when he watches film
Kobe says he's at 225 pounds and 8 pct body fat. After tonight, he says he thinks he needs to slim down
Kobe feels like he needs to drop a few pounds to be more effective.
Bryant referenced "a bunch of things I completely messed up on.
Kobe makes joke about soreness and age: "That's probably because I'm 60."
"I'm still not sure exactly what I can do." -Kobe on movement during the game
Kobe says he feels better than expected after tonight's game.
Kobe with a solid one-liner: "I think the last time I had eight months off I was still in the womb."
Kobe: "I think the last time I had 8 months off I was in the womb. It felt good to get there."
"I think the last time I had eight months off I was still in the womb." - Kobe, on his absence. AK
Kobe on playing again: "Weird. It was really weird."
Kobe: "I think the last time I had eight months off I was still in the womb."
Kobe: "My rhythm is completely out of sync ... But this is a start. I guess a start is good"
Kobe: "It's a start."
Pau on Kobe's return: "We know it's going to take a little time for things to be smooth again."
Despite the loss and Kobe's pedestrian stat line, Pau had his back: "I think tonight was a very positive performance by him"
Tonight marked eighth different Lakers starting lineup--and D'Antoni suggested it will change again. Guessing Shawne Williams for Sacre.
Nick Young took jokes about that missed spinning layup in stride and predicted he'd end up on "Shaqtin' the Fool." AK
Xavier Henry didn't notice the "Darth Vader" theme during Kobe's intro. And with good reason. He's never seen "Star Wars." AK
A loss in early December isn't the end of the world, you guys. I promise.
Could see a different starting line up to better fit/space around Bryant. Maybe Williams at the 4, or Meeks at 2? D'Antoni said we'll see.
Steve, what do you want for your post-game meal? "I don't know, we'll figure it out tomorrow."
"I don't know, we'll figure it out tomorrow. -Steve Blake after every question.
Steve Blake didn't seem to pleased to be addressing the media after tonight's game. Yeesh.
I asked D'Antoni if he considered holding Kobe out of the fourth quarter, and he clearly did but said: "I wanted to live a little bit."
D'Antoni said He will consider yet another change to starting lineup to try to help flow.
I havent been on twit in so long this shit cray!!
D'Antoni intends to keep Kobe's minutes in the 25-26 range for the near future. He played 28 tonight.
Still can't get over 32 and 10 for Amir Johnson.
It's going to be about 20 minutes until we hear from Bryant, who is icing down.
D'Antoni said it was unrealistic to think Kobe would already be in mid-season form. "There's no way..." he said.
D'Antoni on idea of Kobe coming back in "midseason form": "I know everybody thought he could, but there's no way..."
D'Antoni said he would like to play Bryant 25-26 minutes moving forward. Kobe played 28 on Sunday
D'Antoni said Gasol will be back, will be fine. Thought ankle may have bothered him tonight as he wasn't moving well. Didn't play in 4th.
D'Antoni's repeated word for Lakers upon Kobe's return: "disrupted."
D'Antoni on Gasol, who had 7 points on 3-for-11 shooting: "We need him." Gasol did not play in 4th quarter.
D'Antoni not pleased but not surprised. Team was tentative w/Kobe return and all the excitement, and TOR played loose after the trade.
No Lakers starters scored in double figures tonight.
Final: Raptors 106, Lakers 94. LAL shot 43%, turned it over 19 times, allowed 62 paint points to 32 + a 19-4 disadvantage in FB points.
Lakers looked rusty and out of it. Not totally unexpected but this was probably worse than anyone thought against Toronto.
Lakers lose 106-94 to the 7-12 Raptors to fall to 10-10. Kobe: 9 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 8 turnovers.
FINAL: Raptors 106, Lakers 94. Kobe Bryant with 9 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 8 turnovers in 27 minutes.
Kobe's final line: 9 points on 2-for-9 shooting, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 8 turnovers in 28 minutes.
Bryant's final line: 9 points on 2 of 9 FG's and 5 of 7 FT's, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 8 turnovers.
Kobe returns...and Lakers never led all night. It's over.
With this loss tonight, LAL will be 10-10 after 20 games. They were 9-11 last season.
Remember this is a Raptors team that found out during warm-ups that Rudy Gay, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy were out and being traded.
Lakers' 10-game winning streak at home against Toronto about to end.
Kobe is now 2-9 with 9 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 8 turnovers.
Young enjoys drawing crunch time charges, apparently, as he does right here. LAL down 9, 41.8 left.
Kobe has 8 turnovers tonight. Most of them have been forced by a player not looking for his shot tonight.
103-94 Raptors. 41.8 seconds left and D'Antoni will take a TO.
Luckily for the Lakers fans who have stayed, Nick Young doesn't know what the score is and just drained a three-pointer.
This one's just about over, TOR going up 103-91 after 2 more DeRozan FT's (he's 10 for 11). Young's 3 cut it to 9, but w/54 sec. left.
Raptors 101, Lakers 91 with 1:11 and now most are heading for the exits.
Crowd has seen enough and are heading toward the exits with 1:11 left and Kobe still on the floor
Kobe turns the ball over for the 8th time. That could do it with 1:11 left to play.
Pau is sitting out the entire fourth quarter.
Kobe hits two free throws, cuts the lead to 8 with two minutes left. Get a few stops and this could be a game.
It felt like a playoffs game before the tip but the second half has been a buzz kill for this sellout crowd.
The Lakers starters are a combined 8-for-31. The bench is 25-for-44.
Raptors 99, Lakers 89 with 1:55 left. Some fans are starting to leave.
DeRozan continues to score in the 4th, now with 8 of his 24 after a pull-up J in the paint. LAL remain down 10 after 2 Hill FT's.
This is a Toronto team that has lost five consecutive and had Rudy Gay traded pregame. Points in paint: TOR 60, LAL 32.
The Lakers have 18 turnovers tonight.
DeRozan and Kyle Lowry have taken 15 free throws. So have the Lakers. All of them.
DeRozan's emulating fellow L.A. native James Harden tonight, drawing fouls on jump shots then hitting FT's. He's 8 for 9 at the line.
I see the Lakers are really into fouling jump shooters tonight.
Now Steve Blake returns for the final 3:19, with Johnson heading to the bench. Blake/Bryant/Meeks/Young/Hill is LAL's small line up.
Kobe has seven turnovers vs. four assists. Steve Blake coming back in with 3:19 left. TOR 95, LAL 87.
Gasol (3 for 11) and Blake (1 for 6) remain on the bench for the final few minutes with Hill in at C, Bryant initiating the offense.
DeRozen's FTs puts the Raptors back up 8. The Lakers have kept it close, but can't get over the hump.
Bryant rimmed out on a leaner to his right, as LAL trail by 8 after DeRozan's FG, then 2 FT's on the next trip. Kobe is 2 for 8 tonight.
Noticed a lot of camera flashes in the crowd as Kobe shot those free throws. In case you didn't the memo, folks are excited he's back. AK