After their 103-99 New Years Day loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Bryant discussed why the Lakers are 15-16.
“Cause we’re old as s–t,” he said after the game. “What do you want? We just got to figure out how to play when we don’t have that energy. We got to change things up a bit defensively. We got to figure out what we want to do offensively, figure out what we want to do on nights when we don’t have those legs or have that energy.”
The Lakers are the third oldest team in the NBA, with the average player age at 30.4. Though Dwight Howard is just 27 years old, the team’s newly-acquired center has struggled with a back injury for which he underwent surgery for last April. He finished the night with just 7 points.
“It’s really been frustrating for him because dealing with the injury and trying to come back and expectations that we all have for him,” Bryant said. “It’s tough to deal with that when you’re not the same player you were a few years ago.”
Rounding out the team’s advanced age are Pau Gasol (32) and Metta World Peace, who at 33, is not leaning on the team’s age as an explanation for their performance. He cited the Knicks’ stellar season as the oldest team in NBA history.
“That’s no excuse. The Knicks are playing great, so that’s no excuse,” he said after the loss. “You can’t use it as an excuse for us. Thank you. Thanks for trying.”
The Lakers will take on the second best team in their conference, the LA Clippers on Jan. 4th.