Bryant nears rarified air

first_img“I think he feels like he has to carry more of the load than he ever has before,” Winter said of Bryant. “That’s probably so because some of these other guys have to step up and hit shots.” But Winter, who was with the team Thursday, part of the week or so he works each month as a Lakers consultant, added that Bryant faces the same challenge as Jordan in that he cannot do everything on his own. Odom will meet today with Phoenix Suns chairman Jerry Colangelo, who is heading the selection process for USA Basketball leading up to the 2008 Olympics. Odom played for the U.S.’s bronze-medal winning team in Athens. “I’m just going to talk to him and let him know what a great time I had (in 2004) and how I want to go back,” Odom said. [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card“Complementary players is what makes the difference,” Winter said. He also was asked for his assessment of forward Lamar Odom developing as the Scottie Pippen to Bryant’s Jordan. It has been a common theme, with Odom posting impressive numbers some nights and disappearing others. “Lamar is like Pippen only in that he can do a good job on the defensive boards and come out of there with that ball,” Winter said. “He doesn’t finish at the tail end or see the game at the tail end of the break nearly as well as (Pippen) but there’ll be times when he’ll see that direct line and take it to the hole. “He’s got to be more consistent. He’s got to become more of a factor. He should never be satisfied with five or six points.” Said Lakers coach Phil Jackson of the Jordan comparisons: “Ever since Kobe’s established himself, he knows that he’s a different player, it’s a different legacy, and he’s going to have his own legacy and not have to be compared to Michael.” center_img SACRAMENTO – The comparisons to Michael Jordan have become inevitable for Kobe Bryant, who came into Thursday leading the NBA in scoring at 34.3 points per game, the highest since Jordan averaged 35.0 in the 1987-88 season. There are few opinions more esteemed than that of Tex Winter, the octogenarian coach who said he can see Bryant trying to prove the same thing Jordan did with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s – that a high-scoring guard can lead his team to a championship. last_img read more