Kobe: No surprise with Phil to Knicks

"I think what we can do as players is just trust the organization," Bryant said. "I've had conversations with [executive vice president of player personnel] Jimmy [Buss] and Jimmy is really adamant about the direction that he wants to go with this organization, and he feels really confident in the fact that he can be able to turn it around. Him and [president] Jeanie [Buss] seem to be really focused on being on the same page, getting on the same page and pushing this organization to have the same legacy that their father was able to maintain for so many years."

Bryant also empathized with D'Antoni after suggesting last week that the Lakers' front office would have to make a decision on his future.

"It's really been tough on him," Bryant said. "The two years that he's been here, he's been dealing with so many injuries left and right that he hasn't really gotten a fair deal, a fair shake at it since he's been here."

Lakers players have missed a league-high 241 games this season because of injuries.

Bryant contributed to that tally, missing the Lakers' first 19 games while recovering from a torn Achilles in his left leg and their last 41 with a fracture in his left knee. Bryant was already ruled out for the rest of the season, but he told the Patrick show he could "probably" play right now if the Lakers were in the playoff hunt.

"Even when I was injured [against Memphis in December], I finished out the game," Bryant said. "Even though it was sore, I still finished playing the game. So if this was like a playoff situation, I'd play through it. I'd have to deal with it heavily in the offseason, but I'd be able to manage it."

With the Lakers (22-44) already eliminated from the postseason, D'Antoni said Bryant was not close to even practicing with the team, let alone playing in a game.

"I don't think so," D'Antoni said after shootaround Wednesday in preparation for the game against the San Antonio Spurs. "That wouldn't be productive, I don't think, at this point."


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