Kobe Bryant didn’t attempt his first field goal in Game 4 on Saturday night until less than nine minutes remained in the first half. With his fellow Laker starters watching the fourth quarter of a lopsided 110-89 loss to the Thunder from the bench, Bryant returned to the locker room before the game ended to meet with his massage therapist.
Was Bryant sending a message to coach Phil Jackson and teammates as he opted not to shoot much in the first half? Are the Lakers, more specifically Bryant and Jackson, on the same page? Jackson met with Bryant on Saturday afternoon to review tape of Bryant’s 2-of-10 fourth-quarter shooting performance in a Game 3 loss at the Ford Center. The Lakers’ legendary coach told Bryant three or four shots were dumped on him when teammates passed the ball late in the shot clock. But Jackson also told the 2008 MVP that he took two or three "hope” shots. "I call them hero shots,” Jackson said. "And they didn’t go in. He also had a couple of good looks. (Kevin) Durant had one good defensive stand against him when he blocked the shot. "He also took the ball the length of the court at the end of the game, which put that game back to two points with 12 seconds to go. But that was really the only chance he had to drive in that segment of the game. We’re trying to get more attack out of our game and out of Kobe. He’s an attack player.” Hampered by a broken index finger for several months and a sprained knee late in the season, Bryant evidently took the private film session with his coach as a message to get the ball down low to Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.