LOS ANGELES, November 3 – Kobe Bryant’s 20th NBA season isn’t starting out the way the five-time champion had hoped.
“I freaking suck,” was the 37-year-old’s assessment after his Los Angeles Lakers fell 103-93 to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night — the Lakers’ third defeat in three games of the fledgling season.
Bryant connected on just three of 15 attempts from the floor and judged himself “the 200th-best player in the league right now.”
Bryant isn’t about to lean on the cumulative impact of the injuries he’s endured over the years, or on the troublesome calf bruise he suffered in training camp to excuse his 31.4 percent shooting average.
From three-point range he’s made just six of 29 attempts — a 20.7 percent average.
“Guys are getting me the ball, they’re making great passes. It’s their job to facilitate and it’s my job to finish,” Bryant said. “I’ve just got to do the responsible thing and make ’em.”
Lakers coach Byron Scott knows Bryant is frustrated, but expects his superstar to battle through it.
“I know he’s not happy with it,” Scott said. “He’s playing hard. He’s competing just like he always does. I think it’s a matter of time.”