"[Lakers coach Mike] Brown, however, did critique Bryant's defense. After Chauncey Billups hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter when Bryant was slow to close out, Brown immediately called timeout even though it was just 53 seconds after halftime.
"Kobe is going to be fine offensively," Brown said. "But defensively, Kobe was just as guilty as everybody else at not contesting shots and so he as well as the rest of the guys have to make sure that they focus in on that area of the floor."
Interesting. Kobe Bryant is certainly not used to such public criticism, at least by his own coaching staff. And Mike Brown, who infamously enabled some of LeBron James' worse habits in Cleveland, is certainly not used to going on record with analysis like this, and it appears as if only one of the two participants here is following through on his New Year's resolution, two weeks early.
It also is worth pointing out that this was from a preseason game in the third week of December, and that the NBA Finals (a stage the Lakers have ascended to three times since 2008) will take place sometime in mid-June. Take that for however you see your particular half-filled/emptied glass.