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June 12, 2004

Kobe Bryant


Q. Having known Rip Hamilton as long as you have and knowing his game as well as you do, is there anything you've seen over the last three games or just in this post-season that you feel like you haven't seen before or that's surprised you or in any way, you said, wow, and raised your eyebrows a little bit?
KOBE BRYANT: No. Like I said before, he does -- he plays exactly the same way he played when he was in high school. He's just gotten much better at it. But it's exactly the same.
Q. So when people talk about the quantum leap he's made in these playoffs as going from a very good player to perhaps a great player, what is that? Is that perception?
KOBE BRYANT: He's gotten better. It's not perception. He's gotten better. That's all there is to it. He's just improved and continue to improve because he works extremely hard. He's just gotten better.
Q. Has there been thoughts of putting you at the small forward to guard Tayshaun, save a little bit of energy on the defensive end and get you to rebound more?
KOBE BRYANT: No. No. My energy is good. I feel fine. So, no, there hasn't been any talk about that, at least not to my knowledge.
Q. At the start of the season series, it seems like it was the Lakers' series to lose, the anticipation was so great of you guys getting the tenth championship for Phil and you guys getting back on top. Losing two of the first three as it happened, do you see that now there's just a sense of urgency to get back into the series?
KOBE BRYANT: You know, just take it one game at a time. We have a big game coming up tomorrow. Some things we want to do differently than we did in the previous game. You know, see if the result won't be any different and just take it from there.
Q. Sometimes after the losing badly you just want to go back on court and here you have the two-day layoff, but maybe with you guys hobbled a little bit, has that been good for you?
KOBE BRYANT: It's been real good for us. We get a chance to get healthy and make our adjustments. So these couple of days have been very good for us.
Q. You watched some film yesterday?
Q. Didn't like it?
KOBE BRYANT: No, it was okay. I mean, it's always good when you struggle in a ballgame for us to sit down and watch film and then you could see why and break it down to X's and O's and make our adjustments.

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