Kobe Bryant was in an unbelievably clipped mood. Or maybe it was fully believable, given the circumstances.
He's under contract for one more season after this. He's still one championship behind Michael Jordan. It's almost impossible to get there when your team is 12th in the Western Conference in the final week of January.
Ever the optimist, perhaps to a fault at times, he's refusing to cave in despite the walls of a $100-million payroll crumbling around him.
He was asked Wednesday if this Lakers thing could still be turned around.
"I believe it can," he said in a low monotone voice that seemed entirely befitting after the Lakers lost to Memphis, 106-93.
"Not sure. I don't know. But I believe it can," he said.