Update Dec. 14, 2014: After beating the San Antonio Spurs in an overtime win 102-100 on Friday, Jeremy Lin gave an amazing response to Kobe Bryant's tirade: I thought we played pretty hard for a team full of toilet paper." (on @TWCSportsNet), according to Serena Winters.
The Los Angeles Lakers (6-16) may not be having a stellar season on the basketball court, and cracks could potentially be showing in their practice sessions.
In a practice session on Thursday, Kobe Bryant guarded Jeremy Lin and challenged him to take the shot. Lin missed the shot, making Bryant quite furious.
"This (expletive) don't got (expletive)," Bryant said in a loud manner.
According to Robert Morales of Long Beach Press-Telegram, Bryant's ballistic tone was heard by everyone, including the reporters who were let into the gym. Bryant then directed his fury at general manager Mitch Kupchak.
"These (expletives) aren't doing (expletive) for me," Bryant shouted.
Morales noted that Lin and Kupchak were not the only ones Bryant subjected to his trash-talking style. Bryant and Nick Young went after each other, with Young telling him "No one in the world can guard me one-on-one."
"I said, 'Thank God I'm not from this world,'" Bryant told reporters afterward.
Lakers coach Byron Scott thought Thursday's practice session was a productive one despite Bryant's abrasive comments.
"Any time 24 (Bryant) practices, it's going to be an intense practice," Scott said. "And I think he brings out the best in the guys. And it's a good way to start the trip."
Bryant clarified to reporters that he wasn't genuinely mad at the reserves.
"I was just being myself," Bryant said. "I don't get a chance to get out there and play (in practice) too much because of my body and stuff. ... I was just challenging them to see what happens. I've always believed in throwing them in the pool and seeing if they can sink or swim."
Reporters asked Bryant if his teaching methods were beneficial to the Lakers.
"I don't know if it helps them," he said. "Obviously, it raises the intensity level. It was a tough practice for them."
Young noted that he was unfazed with Bryant's abrasive comments, saying that he "hadn't seen Kobe practice like that in a while." According to Morales, Young spoke to Lin and rookie Jordan Clarkson after practice in regards to standing up for themselves.
"I was telling them, 'You have to have some 'cojones' in this league. It doesn't matter who's on the floor. Just play the game, don't get any less confident and talk trash right back to him,'" Young said.
Bryant's harsh comments aside, Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report thought that Lin has faced an identity crisis while playing for the Lakers. However, Ding noted that Lin has leaned on God and family during his tumultuous year in Los Angeles.
"Lin's answer to it all is to lean on his religious beliefs," Ding wrote. "He said recently that as important as basketball is to him, his family is more important than basketball, and God is more important than his family."
Ding added that although Lin is not starting next to Bryant on the Lakers, he might still wind up a Western Conference All-Star starting guard alongside the NBA veteran.
"Me of all people," Lin said. "I know it can change overnight."
However, Lin has been sidelined somewhat thanks to an injury on his right knee he suffered recently. He went into detail about how he was treating his injury in a blog post from Dec. 10.
"The first few days were frustrating, as I was stuck in bed icing for 9 hours a day," Lin wrote. "Right now, the swelling is almost gone so my rehab consists of exercises for my knee, lifting, conditioning and playing one on one."
Lin added that although he is happy about the Lakers' recent wins, he wrote that he "can't wait to get on the court and help contribute as well." However, he still remains focused on the more important things in life.
"I really enjoy the holiday season because I get to spend quality time with my family," Lin wrote. "There's nothing in life that can replace family, so I try to cherish every moment I have with them."
Lin also added that "it's important to remind myself the true reason for the season - that Jesus Christ was born to bring hope to our broken world."