ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant says he has learned the ebb and flow of the media cycle over the course of his 19-year career and that it has given him the perspective to decide when he wants to react to criticism and when he wants to let it go.
In his first time speaking to media after an ESPN The Magazine article suggested that he played a significant role in the Lakers' recent slide over the last few years, Bryant, known for speaking candidly, responded with a seemingly diplomatic answer.
"It's not the first one and it won't be the last one," Bryant said following the Lakers' 114-108 preseason overtime loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. "One thing I've come to understand over the years is that you'll have a bad story that comes out on a Monday and it seems like it's the end of the world and it seems like everybody's taking shots at you. But time goes by and then you look back on it and it was just a Monday.
"Then you have another great story that comes out maybe a month later, or something like that, and it's a fantastic story. And then there's a bad story that comes out one month after that. So you understand that it's a cycle, and things are never as good or as bad as they seem in the moment in time."
Bryant continued, explaining his rationale behind remaining upbeat despite the current state of the Lakers franchise.
"Stay focused on the bigger picture and things are never as bleak as they seem at the time," Bryant said. "I just kind of roll with it."
Bryant's teammate, guard Jeremy Lin, was also asked about the appeal of playing with Bryant, and had nothing but positive things to say.
"I've said it from the very beginning: What I've seen, my personal experience with him, which is the only thing I can speak on, it's been great," Lin said. "From Day 1, from the minute I was traded until now, it's just been constantly him trying to be a leader, being a good leader, a communicator, teaching me, teaching me, teaching me and doing it in a mentorship-type way.
"That's my experience. So I can't speak for anybody else, but it's been great for me."
Bryant finished Tuesday's game with 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting, including several late baskets that helped send the game into overtime.