Atkins calls Bryant the Lakers GM

Updated: March 28, 2005, 11:40 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Los Angeles Lakers: Chucky Atkins, whose locker used to belong to Shaquille O'Neal, became the latest Laker to criticize Kobe Bryant.

Asked about what moves he would make in the offseason to improve the free-falling Lakers, Atkins took a shot at the seeming control Bryant has over the team.

"I ain't the GM of this team," Atkins told the Los Angeles Times. "Kobe's the GM of this team. Ask Kobe. You've been watching this [stuff] all year. You've been watching it and I've been playing it."

Team sources told the paper Atkins has been frustrated by Bryant's criticisms of his defensive play. Atkins also reportedly is irritated by how many shots Bryant takes.

Atkins told the Times "it was hard to play with anybody that's a star" when asked how it was to play with Bryant.

Bryant shrugged off Atkins' complaints.

"He'll just work through it," Bryant told the Times. "He'll be fine. That's my boy, so I'll look out for him, make sure he stays confident, make sure he stays aggressive."

Atkins has a year left on his contract after this season and has said he hopes to return to the Lakers next season rather than be traded during the offseason.

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