LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) – Fatigue had been the biggest reason for the premature exit from the playoffs by the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, All-Star guard Kobe Bryant said yesterday.
In pursuit of a third consecutive championship and a record-equalling 17th title, the Lakers were swept out of the second round by the Dallas Mavericks after being routed 122-86 in Sunday’s Game Four.
Seventy-seven playoff games over the last four years had left the Lakers mentally and physically exhausted, Bryant said, but he was confident the team could return to winning ways with the same lineup next season.
“It’s been a long run … a great run but a long run,” Bryant told reporters before checking out of the Lakers’ training base in El Segundo yesterday.
“The biggest thing was the fatigue factor. Guys were tired. A lot of times when you get tired, you get burdened by things that you’re normally not burdened by.”