Kobe Bryant Praises Jeremy Lin, Warns Lakers Not to Be ‘Chumps and Pushovers’

Kobe Bryant may be the most assertive scorer the NBA has to offer, but he's pleased with the aggression Jeremy Lin showed down the stretch of the Los Angeles Lakers' 118-111 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Friday night.

Lin displayed some guts by drilling a go-ahead three-pointer with 4:39 remaining in the fourth quarter, and Bryant praised the Lakers' new point guard for taking the lead while sending a message to his teammates regarding their attitudes moving forward, according to ESPN.com's Baxter Holmes:

You have to be able to assert yourself, especially on a team that I'm playing on -- especially on a team I'm playing on. Because I don't want chumps, I don't want pushovers, and if you're a chump and a pushover, I will run over you. 

It's important for him to have that toughness and to say, 'I believe in myself. I can step up, I can make these plays, I can perform.' I think that is very, very important.

After scoring a combined 13 points in his first two games donning purple and gold, Lin displayed a fiercer attitude when matched up against Chris Paul. 

In 35 minutes, Lin scored 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting (3-of-6 from three) while dishing out nine assists and pulling down four rebounds. 

Lin's relative breakout against the Clippers came just one night after Bryant implored the floor general to operate as an offensive facilitator. 

Underwhelming tallies of six points and one assist in a 20-point loss to the Phoenix Suns drove Bryant to provide Lin with a public vote of confidence when it came to running the show. 

“He’s used having to look over his shoulder all the time and playing with players who like controlling the ball a lot,” Bryant said, according to the Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina. “I told him that’s a big urban legend of me. I want to score. That means coming off of picks, ca...

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