Jul 8, 2010, 9:52 AM EDT
You can tell what gets Kobe’s passions going.
When asked by reporters at his youth camp yesterday about LeBron James and the other free agents, he said all the right things. That he hoped they could make a decision that was best for them despite all the hype, he hoped that they were happy.
But ask him about losing Derek Fisher, as Dave McMenamin from ESPNLosAngeles.com did, and…
“We need to have him back, it’s as simple as that,” Bryant said about his fellow co-captain with whom Bryant joined the Lakers as rookies together back in 1996. “It’s not a question of if he will be back; it’s a matter of when…”
“I don’t care what [the cost] is,” said Bryant, who also said some variation of the phrase “we need Derek back” six times during his comments on the subject — once for every ring the pair can win together if Fisher comes back to capture a third straight championship next year. “They need to work that out and get him back because his significance to our ballclub and to me cannot be understated.
“He’s our big-shot maker, he complements me in terms of leadership in the locker room because he’s the guy that puts his arms around everybody and he’s our emotional leader and that allows me to be the taskmaster. We need to get him back and have him be a part of this group and in the fold.
“I’m optimistic that it will happen but we got to get that done.”
It’s about the winning. It’s always about the winning.
The Lakers and Fisher remain a ways apart. Fisher wants two years at $5 million per year, while the Lakers were offering one year for about $2.5 million. Fisher has had nibbles of interest from other teams, other contenders for the crown, but much of the market for secondary players is on hold while waiting for the big fish to land.
Kobe, you can bet, will call Mitch Kupchak about this soon. If he hasn’t already. Twelve times.
- Paul George refutes report he didn’t want to play with Kobe Bryant: ‘Media reaching again’ 0
- PBT Extra preview: Lakers, Celtics big name teams headed to lottery 9
- Could lottery reform be bad for small market teams? Sam Presti argues yes. 13
- LeBron James and his difficult-to-assess super teams 25
- Kevin Durant on return: “I’m not going to rush it all” 12
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 preview: Dallas Mavericks 6
- LeBron James: “(The Bulls) are a team that’s much better than us right now just off chemistry” 36
- Has Kobe Bryant cost the Lakers Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and others? 88