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Kobe Bryant says he’s not leaving Lakers to chase rings

Feb 7, 2012, 10:40 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers' Bryant chews on his jersey during NBA game in Los Angeles Reuters

Right now, Steve Nash is the guy in the “trade him so he can get a ring” spotlight, even though he’s not pushing for a trade.

But if the Lakers keep deteriorating, it’s not impossible to imagine that day coming for Kobe Bryant, either.

Well, it is for Kobe. He told Stephen A. Smith of ESPN he is not leaving the Lakers.

“Why would I want to go somewhere else, that ship sailed in (2007),” Bryant said. “If there was ever a time I was going to move to go play someplace else, that was it. I’m not going to jump ship to chase a sixth ring, it’s just not going to happen.

“It’s going to happen here or it’s not going to happen.”

I’m not sure anyone thought he was leaving at this point, except for a few delusional Knicks fans. But there is your confirmation.

So, how long will he hang around and be a Laker? Kobe wouldn’t put a date on it, but he’s not one to hang on too long.

“You think I’d hang around and average 18 points, 19 points… hell no.”

  1. shockexchange - Feb 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Remember Kobe was pining to leave L.A. after Shaq was traded and the team was in the doldrums. He wanted to be “the man” in L.A. and when he couldn’t handle it, he started throwing Andrew Bynum under the bus and ultimately he wanted out altogether. Only after L.A. got a “gift” in Gasol and the Lakers had more talent than everybody else did Kobe stay.

    Deep down Kobe knows what the Shock Exchange has known all along – he can only win championships when he plays on a team that has exceptionally more talent than everybody else. I would bet that Miami is looking real nice to Kobe right about now.

    • stadix093 - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      Did you just refer to yourself in third person?! You are incredible. Anyway nobody wins without some sort of talent around them. Jordan had Pip and Rodman. That’s 3 hall of farmers my friend. Name the other 2 HOF players on the Lakers right now. I agree he probably didn’t think it would be as hard as it was but I do recall him winning two rings after he freaked out on Bynum. Also the Gasol trade has worked out well for the Griz in the end so it wasn’t a complete gift as you’d say. Stop hating and enjoy the NBA man. I am just glad we have some right now. Also GO LAKERS.

      • c0achdesigns - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:32 AM

        and others can’t even win with all those talents around them. coz they are bound to choke at big games.

    • mannyfresh209 - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Shut up you idiot. You sound like a dumb version of Karl Malone, talking in the third person like that.

      • RasorSharp - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        @mannyfresh209 – A dumb version of Karl Malone?? I’m pretty sure that’s about as low as you can go on the dumb scale.

      • blueintown - Feb 7, 2012 at 2:47 PM

        …and you have to be TRULY stupid to sound like a dumb Karl Malone.

    • troy10 - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      The “Shock Exchange” is really Shaq…. just glossing himself with another nickname guys.
      Whatever you want to say about the Shocker.. I think we can all agree the Lakers were basically handed Pau Gasol on a silver platter. I mean… no one can really argue that right?

      • troy10 - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:59 PM

        and here come all the Laker fan downvoting me.. HA.. Hey.. I’m not saying they Lakers did anything wrong. They got over.. they got some rings out of it.. if my team was able to pull such a “deal”.. I would want them too as well. Nothing wrong with it if you can get it..

    • bozosforall - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      “Gift” in Gasol? If yow want to see a “gift”, look no further than what the Celtics got from Kevin McHale when they got Kevin Garnett (speaking of players who left one team to get A ring with another). KG would be the player that can only win championships when he plays on a team tht has exceptionally more talent than everybody else.

      Shockexchange? More like skunkexchange.

      • troy10 - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:57 PM

        Yes.. yes.. now we’re learning. This would also be a gift. Nice job on pointing this out.

        I’m still fuzzy how Laker fan can recognize KG going to Boston as a “gift”, but is in complete denial when you say Gasol going to the Lakers was a gift. Laker fan.. how is KG going to Boston any different then Gasol being given to the Lakers??

      • bozosforall - Feb 7, 2012 at 5:09 PM

        Because the Grizzlies got Marc Gasol…who was arguably the better Gasol last season. Still looking for anyone in the KG trade that is still of any benefit to the TWolves.

        *Jeopardy theme plays ad infinitum*

    • jizzojames - Feb 9, 2012 at 7:09 AM

      Whoever YOU are beat your face!! I guess you’re gonna bash every Great player who were on great teams who won championships. Kobe was and is still a phenomenal basketball player, and will go down as one of the best to ever do it, and possibly the greatest Laker ever!! The numbers don’t lie “shockexchange” aka “hater of all things Kobe related.”

  2. cinnalocks - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    So you are saying that any star has to surround themselves with other stars and a great supporting cast to have a chance to win, I agree. Do not forget all the stars have to align themselves as well for injury is a real factor in whether one wins or loses.

    Mike had Scottie mainly but countless others and they needed them all… Miami got a gift in LBJ…we all need some good luck too, so the Lakers got Pau Gasol and Memphis got Marc Gasol. If the Lakers had kept the pick and not traded for Pau, Marc could well have taken his place as a Laker. “Only After they got Gasol and more talent than everybody else did Kobe stay”, why would he leave when he got what he was asking for? Lbj left, Bosh left, Chris Paul left they did not get the talent to surround them so they went to the talent. What is wrong with that?

    When you only have a few years to maintain that special level why waste it with talent that cannot help get you to the mountain top? Kobe, like Jordan wanted it now, not tomorrow, there may be no tomorrow.

    Kobe is a Laker for Life! He grew up there and there are lot more positives than negatives. Like he has 5 rings not one, two, three, or four but 5 FIVE! Miami, with Dwayne Wade and no Shaq….none. With LBJ so far….none. L.A. is known for big moves so expect it. If not prior to the trade deadline then in the off season.

    • sellahh - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      What big moves? Maybe theyll trade Pau and Andrew for some more trade exceptions.

  3. therealhtj - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    The sad reality is this is Kobe finally looking at who he is at this point in his career realistically. Time and injuries have taken their toll, and he’s no longer the “most feared closer” in the game. While still a top 10 player, he’s no longer a top 10 guy you’d build your franchise around, which in no small part is because of his enormous contract.

    He’s not going to demand a trade because there’s not a contender (or likely non-contender) in the league today who’d give up anything of value to get him and assume the remaining 2 years and 57 million on his contract. And Kobe still has the no-trade clause that would prevent the Lakers from getting the best possible value in return.

    In all honesty, if the Lakers are still floundering by the end of next season, they’ll be moronic not to amnesty Kobe’s final year at 30 million while facing a luxury tax bill starting around $4.50 to $1 for repeat offenders. If the Lakers can get commitments from D12 and DWill, they should amnesty Kobe this summer, trade or not pick up Bynum’s option, sign those 2, and still have cap space to pick up some other supporting pieces.

    Watching Kobe forced to play for whatever team picks him up off amnesty waivers with cap space or retire and forfeit that last $57 mil would really be legendary. Imagine 24 in a Bucks uniform? I’d pay to see it. He’s held the Lakers over a barrel for years. Must suck for him that the shoe’s finally on the other foot.

    This time comes for all formerly great, but now fading stars. It’s now come for 24. The juice just ain’t worth the squeeze any more.

    • jizzojames - Feb 9, 2012 at 7:23 AM

      Now out of ALL the stupid comments I’ve read this may be the top. Amnesty a player averaging 30pts 5rebs and 5ast on 45% shooting. 45% isn’t the best but it aint bad. The only reason you can’t build a franchise around Kobe right now is because of his age. If you take a good look at the Lakers’ roster that team SUCKS!! After Bynum and Gasol that team is pure trash, yet they are above .500, a lot due to KB24 but you say amnesty him in “hopes’ to sign D12 and Dwill? You my friend are a rube. The Lakers need a clear cut pg, who can play along with Kobe and they need shooters to spread the floor. Add that and subtract Pau Gasol who is having the worst year of his career (Check the numbers) and you give the Lakers a better chance to win! I say trade Gasol and whatever picks they have to a team with the assets to obtain a pg, and a decent solid pf to get them there. Look at TOR, UTAH, NJ, and CLE. They have a few pairs that could do the Lakers some real good.

  4. florida727 - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    “You think I’d hang around and average 18 points, 19 points… hell no.”

    Ah, the ultimate team player. It’s all about winning championships and not about stats or self, right Kobe? Funny how one’s true colors get exposed by off-the-cuff remarks, isn’t it? Kobe’s a great player. No question there. But it says a lot about a PERSON who can never envision themselves as a role player to help a TEAM.

    • mytthor - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:44 PM

      Or you could take it as “I’m a scorer. If I’m not scoring, what good am I doing for the team? No reason for me to continue after that.”

      Beware of hater.

    • loungefly74 - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:44 PM

      no, no, no…i did not see it that way. i saw it as kobe stating he is not going to embarrass himself being an old ineffective shooter wasting a roster spot for the team. (guys like Iverson or TMac come to mind…maybe MJ with the Wiz???)…no, Kobe is saying he will retire when he is done giving 100%. I agree. I don’t want him to go out like another childhhood favorite of mine, Jerry Rice…remember Rice just hanging on 2 years too long? yeah, kobe…dont do that bro.

      so again florida727 (goodness…why is it always the fellas from florida or the northeast hatin’?), i think you misunderstood what kobe was saying.

      Go Kobe. Go Lakers.

  5. shockexchange - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Kobe = a glorified Robert Horry … only wins championships when he plays on teams with more talent. Oh except for one small fact — (i) Horry has 6 rings and Kobe only has 5 and (ii) Kobe isn’t known as “big shot Kobe.”

    • bozosforall - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      No, Kobe is only known as a sure HOFer…and the #5 scorer of all time. Also known as the guy who has 4 more rings than any of “The Big Three” in Boston…or more than all three of them put together.

    • teehov843 - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      Actually Robert Horry has 7 rings. Get your facts right playa! Don’t short change “Big shot Bob”!!!

    • stadix093 - Feb 8, 2012 at 12:10 AM

      Shock you are seriously my favorite. I want you to post a comment on every story forever. You are either a comical genius, or the dumbest person to ever come here.

  6. trbowman - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Give me a break.

    Someone leaving the Lakers to chase rings?

    Lakers will be fine. They always are. Being the NBA’s pet has its advantages.

    • bozosforall - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      Cry us a river, trbowman. You sound like a New England crybaby sports fan to me.

      • drewzducks - Feb 7, 2012 at 2:03 PM

        And you sound like your usual Boston hating pathetic self. One trick pony.

      • bozosforall - Feb 7, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        And you sound like the New England loser that you are drewzsucks. One-inch d*ck p*ssy.

      • drewzducks - Feb 7, 2012 at 6:33 PM

        Another intelligent response from a pathetic broken record. And as far as the size of my d*ck, that sound you hear down in your mothers basement is her choking back another load of mine while she’s making your tuna sandwich. The smells are similar by the way.

      • bozosforall - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:10 AM

        Mom has been dead for twenty years now…nice to see you admit to being not only a necrophiliac but also a grave (what you mistakenly thought was the “basement”) robber. That also explains the smell that you were referring to.

  7. davidly - Feb 7, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Of course it’s hard to imagine. The only players to have pulled the I’m going to get my ring are the one’s without a championship. Guys like Karl Malone and Gary Payton, ironically enough. Then there’s Barkley.

    Notice it doesn’t work out very often either. Well, unless you go back quite aways to a certain phenom who goes by the name o’ Skibby MaRue. But you know what they say about him: Skibby MaRue do what he gonna do!

    • icu84bs - Feb 7, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      Gary Payton won the NBA Championship in his sixteenth season in the league in 2006 with the Heat Heat. Cheers.

      • icu84bs - Feb 7, 2012 at 3:03 PM

        Sorry, that should be the Miami HEAT not the ‘Heat Heat’

        Also, In 1995 the Blazers Clyde Drexler requested to be traded to a contender, went to the Houston Rockets and helped them win a championship. Cheers.

      • davidly - Feb 7, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        Thanks for the correction.

      • davidly - Feb 7, 2012 at 4:22 PM

        Still, I did say that it doesn’t work out very often. And neither Payton, nor Drexler had already won a championship before the move, which is my main point.

      • bozosforall - Feb 7, 2012 at 5:12 PM

        Drexler was a main cog in the Rockets’ title…Payton…not so much for the Heat.

  8. omniusprime - Feb 7, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    A pity there aren’t more players like Kobe who are willing to stay with a franchise rather than run to another team for the money or possibility for winning rings. Kobe probably is correct that his ship sailed in 2007 for leaving for another team, he did stick with the Lakers and won two more rings for his loyalty. Kobe probably does know that there are very few teams if any who will take him on with his best years behind him and his hefty contract. Kobe would be wise to offer the Lakers a salary reduction if they spent those savings on brining in a great young point guard.

    The other thing Kobe should do is demand that Mike Brown be fired and bring back Brian Shaw and the old coaching crew if possible. The Lakers will never win a championship with Mike Brown as coach.

    • therealhtj - Feb 7, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      A pity? Really, you think Kobe did anything special by staying with the Lakers? He forced them to choose between him and Shaq, and after forcing Shaq out of town, he complained about the lack of talent around him and demanded a trade. When the Lakers lucked into Gasol, they scored a couple of rings, both demanded max extensions that have now made it impossible for the Lakers to field a contending team. Lakers have 0 rings since those 3 year extensions were signed.

      The least he could do is shut up for once and play out the remainder of his cap-killer contract. There’ll be no rings in Laker land until that thing is off the books.

      • bozosforall - Feb 7, 2012 at 5:15 PM

        Lucked into Gasol? They gave up a solid young big in Marc Gasol PLUS forward Kwame Brown, guard Javaris Crittenton, guard Aaron McKie and first round picks in 2008 and 2010.

        Hardly a “luck” into deal at all.

      • therealhtj - Feb 7, 2012 at 6:10 PM

        Yes, lucked. If you think a then unknown commodity in Marc Gasol, a cake thrower, a murderer, a washup, and some late draft picks equal an all-star Power Forward, then you probably think the TWolves got fair value for KG too.

      • bozosforall - Feb 8, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        The Grizzlies got more than fair value in the long run…the TWolves not so much.

      • therealhtj - Feb 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        Right so the Wolves getting nothing (in your opinion, but Jefferson is more or less equal to Marc Gasol IMO) for KG is a rip off, but the Grizz having Marc Gasol pan out a few years later makes it an equitable trade. Got it. My mistake.

        Must be nice to view the world through Purple and Gold colored glasses.

  9. cantonbound13 - Feb 7, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Kobe is the anti LeBron. He has championship rings, lead his team to atleast 3 of them. Is clutch in big games. Most of all doesn’t need to team up with all stars to chase rings.

  10. jayrandle - Feb 7, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    No…Kobe dont need to team up with all stars because they are already on the Lakers…
    (look at the Lakers roster since Kobe has come into the league)

    Its easy for him to say ‘I not leaving to chase a ring’ when he has multiple rings already.
    His mindset would be different if that was not the case…the older a player get the more they appreciate team accomplishment than individual success or landing that big contract.

    If you given your loyalty to an organization for years with no world titles success and you know your skills are on the decline…by all means seek out a winable situation with another team…

    Nothing wrong with the people in the past that have done that…if they motives are pure…by all means go ahead.

    But eitherway…Kobe dont need to worry about chasing anymore rings…plus the LA Lakers are a team that will always get the creme of the crop free agents that would want to play there instead of a small team with no success and history where they have to overpay for players to come.

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 7, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      You guys are all stupid as hell! WHAT FREAKIN’ STARS?!?!?!?!?????!!!!!!

      Outside of Shaq since he first came to LA, who the flying F are all you guys refering to????

      Is Pau considered a first ballot HOF’er? NO!!

      Karl Malone and Gary Payton for one year at the end of their careers? Uh uhh.

      Nick Van Exel and Eddie Jones? Hardly. Even if so, that’s homegrown talent via the draft.

      Derek Fisher, Robert Horry, Rick Fox? All great ROLE players. Every good team has ‘em. Get over it.

      Ron Artest/ Metta World Peace? Pleeease!

      Lindsey Hunter, Samaki Walker, Horace Grant at the end of his career, Dennis Rodman at the end of his career, Ron Harper??? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

      JR Rider riding the pine?

      Mitch Richmond and Glen Rice past there prime? I don’t think so, plus were never considered top 10 talent at any point of their careers.

      Bynum’s just NOW coming into his own. Homegrown talent.

      WHO THE F*** ARE YOU GUYS CRYING ABOUT THAT THE LAKERS JUST GET EXTREME TALENT FLOCKING TO THEM?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Anthony Peeler,Vlade Divac, George Lynch, Devean George, Jannero Pargo, Tyronn Lue, Elden Campbell, Doug Christie, Rueben Patterson, Travis Knight, Mark Madson? ALL DRAFTED BY LA!

      WHAT FREAKING TALENT???????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • 00maltliquor - Feb 7, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        Smush Parker, Kwame Brown, Luke Walton, Mike Penberthy, and old ass Joe Smith and Theo Ratliff, Adam Morrison, Vladimir Radmonovic, Cedric Ceballos, Sean Rooks, Chris Mihm, Jason Kapono, Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, Josh McRoberts, an over the hill Troy Murphy, …………

        SHALL I CONTINUE???

      • jizzojames - Feb 9, 2012 at 7:42 AM

        THANK YOU!!!!!!!! It’s about time someone with some sense posted something with substance. Even the Lakers’ roster now outside of 1st time Andrew Bynum (who is the West Starting C b/c, well let’s be honest who else were we gonna vote on to start), and washed up Pau Gasol, is current trash. The Lakers’ team is GARBAGE and if not for the so called “declining” Kobe Bryant who is leading the league in scoring plus 5reb and 5ast they would be under .500. Folks need to stop hating and understand the mechanics of professional basketball. Kobe is clearly one of the BEST to ever do it. Good teams, bad teams one Kobe! From Bill Russell all the way to the now Lebron, ALL great players NEEDED SUPPORTING TEAMS TO GET RINGS!! Haters get over it!!

  11. mrlitl - Feb 7, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    @shock exchange get a grip. No one wins the title alone. Why hate on Kobe for doing the same thing all have done, save the Pistons of a few years back?

    @malt you need a sedative. Calm down homie.

  12. 00maltliquor - Feb 7, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Stop saying the Lakers use every other team as a farm system because it’s far from true! Please don’t tell me that you guys are saying this because they got Lew Alcindor/ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from Milwaukee and Wilt Chamberlain! You know how long ago that was!!!!????

    Magic. LA drafted

    Worthy. LA drafted

    I mean I can go on forever no one will win that battle against me! Lakers just have a great owner, great GM, great scouts, great city, great franchise….

    Don’t be mad because the Lakers are a smarter franchise than yours you bunch of jealous haters!

    All we do is just draft the best players ever to play the game and a bunch of damn good role players and every now and then get some good parts via trade or free agant signings BUT WE ARE NOT STOCKPILED WITH THE WORLDS GREATEST PLAYERS.

    It just seems like it because we always have the generations top 3 player playing for us so we DOMINATE!!!!

    Give it up to Kobe! Second greatest player EVER!

    Hate on jealous haters! Hate on!

    Check please…

  13. shockexchange - Feb 7, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    @00MaltLiquor In Gasol and Bynum, LA has two 7-footers who can play. In this watered down NBA teams are lucky if they have one. When they won those two titles LA was bigger an better than every other team in the league. Only the Celtics (with Perkins) could have hoped to match-up with them.

    And to prove my point, instead of leading the same team that he won two titles with a few years ago to another title, Robert Horry, Jr. is on the phone to Dwight Howard begging him to come to LA. He should call LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Kevin Durant while he’s at it. The guy simply cannot win unless he has exceptionally more talent than the rest of the league – “a poor man’s Robert Horry.”

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:25 PM

      WTF are you talking about, man? Are you refering Kobe to a “poor man’s Horry”? Man, lay off the medical for a second.

      “The guy simply cannot win unless he has exceptionally more talent then the rest of the league…”

      Ummm, yes Gasol and Bynum are both skilled bigs. Yes, most teams would be lucky to have one. But before Gasol came to LA he wasn’t even an all-star. Maybe once, but I don’t think so. And AB hasn’t gotten any props or respect ’till this year. According to most of you guys he’s an injury-ridden bum who should’ve been traded with every one of Kobe’s behind the scene trade proposals in previous years. Get off the stuff, dude. You point is still invaled.

      Oh, but according to your theory, Michael Jordan is a guy who “simply cannot win unless he has exceptionally more talent then the rest of the league…” …remember, he balled with 2 other HOF’ers to get those last 3 rings.

      Dirk couldn’t win until he had allllll that talent, yeah no other top 10 players, but everyone on that roster was above average and was easily the deepest team in the league. He had the most talented team from 1-12 then everybody else in the L.

      Tim Duncan “simply cannot win unless he…” had David Robinson, another HOF center and then later Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker

      You see, I can go on and on my friend, and you can spin all you want. Your thoery is flawed as EVERYONE ELSE IN THE LEAGUE HAS HELP!!

      • loungefly74 - Feb 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

        preach it Malt. youre damn right.

        lets just remember, any knucklehead can post on here. (i’m looking at you shockexchange…) man, that the hell is this bob horry jr crap? your credibility is out the door.

        yeah Malt, i shake my head when people start with the whole “oh…the lakers, they get everyone…its unfair, boo hoo, its all a fix, blah, blah,” i think your point earlier about who they had throughout the past 15 years blows that theory out of the water.

        as far as players leaving via free agency…they have that right. just like your job, you can leave too.

  14. shockexchange - Feb 8, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    The Shock Exchange drops gems on here and what is my reward? Personal attacks. Again, when Kobe first won Chips with the Lakers he played with Shaq, the Wilt Chamberlain of his era. And not having Shaq on their teams is the only reason Iverson and Vince Carter are seen in same light as Kobe. The last two Chips he won he had two 7’1″, highly skilled big guys while the rest of the NBA was suiting up 6’8″ centers.

    When the Lakers last beat the Celtics, they did not win on skill. They won on size and length alone. They were getting two and three shots per possession and limiting the Celtics to one. The Celtics could not keep Bynum and Gasol off of the offensive glass. Individually they may be simply good players, but combined they are devastating in “today’s version of pro basketball.” And after Bynum and Gasol led the team to the Chip, the media goes “Look what Kobe did.”

    Now Robert Horry, Jr. is trying to team up with Dwight Howard in order to gain an even bigger advantage … case closed.

  15. shockexchange - Feb 9, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Hypothetically, if you call Pau Gasol “washed up” does mean you are hating on Pau?

  16. Andee - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Look at you, poor man’s Skip Bayless getting people riled up with ridiculous theories absolutely no one would ever agree with.

  17. africanballer - Feb 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    well you don’t chase rings when you have rings, so kobe my man stop talking keep playing

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