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Kobe Bryant says he wants to play another three years

Jul 2, 2013, 12:25 PM EST

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Before Kobe Bryant went down with his Achilles tendon injury, he sounded like a guy who wanted to play another year, maybe two, then hang them up. He dropped all kinds of hints about that.

Now he is changing his tune.

Kobe sat down for an interview with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com and talked about his legacy and how his injury has changed his perspective and how he wants to stick around.

“I feel pretty damn confident I can be at a high level for at least another three years. I feel like how I was playing last year – I know I’ll be healthy and I’ll be ready to go this year – I know what I can bring. And I think I can easily do that for another three years.

“I think the (Achilles) injury has something to do with it. It really increased the drive. And probably San Antonio getting so close to winning No. 5, probably hurt me a little bit too. I want to make sure I push the ring count out a little further. It was really, really close there. They played phenomenally well. But it’s a testament to what skill can do. To what us old guys can do if you play together, if you play with one mind and one purpose you can accomplish great things. It was inspirational for me and hopefully inspirational for the city of Los Angeles and this organization of what we can do, how this tide can change fairly quickly and we’ll be looking at a parade.”

If you’re Dwight Howard, sitting down with the Lakers on Tuesday to hear their pitch about how you are their future, how does this sit with you?

It’s just very Kobe to have a new obstacle thrown up in his was so now he’s energized for more seasons as he tries to conquer it.

Kobe is not going to be the same player upon his return. An Achilles injury at his age means he is going to lose some explosiveness, some quickness. The thing is Kobe’s game had already shifted from using that explosiveness to more using his footwork, his fundamentals and his high hoops IQ to get his shots in his space. That’s not going away. Kobe is not going to be as great a player as he was, but he can still be good.

The question is will there be enough talent on the roster to get him the ring he craves.

  1. pmx8411 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    i say 4 years…..Kobe is still ELITE

    • fanofevilempire - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      Kobe 2.0

      D-12 or not, this mf’er wants # 6, as long as Phil doesn’t
      sign on with anyone else, I always believe in Kobe.

      Who do you believe?

  2. bucrightoff - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Dwight hearing this pretty much locks him up as leaving. He’s afraid of Kobe and doesn’t like it when he yells at him. Thats right, a nearly 30 year old professional can’t take people yelling at him.

    • eatitfanboy - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      LOL- completely agree. I was going to say “that sound you hear is any chance of Howard re-signing with the Lakers flying out the window”, but you beat me to it.

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        Yup. Was thinking the same thing as you guys. You know what would be crazy?…If he DOES re-sign, but after next season when Kobe’s contract runs out, imagine if the Lakers don’t pick him up because of Dwight! Too see that happen and to see Kobe play out the final years of his career in another jersey would sicken me to no end.

      • aboogy123456 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        what you guys don’t understand is that Dwight likes playing with Kobe. Can you stop focusing on the first half of the season? Isn’t it possible that people change and start to like each other? If you pay attention, there are plenty of Dwight quotes after the all-star break, where he says he needs to learn from Kobe, and he’s been listening to his advice. When Dwight went back to orlando, some fans heckled him and said “you can’t win without kobe”, and he replied “you’re right”. Also, Dwight visited kobe at his home when kobe was still in crutches. This Dwight hates kobe narrative is such bs and it needs to stop, and will stop next season. Only dumb fans hate kobe, but in reality he’s probably the most respected player in the league.

  3. mediocrebob - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Kobe is a pompous POS. I don’t care how good he is. Nothing is ever his fault and his teammates are never good enough for him. Yet he didn’t seem to mind when Shaq was winning him rings.

    • skids003 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      He’ll play as long as it takes him to keep heaving up shots and becomes the alltime leading scorer. That EGO will accept nothing less.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      Maybe it’s because I live in SoCal and I have access to read and see his interviews in LA Times, Orange County Register and SportsNet, but I don’t understand when people say he doesn’t take blame. He takes the blame all the time- just before the All-Star Break this year he said that the struggles were his fault and he needed to adjust his game to his teammates- which he did, passing more playing out of a point forward type role, and the team had a winning record down the stretch when he did that.

    • paleihe - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      Didn’t didn’t win him rings.

      You must not have watched basketball back then.

      • paleihe - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        *Shaq didn’t…

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        Here are the stats for Shaq and Kobe in the 3 finals they played in together…

        Shaq vs Kobe:

        1999-2000 vs Indiana Pacers
        Shaq 38ppg 16rpg 2apg 61%FG
        Kobe 15ppg 4rpg 4apg 36%FG

        2000-2001 vs Philadelphia
        Shaq 33ppg 15rpg 4apg 57%FG
        Kobe 24ppg 7rpg 5apg 41%FG

        2001-2002 vs New Jersey Nets
        Shaq 36ppg 12rpg 3apg 59%FG
        Kobe 26ppg 5rpg 5apg 51%FG

        The regular season stats in those years isn’t this lopsided, but they most definitely favor Shaq by far. Mostly this was due to Kobe being so young then.

        But one has to acknowledge that Shaq won those titles back then. Kobe was still very young and while good, he was just a side kick.

    • mcmofigga - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:39 AM

      I completely agree with you and thanks for the dude for posting the 3 rings he won with shaq stats. He was pathetic in the DET series and this last ring he won in Game 7 he was 4-26 so yeah mr I am going to win more and further the chip count. ahahahahaha GOOD effing luck man you are dreaming.

  4. saint1997 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    NBC PBT – also known as the one day after bleacher report site

  5. bucs24 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Why? 3 more years of losing sounds fun to u I guess when your making 30mil a year

  6. dirtydavis - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Talk about an EGO!!!

  7. kvanhorn87 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    EGO! All the news about the Lakers has involved Dwight Howard. Kobe just wanted to make sure we all knew it was still his team.

    • loungefly74 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      he is being asked all this in the interview…

  8. abreezyshow - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    People say this means Dwight would want to leave. But you have to look at the flip side. Kobe has to at some point realize this injury will slow him down, he has to realize he cant shoulder as much weight as before and has to cut back some. And if he wants to extend 3-4 more years, thats exactly what he has to do. Then in turn, he can allow Dwight to grow and take on more of the burden. Pau will be gone, so my thinking is there will be more shots for Dwight, more opportunity. I guess we will see.

  9. truninerfan49 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Kobe will be playing before Derrick Rose.

    • 1historian - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      wrong

  10. sanders082 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    are you guys all retarded
    Kobe Bryant > Dwight Howard
    and that $30 million you speak of? It’s only on the books 1 more year and he earned every penny of it.

  11. m4a188 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    If he does not take a pay cut he is not winning another title.

    • aboogy123456 - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:11 PM

      ok, well good thing he’s taking a pay cut then, he will win another one.

  12. rodge1 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    Awesome!… I hope Kobe stays forever and keeps that franchise down with his ego and ridiculous contract.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      You should have ended that sentence at forever.

    • spthegr8 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      @rodge1
      For somebody that does ALOT of complaining about ppl hating & trolling Heat threads. You are ALWAY’S swinging Kobe’s S*CK on any thread that involve’s him. Hypocrite much???? You don’t like trolls but you are a troll yourself ( Garden Variety @ best ) ???? SMFH!!!! GTFOH!!!!

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      As a Lakers fan, I’ll take a player considered to be pompous and oversized ego if it means 5 championships and 7 Finals trips in 17 years any day.

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        So will they.

      • 1historian - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        yeah but – what have you done for me lately?

        THAT’S what this is all about – in his prime he was unquestionably one of the all-time greats, but he is 37 (36?) and PAST his prime. To me there is nothing sadder than a one-time superstar who refuses to hang it up even when he is just a shadow of his former self. Sometimes the sad gets to be pathetic, which is what I am afraid this might turn out to be.

        FYI – I hate the Lakers

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        34 and he averaged 27 PPG on 46% shooting last year… it’s not like he’s a shadow of his former self.

      • aboogy123456 - Jul 2, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        he had one of the best seasons of his career last year, and willed his team to the playoffs. show some knowledge and respect.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 2, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        aboogy123456

        Kobe is one of the all time greats and yes he just had one of his better seasons. My main issue with Kobe (and it’s nitpicking at this level) is that he’s a volume scorer. Basketball is OK with this as there are many, year after year like this, especially Carmelo Anthony.

        Kobe shot .463% from the field this yr and it’s above his career shooting percentage.

        Looking at the career true shooting percentages of all time in the NBA, one finds the following:

        Steve Nash is currently in 13th place all time in true shooting percentage

        Dwight Howard is currently in 17th place all time in true shooting percentage and this factors in free throws you know…

        Kevin Durant is currently 25th all time

        Manu Ginobili is currently 30th all time

        Ray Allen is 48th

        Cory Maggette is 53rd

        Mike Miller is 56th

        LeBron James is 58th

        Pau Gasol is 61st

        Chris Bosh is 70th

        Michael Jordan is 73rd

        Paul Pierce is 74th

        Dwayne Wade is 79th

        Richard Jefferson is 85th

        Larry Bird is 90th

        Shane Battier is 103rd

        Byron Scott is 125th

        B.J. Armstrong and Rolando Blackman are tied for 128th

        Kobe Bryant is 130th

        Kobe is and will remain behind MJ, LeBron, Durant and Bird with respect to true shooting percentage… Plus Kobe was gifted with two rings via Shaq when Kobe was still so young and at the beginning of his career…

  13. azarkhan - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    When asked about Kobe saying he wanted to play 3 more years, Kobe’s Achilles tendon said: “No comment”.

  14. spthegr8 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    @rodge1
    Do you have a secret man crush on the Mamba like progress2011???? Or are you progress2011?? Haven’t heard from him in a while. THANK GOD for that!!!

  15. kvanhorn87 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Of course you would, asi. You are a pompous lakers fan. Never has been a better pairing of player and city.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      Best climate ever, unless you’re a banana slug!

      • hannsta - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        Or have respiratory problems.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      Not pompous. If the Nets had won 5 championships during Keith Van Horn’s time there, I’m sure you’d be saying the same thing about him as well.

  16. paulhargis53 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    asimonetti: yup and 1-12 in the last 3 season ending playoff series’ with 2 sweeps. Kobe is done winning titles.

    He’s as delusional as most of you lakers fans if he thinks otherwise.

  17. mannyfresh209 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    This report isn’t surprising at all. Kobe is an ATG. What’s intriguing is that this report can either tie in to, or contradict, other reports of Kobe’s under-wraps relationship with Dwight. A.K.A. Kobe really doesn’t care for Dwight as a teammate whatsoever. If those reports are true, then this is probably a ploy at a subtle discouragement play by Kobe, to give Dwight the impression that he may not even get to play out a 5-year deal with LA without being THE MAN without Kobe in the picture.

    Does Dwight appreciate that thought, or does he hate it?

  18. rodge1 - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    @spthegr8

    Why are you upset?… I hope Kobe stays forever for what he brings to the Lakers. I was upset when he stopped tweeting about his team while they were in the playoffs.

  19. rodge1 - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    @spthegr8

    So you can dish it out but can’t take it?… I’m just returning the favor… You’re welcome

  20. spthegr8 - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    @rodge1
    Who is upset. Just calling you out on being a hypocrite. It is, what it is!!! Ya know???

  21. Clayton Bigsby - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Kobe will probably take a pay cut and work out some financing on the back end (equity stake)…hes been there long enough and still has many fans outside the US (Leads all NBA in Jerseys sold-International 2012)

  22. soundsofsuccess7 - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Screw Dwight, Kobe is the guy I want on my team.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      I 2nd that motion.

  23. staff2cj - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    kobe will start looking like jordan past his prime. Let the other future stars shine and retire dude

  24. 1historian - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    asimonetti – thanks for the age correction.

    He will be 36 IF he comes back from the ACL tear, and that is one of the hardest of all sports injuries to come back from even if you’re around 22 years old. I don’t question his tenacity and his work ethic, but I am just saying that sooner or later the body just can’t take it anymore, and that Kobe is getting there.

    Even for a Laker hater like me it would be a sad thing to watch. So I won’t watch it.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:18 PM

      He will be 35, and he’ll be coming back from Achilles tendon tear, not ACL tear.

      It’s a difficult injury to recover from, no doubt. But Dominique Wilkins and David Beckham both returned from the same injury at almost the same age (Becks was older, and Dominique did it over 20 years ago). Recently, Terrell Suggs (30 years old) came back to play for the Ravens only about 6 months after tearing his Achilles.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        Beckham even went on to win two championships after tearing his Achilles (with the Galaxy and Paris Saint-Germain) and Suggs won a championship with the Ravens last year over my 49ers.

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