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Jeanie Buss says she wants Kobe to be “Laker for life”

Aug 10, 2013, 12:31 PM EDT

Lakers' Bryant puts his jersey in his mouth during a break in play against the Raptors during their NBA basketball game in Toronto Reuters

Next summer, Kobe Bryant is a free agent. He could leave the Lakers to play anywhere he chooses.

Not that anyone expects him to. With five rings already, he’s not going ring chasing. He’s expected to re-sign with the Lakers, and despite some public posturing he’s expected to take a lot less money to stay in Forum blue and gold.

But just to make sure there is more groundwork laid, Jeanie Buss — one of the key parts of the Buss family ownership of the Lakers — told ESPN Radio in Los Angeles this week they want him to stay in the family his entire career, as reported by Ramona Shelburne at

“I want Kobe to take the time that he needs to get healthy,” Buss said Thursday in a radio interview with ESPNLA 710. “I don’t want to see him come back any sooner than when he’s ready, and I know he’ll know when that is. There’s no reason for him to do anything that compromises his health.”

Later, when asked by to expand on that comment, Buss said, “Kobe is part of the Laker family and he always will be. There’s not many players who play 18-19 years with the same franchise, and it’s important to us that he has a chance to play his entire career with the Lakers.”

Kobe has said wants to stay a Laker as well, and he continues to profess his trust in Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers brain trust to put together a winner (which is more than you can say for Dwight Howard).

The only reason he bolts is if that trust changes. Which is not impossible, although he’d have to take near the league minimum and accept a lesser role on a contender to chase that ring.

I just don’t see it happening. Kobe is a Laker for life.

  1. spthegr8 - Aug 10, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Why did we end up with Jim instead of Jeanie??? I want too rade in jimbo ” short buss ” for his big sister. Who is with me??? Thumbs up if you agree…?????

  2. money2long - Aug 10, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    no one ever imagined jordan would put on any other jersey too. i just hope kobe indeed stays in purple and gold for his career. leaving with at least one more ring would also be a beauty.

  3. spthegr8 - Aug 10, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    too *trade*

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 10, 2013 at 5:40 PM


  4. shanelsweet - Aug 10, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Kurt wrote a lot of “Howard is not leaving LA” stuff last year too. I think his crystal ball is a little hazy when it comes to the Lakers. From what I’ve seen and heard of Kobe, I don’t think he’s taking a pay cut that has him earning less than other players that he knows (and we know) aren’t nearly as good as him. Somewhere Kobe is probably thinking, “If you want me to be a Laker for life, just keep paying me market value.” The NBA is a business. Just ask Nash, Garnett or Pierce for example.

  5. thebadguyswon - Aug 10, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    She put her hairy parts in Playboy years ago. They were nice.

    • abchome - Aug 11, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      That was 19 years ago. She was 32 then.

      • thebadguyswon - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:02 AM

        With a great body and hairy box.

  6. elcapitanfiscal - Aug 10, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Lol. Not many players want to play with Kobe…everyone is finally finding out he is slighty overrated..

    • kb2408 - Aug 10, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      Well, every list I’ve ever seen that lists the greatest NBA players ever, has Kobe somewhere in the 5-15 range. So, if that’s “slightly overrated” I’m sure he’s ok with being “slightly overrated”.

    • spthegr8 - Aug 10, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      I see somebody is bored today and is doing his usual afternoon “Trolling” shift, live from his mom’s basement. Even as much as you hate Kobe, you KNOW that statement is just BLASPHEMOUS!!!!!

      • elcapitanfiscal - Aug 10, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        Not trolling. People forget out if his 5 rings, he was the best player on his team for only 2 of them..people praise him like he’s Jordan…

      • elcapitanfiscal - Aug 10, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        And no i don’t hate kobe, hes a boss but nowhere near the pedestal people put him in

      • spthegr8 - Aug 10, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        If you don’t hate ’em. You sure do have a funny way of showing you like him. First, he is overrated and now all of the sudden because we called you out on your nonsense, he is a “boss”??? Your contradicting yourself!!

    • raycharlesj - Aug 10, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      “OVERRATED”???? After 17 years and 5 championships!!!! ha ha ha ha ha and “they” are finally realizing?? Kobe is “overrated”!!! ha ha ha ha, I bet he is so happy he is not underrated!! Kobe could go play in China and make another 100 million dollars. Ask Iverson,McGrady, Rodman, Yao Ming, and the rest.

    • elcapitanfiscal - Aug 10, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      IKobe was thebest player on his team for only 2 of his 5 rings..everytime i say thus pbt deletes my comment..without shaq kobe would have one ring max…hes a ballhog no good player eants to play with any the DAMN game before you argue. Real bball fans understand

      • kb2408 - Aug 10, 2013 at 8:21 PM

        Well, judging by all the thumbs down you get I guess you’re the only “real bball fan” on here. How do you know other players don’t want to play with him? What player has come out and said that? Even though they have bumped heads, Pau and Kobe seem to be very close. Steve Nash joined Kobe even when he had other options. So, who are these players you keep mentioning without actually mentioning any names? Maybe you’re referring to Dwight, the same guy that his former teammates in Orlando criticized after he left? And this very old crap about Kobe riding Shaq’s coattails to three titles is nonsense. First of all, Kobe was 21, 22 and 23 when he won his first three titles, Shaq was 27, 28 & 29. My point is Shaq was in his prime, Kobe was just scratching the surface of his talent. Shaq was supposed to be “the man”. Secondly, look at Kobe’s stats from those titles, you won’t find another number two option that was better. I guess that’s why Shaq labeled himself and Kobe “the most dominant duo ever”. We’re all entitled to our opinions but yours stink, sir.

      • elcapitanfiscal - Aug 10, 2013 at 8:25 PM

        Like i said. Real bball fans understand..

      • spthegr8 - Aug 10, 2013 at 10:32 PM

        Dude, you have the most flawed logic I’ve come across on this board. You said ” Kobe was only the best player on his team for 2 of his 5 rings”. Then you follow that up with” without Shaq Kobe would have one ring max”?? He won 2 without him. I’m no mathematician but, how can that statement even be possible if he won TWO without him.?? Now I get it, your bored and your “Trolling” but, you “trolling should affect your ability to count!! You should thank Kurt and comp for deleting those other comments. The more you post, the DUMBER you make yourself sound. Just stop while your ahead Bruh!!

    • program33 - Aug 11, 2013 at 4:53 AM

      Selfish maybe but not overrated:)

  7. imakcds - Aug 10, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    If Kobe wants to be a Laker for Life, he needs to understand the new economics and his diminishing value on the court. And this understanding also should be made for the GOOD of the Lakers, enabling them to continue as Finals participants.
    He cannot possibly expect even 1/3 his current salary if The Lakers are to be perennial contenders.

  8. hungryhungryhibbert - Aug 10, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Kobe has a very small window left, who knows how he will return from Injury. If he wants to win, he’d leave. If he wants to hold onto the past, he’ll stay. But, he isn’t worth what he’ll be asking in this new CBA world.

  9. kb2408 - Aug 10, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Obviously some of you just don’t understand how bargaining works. Kobe SHOULD bargain for as much as he can get. But if you think he’s going to ask for a contract that would hinder the LAKERS from adding another elite player, or two, obviously you know nothing about Kobe. Kobe’s only goal right now is winning his sixth ring and the franchise’s 17th. He’s made a couple hundred million bucks in his career already. He will continue to make millions well after he’s in retirement. So, there is no doubt he and the LAKERS will get a deal done that will be beneficial to all involved.

    • chemus08 - Aug 10, 2013 at 11:12 PM

      How is it beneficial to the lakers if Kobe is pulling in an absolutely ridiculous contract that prevents them from signing other players. I realise you may be having a hard time understanding the consequences that are afforded due to this new CBA so try use your brain for once and realise that now the times have changed, if Kobe is given an inflated contract to match his ego it hurts the lakers and they can’t sign quality talent to put around him

  10. abchome - Aug 10, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Certainly! But not at $30 millions per though.

  11. scottheis82 - Aug 10, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    @ elcapitan,
    If you lol alone in your mom’s basement and no one is around to hear it did you actually lol… I keed, I keed…
    but seriously try to restrain from too much Smh’in I think you are seriously starting to damage that tiny little brain of yours.

  12. antistratfordian - Aug 10, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    “it’s important to us that he has a chance to play his entire career with the Lakers.”

    Has a chance? That sounds like it’s going to mean something like: “We’ll offer him a tiny contract extension next year but if he doesn’t take it, well… that’s tough. He had a chance to be a Laker for life and he turned it down.”

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 10, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      That’s the right move at this point. They should have amnestied him.

    • camodaddy26 - Aug 10, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      10-12 mil a year sounds about the right price Lakers will offer him.

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 11, 2013 at 12:27 PM

        Free avos for life, too.

  13. jbeagles23 - Aug 11, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    I hate Kobe but he is not over rated. He is way past his prime and doesn’t see it yet though. It’s why next year neither lebron or Carmelo would go play with him.

  14. cowpiesnotcowboys - Aug 11, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    The Lakers should have amnestied Kobe. He’s not going to help them this year, and then either he leaves as a free agent anyway or demands much more than he’s worth to stay and becomes an anchor holding the team back. The Lakers need to start a rebuild like the Celtics. The CBA will not allow them to reload with free agents like they have in the past, and Kobe’s selfishness will scare off the good free agents anyway.

  15. jimeejohnson - Aug 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    So many people throwing Jeannie under the bus.

  16. haroldkelly564 - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    3yr. 50 mil…. That’s fair

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