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Antawn Jamison: “I would never count Kobe Bryant out of anything”

Sep 2, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Kobe prepares to throw a basketball to fans while attending a youth basketball final match in Hong Kong Reuters

Kobe Bryant has an obstacle in front of him, and that is when he is at his best. That is when he is most driven.

Kobe at age 35 is working on a comeback from a ruptured Achilles that might have ended the career of lesser players. But Kobe was not going to let the image of him limping off the court be the last one of his career. He is fighting to get back in the game. He is fighting for that sixth right.

And former teammate Antawn Jamison said count him out at your own risk during a radio interview with ESPN Los Angeles (as transcribed by Ramona Shelburne at ESPNLosAngeles.com).

“I would never count Kobe Bryant out of anything,” Jamison said Friday in a radio interview on ESPN 710 in Los Angeles. “I’ve played with some special players. Gilbert Arenas when he was [in Washington D.C], at the top of his game, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal [in Cleveland]. I’ve played with a lot but never played with an individual player who had the type of mindset, the drive that he has. If [Bryant] says he’s going to win a sixth ring, believe me, he’s going to do everything possible to get that ring”

One of the things standing between Bryant and that ring is Jamison’s new team — the Los Angeles Clippers.

A lot of pundits (this one included, once we get to prediction season) are picking the Clippers to win the Pacific Division again and be a real threat in the West. There are questions to be answered, no doubt (starting with defense), but with some younger players maturing (Blake Griffin, D’Andre Jordan) and some quality additions (J.J Redick and Jared Dudley) plus a coaching upgrade the Clippers should be dangerous.

Jamison says the team is talking title.

“You have probably two of the best players in the NBA [in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin] and you have a collection of guys where money is not an issue. Nobody is playing for contracts. The only thing we are here for is to win a championship,” Jamison said. “I think before Doc [Rivers] got here you might have thought they were thinking, ‘OK, we might be one year or two years away, but with Doc being the coach, that mindset is not even in existence. It’s about winning now. We believe we can win this year.”

Having a veteran like Jamison off the bench and in the locker room can help with that. And look for Rivers to use Jamison more wisely than Mike D’Antoni did last season.

  1. volcom2143 - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    When did all Jamison’s opinions become headline material ?

    • spthegr8 - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      @volcom
      When it’s the off season and their is NOTHING else to write about!!

    • ahemahem - Sep 2, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      Because he has been part of both teams.

  2. imakcds - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    why would D’Antoni worry about using a benchwarmer correctly when his ‘superstar’ center balked at anything HIS COACH asked of him???????

  3. kingwithringz - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    You wouldn’t even count Kobe out of a wrestling match? The Rock would give him the Rock Bottom lay the Smack down all over Kobe.

    • spthegr8 - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      @king
      Nah, Kobe would kick out and hit him with the People’s Elbow and pick up the win. If YAAAAAAAAAA SMEEEEEELLLLLLLAAAAA WHAT THE MAMBA…………….IS COOKIN!!!!!

      • kingwithringz - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        Lol! Then Shaq would interfere and help the Rock.

      • spthegr8 - Sep 2, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        @King
        LLS!!!! But then, Vince would come out with Jimbo”Short” Buss and SCREW the Rock!! They would also have Hoopz with him to distract Shaq!!! LMAO!!!!!

  4. Anoesis - Sep 2, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    “He is fighting for that sixth right.”

    Somebody call Kobe and let him know the Bill of Rights has more than six. He has a few to go…

  5. lakerwoman - Sep 2, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    You all sound like a bunch of immature and disrespectful jerks. Too bad you don’t
    have even one speck of Antawn’s talent and graciousness.

  6. ahemahem - Sep 2, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Jamison is a source because he’s played with some of the best players in the league, and history, for that matter. His point of view matters because he’s played alongside them and had the chance to watch them up close.

  7. lakerwoman - Sep 2, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    ahemahem, you are exactly right. Thank Heaven there is SOMEONE here who uses his brain.

    • money2long - Sep 2, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      how’s your brain woman ? just curious

  8. Gary - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    I wouldn’t count him out either, but what are the chances of the Lakers taking the west this year? I’d say slim to nil unless a mass of injuries happen to plague OKC, SAN, GSW, LAC, MEM, and even HOU.

  9. miamatt - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    After all Kobe has done in his career, he certainly deserves that type of respect. While the Lakers face an uphill climb the next couple of years, nothing would shock me when it comes to Kobe.

    And I’m a Heat fan saying this…

  10. adoombray - Sep 2, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    (fine, ill take the bait)

    this is called believing the hype. a 35 year old coming off of acl surgery is not gonna have a good time. science > willpower

  11. monkeyhateclean - Sep 2, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    …not even a non-consensual hotel worker’s underpants.

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