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Kobe Bryant says Lakers’ revenge will be “sweet” and “quick”

Mar 3, 2014, 1:16 PM EDT

NBA All-Star Press Conferences-Media Availabilty 2014 Getty Images

This would be the definition of playing to the fan base. Although I’m sure Kobe Bryant believes it.

There has been plenty of schadenfreude around the league — from other front offices to other fan bases — as the Lakers have fallen into being a hot mess this season. They entered the season with a roster not really built to run Mike D’Antoni’s offense (remember last season when Kobe and Pau Gasol were healthy and basically did their own thing?) then were hit by a rash of injuries. All that has the Lakers at 20-39 and looking at a top 5 draft pick.

You know Kobe is using that as fuel.

He said exactly that in an interview on Power 106 in Los Angeles, as transcribed by Lakersnation.com.

“This year, we all know it’s been a real tough year for us right?” Bryant said. “So what I’d like everybody to do is to really just sit back and just absorb this year. Take it all in. Sit back and watch and listen and hear all the hate that’s being thrown at us and remember every person that’s kicking you when you’re down because next year it ain’t gonna be this way.

“Appreciate it now. Let it sit in now, because revenge is sweet and it’s quick….

“You’ve got to appreciate that and enjoy that and use that as fuel as motivation to basically just shut everybody the hell up,” Bryant said. “It’s that challenge, that challenge that drives us all, I think, and definitely keeps me going.”

That is exactly what much of the fan base believes, what it wants to hear. It wants Kobe to bring that revenge after he signed a two-year, $48 million extension to his current contract this season. He took a pay cut of about $7 million but will remain the highest paid player in the NBA.

We’ll see how quick the Lakers’ revenge really is. While having a healthy Kobe back would certainly win more games for the Lakers next season, this rebuild is going to take multiple years.

The fact is unless Miami’s trio shakes it up — and that is unlikely at best — there really isn’t much in this free agent market for the Lakers. Carmelo Anthony is a bad fit. Luol Deng is interesting but his price could be steep. The Lakers have their eyes more on 2015 with Kevin Love (and Rajon Rondo and others) and 2016 when there could potentially be Kevin Durant among others. (Durant and LeBron James are the two guys you have to plan to have cap space for just in case — Durant may well not want to leave OKC, but he’s so transformative that the Lakers and a lot of other teams need to have cap space just in case he does want to move.)

By the time this Lakers team is potentially back as a force, even under the best of plans, it will be interesting to see what Kobe’s role will be. Or if he will still be in the NBA.

104 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. pfic15 - Mar 3, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    So will their playoff exit…

    • progress2011 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:33 PM

      PLAYOFFS…..PLAYOFFS….Are you kidding me! He should just hope they can win a friggin game!

      “in my Jim Mora voice”…..hahahaha

  2. spen418 - Mar 3, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    Don’t worry people Lakers have always bounced back after a few down years. We will be right back in the spotlight soon enough. It may not be with Kobe as a player. We are a winning organization and will always continue to be so get used to it.

  3. bjswoosh805 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    Yeah idk about all that,i think the Lakers are going to be bad for the nxt 3-4 years maybe a mediocre team at best but not a title contender. I like Byrant’s mind set but i just cant see him getting another ring. Also there are too many good teams in the WEST and up coming teams like Suns, Blazers & the Rockets.

  4. alexkaramanis - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Keep flapping your jaws, Bryant. That’s what you’re good at.

    • ranfan12 - Mar 4, 2014 at 7:23 PM

      You can say that now but you wouldn’t say that in his face… on a basketball court lol

  5. billtetley53 - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    asimonetti: I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt in recent weeks. I can see I was wrong to do so.

    One only has to type into Google ” differences in nba cba”
    It is a “BFD” for the tax paying teams (which the lakers mist definitely were prior to the 2011 agreement and have been the last few years).
    This what I mean when I say it can’t be business as usual in years and decades past regarding being in luxury tax territory. Lakers fans response to that is the billion dollar tv deal, fair enough.
    What you DON’T take into account:
    – smaller mid level exceptions
    – have to take backess salary in trades
    – cannot use the bi annual exception
    – cannot use the sign and trade provision

    So, you see, its much more difficult to just flaunt the cap. There are repercussions to doing so. The owners did this to prevent another Big 3 from getting together the way they did.
    Your dreams of a Kobe, Love, Westbrook(just a for instance) won’t work because it makes improving any further pretty difficult.
    That and the fact that every other 1st round pick the next 4 years is traded away doesn’t help either. The one tradeable asset he had is a free agent this year.
    Its a different time and era, you lakers fans need to realize that. Its not just about who is willing to spend the most money anymore.
    Teams like OKC get it, you have to build slowly and smartly.
    Look no further than the Nets for what flaunting the cap will do to a franchise, its not going to be pretty in a few years.

    You go ahead and keep your head in the sand and point to history though. You may as well, the future looks bleak for awhile.

  6. patrickla818 - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Kobe talks like he is 29 and going to be around 5 more years. He has 1 year left, maybe.

  7. fmartinezslc - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Hey Kobe shut up your the reason lakers suck ! Nobody wants to play with you ! And thanks to your 48 mil contract over next 2 years you can’t bring no one in ! It’s called karma ! Suck it easy laker fans ha ha ha

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