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Kobe Bryant talks with Jim Buss, reiterates ‘selfish’ desire for Lakers to contend next two seasons

Mar 24, 2014, 10:18 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is under contract for two seasons following this one, and then he very well could call it a career.

This season has already gone down the drain, lost due to injury. He doesn’t want to waste the next two seasons, and he’s not shy about about expressing that.

But only in the most-dysfunctional franchise could let the star player so publicly question the front office without meeting with its leader. And, for whatever problems they have, the Lakers are not that.

Kobe, via ESPN Los Angeles:

“Jimmy (executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss) and I actually talked after that and it’s important for us to have that conversation because this is their team, it’s been in their family for years and we all know what the track record is for that, but I’ve also been part of this franchise since I was 17 years old,” Bryant told Rovell. “I feel like I bleed purple and gold and I want to see this franchise be successful. I don’t want to hear the comments of dissension between Jim and [Lakers president] Jeanie [Buss]. We need to figure this thing out. We’re all moving in the same direction.”

“This organization is just not going to go [down],” Bryant said. “It’s not going to take a nose dive. But I think we need to accelerate it a little bit for selfish reasons, because I want to win and I want to win next season. So, it’s kind of getting them going now as opposed to two years from now.”

Bryant said his faith is as strong as ever in the Lakers’ ability to bounce back to contender status.

“Extremely confident,” Bryant said. “That was one of my concerns (when he re-signed) and they assured me, ‘This is fair for you for everything you’ve done for the franchise and will continue to do while being able to construct a team that is going to contend for a championship here over the next couple of years.'”

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First of all, I love that Kobe calls him Jimmy rather than Jim. Perfect Kobe.

Also, Kobe is nothing but honest. He’s being selfish. His clock is ticking, and even if the Lakers’ most prudent strategy is a longer-term rebuild, that does nothing for him.

If the Lakers assured him they’d trade to contend, they’re only enabling Kobe and, by him going public, losing leverage in trade and free-agent negotiations.

Even if Buss and Kobe are on the exact same page about contending these next two seasons, it won’t be easy to accomplish, regardless.

The Lakers have won a third of their games this season. Since the NBA-ABA merger, 166 teams teams have won so few games during a full season. Rarely did they win at least 55 games, the threshold commonly associated with contending for a championship, within the next two seasons.

  • The 1988-89 San Antonio Spurs went 21-61, added David Robinson and went 56-26 the following year.
  • The 1996-97 San Antonio Spurs went 20-62, drafted Tim Duncan, also went 56-26 the following year and won the championship the year after that.
  • The 2002-03 Miami Heat went 25-57, drafted Dwyane Wade, traded for Shaquille O’Neal and went 59-23 to make the conference finals two years later.
  • The 2006-07 Boston Celtics went 24-58, traded for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and then went 66-16 the next year and won the championship.
  • The 2008-09 Oklahoma City Thunder went 23-59, let Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook grow up, drafted James Harden and Serge Ibaka and went 55-27 and reached the conference finals two years later.

And that’s the entire list. Five of 166 (three percent).

Can the Lakers make six of 172? (The Bucks, 76ers, Magic, Celtic and Jazz have also won fewer than a third of their games this season.)

Robinson and Duncan each played four years in college (and Robinson served two years in the Navy before joining the pros), so it’s unlikely the Lakers can add such an NBA-ready player in this draft like the Spurs twice did.

The Lakers don’t have anyone in the same realm as Durant, or even Westbrook, already on the team, so the Thunder model is out.

Even with their propensity to get discounts on trades, the Lakers probably don’t have the goods to add two stars and make a single-year turnaround like the Celtics did.

If there’s any model the Lakers can follow, it’s the 2002-03 Heat. The Heat were similarly bereft of assets, but they signed Lamar Odom and used him in the Shaq trade. And obviously, the Lakers would have to hit their draft pick this season, as Miami did with Wade. But signing someone to be used in a later trade (maybe for Kevin Love?) and going through the draft made this a two-year turnaround.

Would Kobe settle for contending in 2015-16 only? That could be a good compromise.

If the Lakers sink all their resources into building next season’s team as strong as it can be, I suspect they and Kobe will be disappointed with the result, both in 2014-15 and beyond. Many more than the five teams on the above list tried for a quick turnaround, and most of them got stuck with negative assets and few draft picks.

This is just going down a road toward trouble. Maybe the Lakers shouldn’t have given a $48.5 million extension to a 35-year-old with knee problems and an attitude.

  1. aboogy123456 - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    “The Lakers don’t have anyone in the same realm as Durant, or even Westbrook, already on the team, so the Thunder model is out”

    Umm how about Kobe Bryant? We don’t know if he will ever be close to what he was, but we have to give him the benefit of the doubt until we see otherwise. He sure sounds confident in himself, so I’m not doubting him.

    • lmoneyfresh - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      He was confident that he would come back at the start of the season and play like 20 year old Kobe too. Confidence only gets you so far when you’ve got that kind of mileage on your legs.

      • casualcommenter - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        Agreed with this. During the offseason, Lakers fans kept saying, “Doubt Kobe at your peril, he’ll be back and better than ever by the start of the regular season.”

        Kobe was unable to play at the start of the season. Then, Lakers fans kept saying, “Doubt Kobe at your peril, he’ll be back and better than ever by midseason.”

        Kobe came back, but was scoring just 13 points per game on 42% shooting before suffering another serious leg injury. Then, Lakers fans kept saying, “Doubt Kobe at your peril, he’ll be back and better than ever by the end of the regular season.”

        And then Kobe Bryant was shut down for the rest of the season. It’s really time for Laker fans to accept that Kobe Bryant being “confident” isn’t going to make him magically heal faster.

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        @casual, I think most fans and kobe himself realized that kobe was still came back very early this season and it would take some time for him to rehab. I think it’s unfair to judge a guy while he’s still in rehab, and the fact that he was able to score 13 ppg in a few games this year is pretty impressive. Next season, he will have had plenty of time to rest and should be out of the rehab process, so I think that’s when we can truly judge Kobe and his health.

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        also, my comment was criticizing the author for saying that kobe is not even in the same realm as russel westbrook. Kobe was much better than westbrook before he tore his achilles, so i think it’s a joke to say he’s not in the same realm.

      • macka4 - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:16 AM

        Nash has found that out.

    • calkinsrob - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      Well I dont want to doubt him either but hes just too old to say durant status. he was ballin before he got hurt last year though right?

    • zerole00 - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      You can’t trust Kobe’s confidence, what you can trust are Kobe’s knees and their condition. They’ve been pretty honest so far, and it’s not looking good.

  2. tomtravis76 - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    It would take a capologist, some sign and trades , extensions, etc, etc, or just a good fantasy basketball guy, but why not think about Kobe and gasol to new York for some of their expiring deals and future talent.

    I hate seeing bad teams in the league, but stacked teams vs stacked teams at the highest level of ball is damn fun to watch. You watch the nba because it is the best of the best.

    • aboogy123456 - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      Gasol is a free agent, and what future talent is in new york?

      • tomtravis76 - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        Sign and trades happen all the time, so that’s not a real big deal to make something work for gasol. Future talent in New York, draft picks, they just secured their own NBDL franchise. Many ways to get deals done if everyone wants to get something done. It’s more playing on the Phil Jackson angle to jump start the franchise with a couple of guys who helped him to a few rings. It’s all just fantasy speculation anyways, no harm no foul.

      • casualcommenter - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        It’s very doubtful that the Lakers’ path to contention involves relying on the New York Knicks’ D-league talent pipeline.

        And the Knicks are a bit low on draft picks in the immediate future…

  3. aboogy123456 - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    I think the lakers have a legit shot to contend soon, but I don’t see how it can be next season. The team that they want to contend with will be built around Kobe, a star who they draft this summer, and a star free agent, and those pieces will take time to develop.

    • lmoneyfresh - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      I don’t see any playoff team being built around Kobe 2-3 years from now. Kobe was invincible for a long time but his body is breaking down. I just don’t see him being anywhere near what he used to be in that time frame.

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        people said the same thing about Duncan a few years ago and he’s still contending for the title. The thing is, they were right, Duncan’s body has been breaking down, and he’s not the same player he was before, but it doesn’t mean he can’t play at an all star level and contribute to a winning team. If lakers land a star in the draft and a star in free agency (both very possible), then kobe would likely be their 3rd best player in a couple years, and that team could potentially be very good.

      • lmoneyfresh - Mar 24, 2014 at 6:21 PM

        Duncan and Kobe are two different players though. Kobe has always been “the guy” and always wants the ball in his hands. Duncan being a PF/C can let the game come to him a bit more and athleticism isn’t quite as important at his position. As a jump shooter/slasher like Kobe, losing athleticism is a much bigger deal.

    • asimonetti88 - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      There are some very good players in the draft. If the Lakers hit on their draft pick they could be much improved next year. Look at what a great draft pick in Damian Lillard did for Portland.

  4. bballhistorian - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    I still dont think a team lead by Kobe Bryant TODAY will beat KD or LeBron for a ring. Therefore his championship days are basically up.

    At least kudos to him for wanting to compete until the end!

    • aboogy123456 - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      maybe, but it’s a team sport and it’s not like durant or lebron have great supporting casts. the NBA as a whole is pretty weak right now so I don’t think you can say the top of the league is very stable right now.

    • ihavenonickname - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:59 PM

      Your right that KD and Lebron are the best two players on the planet… but so what! that doesn’t take everyone else out of contention.

      The problem for the Lakers is even their best case scenario might not be good enough: If they somehow pull off miraculous deals to wrangle in say K-love and Rondo and then make a great pick in someone like d-smart (or whoever)…. is that team good enough?? I don’t know and I’m a big laker fan

    • bballhistorian - Mar 24, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      I still don’t see it happening for Kobe. It looks like he’s going to have a “Larry Bird-type” exit: Playing years past his Championship days, with games here and there in the near future reminding us what kind of warrior Kobe is…but at the end of the day, realizing that the days of winning rings is past him.

      • 2one1 - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:40 AM

        Larry Bird type exit? Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Grant Hill, Shaquille O’Neal, Scottie Pippen…etc. played beyond their prime. Most players play beyond their prime. How is a player gonna know if he’s not going to try. Duncan has been way past his prime and still playing and went to the championship game last season. It’s a team sport, just in case you didn’t know. As long as a player feel he can still contribute, he has the right to at least try. Not every 20 year olds are better than all 35 year olds. In fact, most 35 year olds are better than most 20 year olds in the NBA or other major professional sports such as baseball and football. I understand that Kobe is no longer at his best, but before he got injured, he was still one of the best, scoring 27.3 PPG… and the year before, he averaged 27.9 PPG.

  5. unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    Shame on me for clicking on yet another post about Kobe Bryant whining about the Lakers dysfunction and wanting to win next season (despite the fact he is hogging up over a third of their cap). I’m now going to click on a post where LBJ is complaining about short sleeved jerseys…

    • imakcds - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      the fact that you felt compelled to post reveals that you have no shame.

  6. jolink653 - Mar 24, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    So he wants to win and wants to put the team on the right track, but negotiates a $24 million dollar deal for himself for the next two seasons, essentially taking up a large part of the salary cap when he doesn’t even know if he can ever produce the same way he used to produce anymore after the failure to stay healthy for the past two seasons. That makes a lot of sense.

    And Buss clearly knows what he’s doing because he gave Kobe that deal based entirely on previous production, not what he’s gonna do in the future. I’d say the Lakers are probably in the wrong hands if anyone is expecting a return to greatness any time soon

  7. billtetley53 - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    What exactly does L.A. have for trade chips? Nash is ancient and can’t stay healthy. Gasol can’t stay healthy and is showing his age. Why would he do the Lakers any favors( sign and trade) when he can sign outright with whomever he likes. The rest of the roster, sans Kobe is d league material.

    Signing a max free agent this year will preclude them from going after Kevin Love the following year. Kobes stupid contract dictates that.

    The only way they can get anything going is to hope they can get Gasol to agree to a sign and trade and package that with the high draft pick they get for stinking this year and try to get 2 players or more in return. This is highly unlikely to happen. Its foolish to trade the high pick anyway(if its even allowed, not sure on the post draft rules).

    Kobe is done winning titles. He needs to come to grips with that.

    • lmoneyfresh - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      But don’t doubt Kobe, ever bro.

      Seriously though, you hit the nail on the head. This team has a lot of work to do to get back to contending, especially with how good the West is right now.

    • kb2408 - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:02 PM

      @billbitely…even if Kobe never wins another ring, he has FIVE. That’s more than every “elite” level player that has played since MJ and Pippen. You clowns seem to just forget about that.

      • lmoneyfresh - Mar 24, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        Who is saying anything bad about his career or the titles he won? All anybody here is saying is that the odds of him winning another one are slim to none, which isn’t exactly a stretch. You Kobe fans are so defensive.

  8. sportsfan18 - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Kobe says in the interview above that… “It’s not going to take a nose dive.”

    Has Kobe not looked at the standings? The Lakers are a half a game ahead of the Jazz for LAST place in the West as I’m writing this.

    Since this season has not yet finished, allow me to simply project their final record based on their current winning percentage (sure, it will probably be off a game or two, but not much as there are only 13 games left).

    The Lakers will finish around 28 & 53 this season or pretty close.

    The Lakers were 45 & 37 last season.

    This would make their record over the last TWO full seasons 73 & 90.

    Also, I do NOT see the Lakers being 18 games OVER .500 next season (50 & 32).

    This means that AFTER next season, the Lakers record for the most recent three seasons will STILL be BELOW .500

    Uh, Kobe, that IS a nose dive… whether one is talking about one season or a three yr stretch for the organization.

    More perspective… the FIVE yr record preceding the 2012/2013 season for the Lakers was 277 & 117. They finished in 1st place in their division for ALL five of those seasons…

    So, for FIVE consecutive yrs, they finished in first place and played ball at a .703 clip…

    Kobe, that is a nose dive…

    • 2one1 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:07 AM

      He means they’re not going to stay in the bottom forever…. or for a long time. History indicates the Lakers have always bounced back from a mediocre season almost immediately. They have never linger at the bottom. You guys need to realize, the Lakers are currently bad, but mostly because they’ve been injured. Almost all of their players have missed games because of injury and the core players have missed the most. I know Nash is old and beyond his prime, but had he not been injured at all, he would have still contributed a lot more than he had. Kobe, Farmar, Blake, Young, Henry, Gasol, Kaman, Johnson… all have been injured. Let’s take out at least 3 major players from any other team and see if they can be as good as they are right now. Take out Westbrook, Ibaka and Jackson from the Thunder (notice that I did not say Durant), all at the same time and take out one or two more from their bench who plays some meaningful minutes. Do the same to the Heat, Spurs, Clippers, Rockets, Pacers, Blazers, Warriors, Grizzlies, Mavericks, Suns, Raptors, Nets and Bulls… what kind of season would they have? None of these teams will be successful if they suffered the injuries that the Lakers had this season and every other team pretty much stayed healthy. I know some teams have a player or two who are injured, but they don’t have as many injuries as the Lakers have. The Lakers need a new coach, that I acknowledge and understand. I won’t judge the Lakers completely as losers until they all come back from injury and start playing as a healthy unit again. If their core players come back next season all healthy and ready to go and they picked up a solid free agent or two and do well in the draft and still struggle and be as bad as this season, then yes, I will pass judgment on them and I will call them a bad team that needs total rebuild.

  9. harshedmellow - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    “Maybe the Lakers shouldn’t have given a $48.5 million extension to a 35-year-old with knee problems and an attitude.”

    Knee problems, AND coming off an injury (ruptured Achilles) that leads to changed body mechanics in such a dynamic sport, which virtually guarantees problems with banged up old knees and lower back.

    Kobe is not a piece in a contender’s roster. He’s an albatross that will prevent that from happening, and a locker-room cancer and he exudes angst in every direction, unfettered by worrying about any discipline from coach or management.

    The Lakers have this vast sense of entitlement, matched only by their fan base, which is also frankly delusional AND entitled. The league didnt help this by blatantly throwing a couple crucial games to the Lakers in recent decades (Lakers/Blazers WCF game 7, Lakers/Kings WCF game 7).

    It’s time to just sit back and laugh at the misery from afar as this entitled team and fan base get a long-overdue reality check.

    #enjoytheb!tchslap

    • socaldrew - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      People like this are the reason I thoroughly enjoy being a lifelong Lakers fan. The NBA did not and does not conspire to keep your small to mid market team from being a contender. Dr. Jerry Buss poured his heart and soul into making the Lakers what they have been for the past 30+ years. Winners. Plain and simple. Have we had down years? Even a few years in a row? Sure. WE STARTED SMUSH PARKER, FFS!! Your blind hatred of my chosen franchise intrigues me. Is it that they’ve been so good, so often, for so long that bothers you? The current CBA certainly hurts the way the Lakers have preferred to remain at the top. But keep in mind, the CBA doesn’t last forever.

      You laugh at us this year. Enjoy it. It won’t last forever. As a faithful Lakers fan, I’ll continue to watch and look for the bright spots. There are young players finally seeing some run and showing their skills. It may not be in Kobe’s time frame, but young players getting experience can make all the difference between D-League scrubs and solid role players. A good draft pick, a quality free agent signing, and some development of these younger guys could easily lead to the Lakers seeing the Finals within as little as 3 years.

      ~ Lakers faithful

      • harshedmellow - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:10 PM

        So you think the foul on Sabonis, the one that by the way fouled him out and turned the entire course of the game, when Shaq turned his shoulder into him and bowled him over, was a legit foul? That’s just silly talk. And dude- it’s a matter of record that the LA/Sac game 7 was fixed.

        Y’all are delusional. But I can see why. SoCal is a fantasyland in itself.

  10. kb2408 - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    It always comes back to what the LAKERS shouldn’t have done with “their” money. Jennie Buss “clearly” explained why they gave Kobe that contract. End of story. Who cares whether you accept it or not.

  11. kamauthabiti - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    not understanding why people think that to be a contender is selfish. I know most of you writers and responders don’t like the Lakers and especially Kobe, but he is right the Lakers must be a bona fide contender. contrary to what you guys are trying to sell, there is no playing just for the love of the game, that isn’t even true for the watchers.

  12. andreboy1 - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Kobe doesn’t have any friends

    And Shaq won those first two rings

    All you young bucks need to look at the stats of those first two titles

    Kobe was a role player who played horribly in those finals

    • sportsfan18 - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      Shaq won the first THREE rings..

      Yes, Kobe’s stats were not good in those finals. Shaq raised his stats from the regular season in the finals…

      Anyone comparing Shaq’s stats to Kobe’s for both the regular season and in the finals will clearly see that Shaq was The Man and Kobe was the Sidekick…

      And in the 2004 Finals that the Lakers lost in 5 games, Shaq’s stats were very good and Kobe’s were HORRIBLE…

      In the 2004 Finals..

      Shaq shot .631% from the field…
      Kobe shot .381% from the field…

      Shaq, WHILE shooting .631% from the field ONLY took 84 field goal attempts.

      Kobe, WHILE shooting .381% from the field kept jacking up miss after miss as he took 113 field goal attempts…

      Poor Shaq needed to bring the ball up court himself if he wanted a shot as Kobe was locked in on “Fire Away” all series…

      In the 2004 Finals, Kobe SHOT .174% from 3 pt range. 17% folks…SEVENTEEN! percent.

      He ONLY made 4 of 23 attempts…

      Think the Lakers would have been better off if Shaq was able to take a few more shots?

      The Black Mamba was DOA and MIA and many other bad things in that Finals…

      Had Kobe played THROUGH the big fella, the Lakers would have won that Finals…

      Kobe ACTUALLY told Phil Jackson in his exit interview after the 2003 season that he was tired of being the “sidekick”.

      Phil included that quote in one of his books.

      Kobe wanted a Finals MVP trophy as Shaq rightly won all 3 of them whey Shaq The Man and Kobe The Sidekick won their first three titles…

      So Kobe wanted a Finals MVP, was tired of being the sidekick (his own word to Phil) and he went out and tried to be “The Man” in the 2004 Finals and flopped miserably…

      I mean 3 of 24 from 3 pt range… .381% from the field…

      And the Lakers lost with the big fella shooting OVER 63% from the floor…

      Hey Lakers fans, you’ll tell me that Shaq left and then Kobe won WITHOUT Shaq…

      Well, check out Kobe’s stats vs. Pau Gasol’s stats in the 2009 Finals.

      Kobe shot .430% from the field…

      Pau shot .600% from the field…

      Again, Kobe took way more shots, he took 135 field goal attempts while only making 43% of them.

      Pau, while making 60% of his shots only took 60 field goal attempts.

      Somehow the Lakers won the title though…

      The following season, in the 2010 Finals… Kobe ONLY shot .405% from the field…

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        stats, stats, stats, do you actually watch any of the games?

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 24, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        and just to expand on my hatred for your comment, the finals are only one part of a championship season. Shaq was better for the first run, they were equal for the second run, and kobe was better for the last run. They played the nets in the third year who were a running team with no big men, so naturally the game plan was to give it to shaq early and often, and it’s not like the nets were an issue. Wing players who are tasked with creating shots for others will generally have lower shooting percentages than big men. And kobe played phenomenal defense as well.

      • kb2408 - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        Yeah, tell that to the “experts” that have Kobe ranked as one of the top 10 payers to EVER play in the NBA. But of course you are far more knowledgable than they are.
        Kobe was barely old enough to legally drink at the time he won his first title. Shaq was the most dominant player in the league at the time and maybe ever. You can name any player in the history of the league, and at 21 yrs old playing with a 27 yr old Shaq in his prime, they would’ve been relegated to sidekick status. But as far as sidekicks go, Kobe was a great one. Shaq makes it clear who the greatest duo to EVER play the game is. And if I recall correctly (and I do) Kobe was the closer on the LAKERS 3peat teams. Shaq could not shoot free throws and the ball went to Kobe in the fourth quarter. I know you hate Kobe, for whatever simple reason you have made up in your mind, but give credit where credit is due. He is one of the greatest players ever….just ask the “experts.”

      • kb2408 - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        @aboogy123456, you are exctly correct. Kobe probably should’ve been Finals MVP for one of those 3peat titles. But of course his haters won’t remember or aknowledge that.

      • macka4 - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:20 AM

        And with all those stats/facts, some idiots still compare him to Jordan! Unbelievable.

      • 2one1 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:13 AM

        Let them hate all they want. The Lakers will be back winning championships sooner than they can hope their team will ever win one.

  13. cuhris84 - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    I trust that Kobe Bryant has all the confidence in the world. But, its much different trusting his body from recovering to two leg injuries.

    The Lakers, I trust on rebuilding a contender. Because they have done so in the past, making a dollar out of a quarter.

    Lakers will contend again. Regardless. Not too many franchise and fan base can say that to their team.

    • wkl21 - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      missing a couple of Jerrys this time though. good luck!

  14. eugenesaxe1 - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Well, at least he admits to being selfish. Get him to admit he’s also delusional if he thinks there’s any chance in Hell of them contending as long as he’s strangling their cap, and you’ve accomplished more than the team will for the next few years.

  15. billtetley53 - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    socal: Its not the team we hate, its you know nothing fans we detest. GFY.

    Kb: bitely?! That’s all you can come up with? Uff. You weren’t that good before, but you’ve slipped even from that perch.

    I don’t care about the Five he’s one dummy. I said he’s done winning rings.
    Yet typically, you don’t comprehend.

    July. North Hollywood. Name anywhere. I will meet you to settle our differences.

    Or will you just run away from this thread too. What a coward.

    • kb2408 - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      Internet tough guy alert!!!^^^^ This dude, billbitely53…..the only thing funnier than fake NBA tough guy is internet tough guy.

      • spthegr8 - Mar 24, 2014 at 6:58 PM

        ^^ It’s actually funnier to see you dance around his challenge. Man up Bro…. Man up!!^^

  16. AZ Dem - Mar 24, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    It may not be that hard. There’s Kevin Love out there. I believe that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are in the last years of their contracts. Yes, they’re old, but the Lakers have a tradition of using aging stars in part time roles. Bob McAdoo is probably the best example. He really came through for them coming off the bench in the playoffs. And then there’s the question of Steve Nash. Nash wants to play. He’s working with a trainer. I saw some video of Nash, and he looks really good. He’s in better shape than he has been in 4-5 years. Nash says he’ll return to the NBA only with the Lakers. So, he’ll likely take the veteran’s minimum.

    If the Lakers do go for it. Then there’s the big question, what’s next? The rebuild is going to be very painful.

    • wkl21 - Mar 24, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      Nash is signed up for next season for $9M plus.

  17. billtetley53 - Mar 24, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    Kb2408. Listen chickens***, I’m not being an internet tough guy. I’m going to be in L.A. in July. I figured it would be a good time to meet up with you and see if your face is as punchable as I think it is.

    Typical you though, you take the cowards way out and look for support from other posters.

    Only thing funnier than an internet tough guy, is a Turd like you that runs his mouth but doesnt have the stones to back up his talk.

    I didn’t expect any less out of you, your past actions on this site show what type of person you are.

    • Professor Fate - Mar 24, 2014 at 7:25 PM

      I thought the North Hollywood reference was some kind of joke, but apparently that’s where you’ll be attending junior high. Pretty immature to want to punch someone out because you don’t like what they’re saying. If you can’t grow up between now and July be sure to bring more than your fists to a place like North Hollywood.

  18. billtetley53 - Mar 24, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    Um, I was in North Hollywood last May. Not sure why you think its a bad place. My brother lives there and its like 10 minutes from Burbank.

    I couldnt care less if you think I’m immature or not. Kb is a hateable person, why are you defending him?

    I didn’t expect him to take me up on it anyway. Now he will disappear again because he looks like the coward he is.

    Alligator mouth and a hummingbird hind end.

  19. gymtruthteller - Mar 24, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    When you have one of greatest basketball players of all time about to be healthy why wouldn’t you go for it now and why is that selfish?

    If Kobe is healthy and that is a big if he will lead that team to the playoffs. What is the big deal?

  20. ghelton03 - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    Kobe will make $48M over the next two years. How does he expect Lakers to be competitive when he is an aging player, with health issue, at the end of his career, absorbing the majority of the teams payroll? Maybe he can convince LBJ or Durant to go to LA and work for minimum wage. Question is, what is Kobe willing to give up?

    • macka4 - Mar 25, 2014 at 2:23 AM

      Goes without saying, Lakers gotta’ be *****ing their pants for the Kobe and Nash deals. Gotten nothing from either and the future ….. doesn’t look too great either.

  21. fmartinezslc - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    Kobe put the crack pipe down your crap team not winning nothing thanks to you getting 48 mil !!!

  22. petermac44 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:15 AM

    I hope Kobe gets what he wants – because as selfish as he is I am too, I love winning and being a die-hard Lakers fan I want to win it all every year!!! The franchise just made a huge mistake and Miss Jeanie Buss/Jackson dissed her own future husband by not giving him what he deserved and what good teams do for great players or coaches, longevity and loyalty are earned and Kobe and Phil has done their part. They deserved big money and the Lakers have it to burn because of their heroics, this guy wants to win now and they have to take a loss to make it happen. The only thing about a ‘loss’ is that when you win in the NBA, you win financially too… especially in LA. Buss family has to put up or offer him more as in future ownership and extended stay as a player for as long as he is healthy and productive. He is still amazing and with limited minutes and a coach smart enough to build young talent around him he could potetially play until 40. Michael did and he was nowhere near the shape year in and year out as Kobe is and always has been. He big question is “is Kobe a has been?” This ownership group needed to go to bat for Kobe this year and took a dive, no way does this group win a Chapionship with everyone at full health all year. Mark Cuban would be slipping his Gatorade synthetic untracable HgH into these aged veterans, and who knows what else. I think the Lakers need Jerry West back in camp and to get some more Laker alumni like Kareem, Bryon Scott or Brian Shaw involved and more importantly some one who can work with or against Kobe’s ego and Nash’s skepticism everyday in practice. Pau is more than likely gone and hopefully in a deal for Kevin Love. Then hopefully a big is available like Melo is great but doesn’t want to play defense so give up on that and think about stealing Harrison Barnes from the Warriors, he is still young enough to learn and become a defender. The draft is full of really young kids with no chance of making a huge splash in the NBA first season, have to hope that Jordan Hill continues to stay healthy and we get a point guard that is big and fast enough to guard Steph Curry and Westbrook. The Lakers could seriously be in the top 4 Lottery picks and that helps for trading someone that needs to go like Nash… Toughest most critical off-season since we had Kwame Brown on the team. Jeanie and Jim I don’t envy you but truly would love to hear some of the logic about the big Plan to win next year!!!

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