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Report: Kobe Bryant already vacationing in France as Lakers end ugly season

Apr 16, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant

Would you want to stick around for the end of this disaster?

This Lakers team has racked up more losses (55) than any team in franchise history and Kobe Bryant wants nothing to do with it — he has not been around the team much as this season wore on, as the losses piled up, as he recovered from a fractured knee.

Now as the Lakers prepare to take on the Spurs in their final game Kobe Bryant isn’t even on the continent — he’s in France on vacation, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Bryant went to France with family members either Tuesday or Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times has learned. The Lakers conclude their season Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs….

Bryant has been in a surly mood since the team’s fortunes started sagging, muttering under his breath at last month’s team photo that he doesn’t like associating with a team so many games under .500.

Contrast that with Pau Gasol, who was injured and out the last few games of the season but traveled with the Lakers on this road trip and spoke with Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report about it.

Asked why he made the trip in his condition, Gasol shrugged and said: “Be a good teammate, be a good professional.” I asked him if he considered not coming, and Gasol said he was medically cleared by the doctor to fly, so he did. He also mentioned he was one of the team captains and wanted to support the guys.

Who is showing more leadership here?

Kobe’s “leadership through intimidation” tactics don’t work with everyone (he was always more effective with Derek Fisher’s good cop to his bad cop, Steve Nash couldn’t really fill that locker room role). This is Kobe’s team still — the two-year, $48.5 million extension he got that keeps him the highest paid player in the league ensures that — but it hasn’t been the second half of this year.

The Lakers are going to be very different next season. Different coach most likely. Certainly roster changes (though maybe not the major ones Kobe is hoping for, it’s a tough market right now).

Will they be better? We’ll see. Just having Bryant back for the majority of games would help considerably, but it’s going to take more than just that.

Which is to say Kobe may not be happy at the end of next season either, but hopefully he’s healthy and not sitting in Bordeaux. Or wherever.

  1. andreboy1 - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    But Kobe’s bad behavior will be let off the hook because “he wants to win so bad” so he can act a fool while other guys would get crushed. LBJ would get destroyed if he did this.

    • sportsfan18 - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:38 PM

      So many suckers defend him mightily…

      He took too much money to resign and he’s already complaining about them not trying to win it all next season…

      So much falls on his shoulders too…

      Does he do good things to? Of course, no doubt at all but his negatives get overlooked or talked about in a positive light.

      He’s human. He does good things and bad things.

      His fans pretend the bad don’t exist.

      If folks are honest, they see that those they follow and support do both good AND bad things…

      Just as we do as people…

      • unxpexted1 - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        I also think people over blow the bad. Blake Griffin didn’t travel with the team for their final game and they’re in playoff contention(this is before the suspension came down). Would it be nice if he stuck around, yea. Tim Duncan and Parker don’t travel with the team at times throughout the season. I He has been on the bench for the majority of the season, but lately he hasn’t been around. I think this “bad” isn’t as bad as people are making. He’s done way worse in my eyes.

    • nickeden17 - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      Its amazing, the Dude signs for big money and this is how he rewards the organization rewarding him with highest pay as a loyalty gesture? Really? While he was still hurt and they knew there was no guarantee he would be back to normal again? They could have chose for him to walk and rightfully that would have been a much better decision considering he is vacationing in France while the young lads who look up to him were still fighting till the last game holding their heads up with pride justifying wearing purple and gold. The don’t need him as a mentor, he needs those young guys to be his selfish @ss as Mentors. What a knuckle head, wish he was sitting like a mentor on the side lines supporting his minimum wage team mates while he, the injured, the highest paid is vacationing showing dis respect and no support to them, the true Lakers who really wish can come back and wear the Jersey again. KOBE has pulled this traitor threats too many times and enough is enough, I dought his commitment to our TEAM LAKERS> FIRE HIM!

  2. asimonetti88 - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    I wish I was in France on vacation

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      You live in Cali. That’s like a vacation compared to NY.

      • sportsfan18 - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:39 PM

        No one in the State of New York holds a gun to the citizens there to make them STAY…


  3. heat256 - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    Just to play devil’s advocate: Heat fans who left early (let’s just say they bailed on the Heat’s season) were trashed (rightfully), but a person who is ACTUALLY ON THE TEAM gets to leave early and it’s met with shrugs? Because he’s Kobe? That’s actually sadder. Why shouldn’t fans bail early when their team is losing then? Did Kobe just give every fan doing so complete justification?

    • mackcarrington - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      The Heat fans didn’t just get trashed for leaving. They got trashed because most of them didn’t even get as far as the parking lot before trying to bum rush their way back inside. Plus the Heat fans left while there was still time for a comeback. The Lakers had no chance for a comeback when Kobe got on that plane.

      • toycannoni - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:03 PM

        lol…the lakers had/have no chance because of kobe and only kobe

        no one wants to play with him and there’s no money left to sign anyone because of him

        it’s gonna be awesome watching him go out like the pouty little bitch he really is

        just a shame he ruined his endorsement earning power with the rape allegations and most of his money comes from basketball only

        going to be a long time before the lakers are relevant again

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:19 PM

        The Heat fans get trashed because those doing the trashing are jealous pea brain losers.

      • sportsfan18 - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:43 PM

        Pau is right, Kobe is way wrong…

        There is no way to sugar coat it…

        It is what it is as the saying goes…

        Fans get onto players that leave the court or the sideline with say 30 seconds left or 15 seconds left EVEN though the outcome HAS already been decided…

        The Lakers outcome has ALREADY been decided but Kobe left the sidelines prematurely… and it’s wrong and can’t be spun any other way…

        The sad thing is, he HAD to let someone on the team in management KNOW he was taking off out of the country and they said “you got it boss, have fun, tweet us pics etc…”

        What if someone had said your ass isn’t going anywhere Kobe, travel with the team!

        Would Kobe take his ball and go home or realize that THEY were right and HE was WRONG?

    • turkbox420 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:30 PM

      Ugh that was the finals not the end of a regular (horrible) season. Hell Pat Riley quit coaching at the end of Miami`s horrible season. And Wade was not with team. So don`t bring Miami into this. But you`re probably a 2010 Heat fan anyway.

  4. spursareold - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    It’s cheaper to fly on Tuesday than any other day of the week.

  5. 407magic - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    Punk move by Kobe

    • jollyjoker2 - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:57 PM

      is he supposed to give moral support by showing up to a coach that ran the team in the toilet and blamed it on injuries? Get real.

  6. thevza - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    When you have disgruntled employees, you gotta look to management.

    • toycannoni - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:14 PM

      in this case laker management paid the washed up, has been, known as kobe, when they should have kicked him down the road….so i guess you can blame the buss family for being ignorant

      smart move would have been to keep dwight howard and bring in king james to lock up 4 or 5 more rings

      having jerry west or pat riley in charge of things would have made that happen…..busskuppy is a joke and they will not put together a championship in their reign… it

  7. antistratfordian - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    Of course. #KobeSystem is all about team.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:19 PM

      Are you lying?

  8. lj312chicago - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Bad behavior? He should’ve gone on vacation the second he broke his knee

  9. jolink653 - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    He’s really off to a good start earning that $24 million a year for the next two years. Rather than stay and help his team anyway he can, maybe by teaching or motivating his teammates, he checks out and goes to France. Really says a lot about the kind of player and person he is. Any player should be ripped for pulling this kind of stuff

    • jollyjoker2 - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      Is he now the coach? I wonder what yahoos like you would say if he was on the bench digging into the coaches work or brow beating teammates into playing harder. I think his coworkers and any fan would tell him to bud out and stfu.

  10. jimeejohnson - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    Viva La France. Just kidding.

  11. fordmandalay - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    Does anybody think Kobe can come back from almost 2 seasons of being too injured to play, and at his age, to be anywhere close to his former self? At best he’s going to try to coast through the season to ‘save’ himself for the playoffs – which the Lakers won’t even come close to. And what kind of bad attitude will he show when they have a 20-30 W/L record? He’ll be poison for the rest of the year.

    • borisalessandri - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:47 PM

      I accidentally hit the thumbs down. I didn’t pinch zoom enough for my huge thumb to hit the thumbs up

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:33 PM

      The year before last he averaged 26 PPG and played in over 75 games.

      • therealhtj - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:00 PM

        The year before tearing his achilles, Isaiah Thomas averaged 17.6 and played 79 games. He retired after the injury.

        He was two years younger than Kobe will be at the start of next season.

      • asimonetti88 - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:42 PM

        This guy claimed he’s been too injured to play for 2 seasons. That is a factually incorrect statement and I was pointing it out.

  12. topdawg4ever - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    Once again, Pau Gasol- the poor guy who’s been getting thrown under the bus by Kobe- turns out to be a classier and more loyal TEAM mate than Kobe.

  13. elcapitanfiscal - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    Is this ok to do? I can see the media killing LeBron if he did that..

    • turkbox420 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      Wade did it in 08 or 09 Riley too

  14. reformedplayer - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    We will miss his talent but we won’t miss him.

  15. 2phatt2 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    Kobe really don’t give a $hit about this team, his check was in the bank long ago.

  16. rodge1 - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    I hope Kobe stays with the Lakers forever if this is what they’ll be like.

  17. urodaddy07 - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    I’m really confused here. What’s the issue. He’s paid to play. He ain’t playing. What difference does it make if he is in France? As long as this is something sanctioned by the front office, no harm no foul. And this is regardless of who it is.

  18. bballhistorian - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    Good riddens.

  19. pippyskipy - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    LoL What a joke been on vacation all year …. Such a hard season for ya … Hard work watching the team get mowed over night after night …. Nash too …

  20. skins26portis - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    It didn’t matter if Kobe was healthy and played in all 82 games this team was not making the playoffs. Its funny when the team is losing Kobe was no where to be seen. Most players would be on the bench at least at the home games supporting their team. Its easy to be a team guy when things are going well , but when your team sucks like the Lakers then his true colors come out. If a team is playing you to be the face of the franchise then he should be front and center no matter how bad this team is and he should take some of the blame. Kobe is stealing money from the Lakers this season so why not stay around to the very end of the season encouraging your teammates. No wonder D-12 left cause its all about Kobe. Good Luck Laker lovers cause the Clippers run LA now.

  21. shuttaman1990 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Kobe has every right to do this. He doesn’t have to show support to a coach he dont like.
    U want to blame someone blame jim bus not kobe.
    Kurt no, just no.
    Kobe the gawd.
    Lakers all day.

  22. unxpexted1 - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Also I believe he left because he is finally cleared to run and start basketball activity and is going to be stopping in Germany to get checked on by the doctor out there as well. (yea i know everybody is going to say that’s sketch). But its sounds like he’s trying to get a jump on his offseason workouts.

  23. doctordunkenstein - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    What a great teammate. forces his way to the best franchise in basketball, plays with the most dominant center of all time in his prime, gets coached by the greatest coach of all time…

    but one down year and he’s pouting like a little baby…leaving the team early to go on vacation.

    You know Pau was talking about kobe when he said “Be a good teammate, be a good professional.”

    • toycannoni - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      he did the same thing the year he ran shaq out of town….

      cried about not having any talent around him because he couldn’t get the lakers to the playoffs

      1 reg season mvp and 1 playoff mvp tells you all you need to know about the ball hog and his quest for the greatest ever crown

      funny how lebron has been beating all of kobe’s records of youngest to reach certain plateaus in scoring….especially when lebron is the ultimate facilitator of all time

      kobe will be overpaid to pad his stats and try to get the ignorant laker fans to pay for it next year, but don’t be fooled into thinking his career isn’t over as a top talent,,,,,he’s done

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