The Los Angeles Lakers are 0-4, and have provided little reason to believe things will get much better as the 2014-2015 season gets underway. Might Kobe Bryant take the path of other superstars stranded on bad teams by requesting a trade? Breathe, Lakers fans. Mamba confirmed recently that he isn’t going anywhere.
In an exclusive chat with Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports, Bryant reiterated that purple and gold are the only colors he’ll ever wear.
“I hear the chatter of Kobe should ask out and he should go and play for a contender in this latter stage of his career,” Bryant told Yahoo Sports. “But that’s not what I do. I’m extremely loyal to the Lakers.
“I believe in fighting through the tough times as well as enjoying the good times. It’s my responsibility to get us to be the best that we can be. It’s important that we approach that on a day-to-day basis.”
None of this is at all surprising, but it will certainly hearten Los Angeles fans across the country. Those who adore Kobe for his old-fashioned approach to leadership and shot-selection surely do the same for his similarly archaic loyalty to a single team.
He even compared the Lakers’ failure to land a marquee free agent this summer to his last bout of displeasure with the franchise in 2007:
“We offered Pau [Gasol] an incredible deal. I saw them put the work in. It’s much different than in 2007 when I felt like they were just sitting on their hands. This is not that case. They were going after it and being aggressive. I will fight for that till the end. They tried, tried and tried and it didn’t work out. I stand behind them 110 percent. I bleed purple and gold.”
Bryant isn’t requesting another trade; that possibility never had any traction this time around. But unlike when he actually wanted out in 2007, help isn’t on the way to Staples Center, either. Los Angeles doesn’t have the assets to make a fortune-flipping deal like it did for Gasol seven seasons ago, and the franchise’s all-time low caché means a major free agency haul this summer is hardly imminent. Kobe might be playing on a poor Lakers team for what could be the last two seasons of his career.
But even so, he’s staying put in Los Angeles. Good to know for certain? Sure. Obvious nonetheless? Definitely.
What do you think?
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