Perhaps agitated by rumors Phil Jackson is all but certain to officially sever longtime ties with the organization and take his talents to New York City to become the new face of the Knicks, Kobe Bryant is letting Lakers’ management know he has absolutely no patience for any rebuilding effort in 2014-15.
The Lakers announced on Wednesday that Bryant and his bad left knee are officially done for the season and, before they could type up of the press release, Bryant was articulating his critical thoughts about what might be their long-term plans.
“This is not what we play for,” Bryant told the L.A. Times, seemingly of NBA players in general and the fabled Lakers franchise in particular. “This is not what we stand for.”
When asked if he would be on board with any plan that calls for the team to take a-wait-and-see approach in terms of choosing what time to enter the game of attracting and landing big name free agents, Bryant minced few words in responding “No. Not one lick… I feel like killing everybody. I’m on edge all the time.”
The Lakers are rumored to be interested in forwards Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love, both of whom are expected to be free to make their own best deals by the end of the 2014 season. But now 35 and in his 18th season, Bryant knows time is not on his side.
“Obviously this has been a frustrating and disappointing season,” said Bryant, who has been sidelined since Dec. 17 with a left knee injury that a reexamination just this week showed has not properly healed.
In all, Bryant played in just six games this season, averaging 13.8 points, 6.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 42.5 percent shooting from the field. The Lakers have felt the effects, currently tied for the worst record in the Western Conference at 2242.
A five-time NBA champion and 16-time All-Star, the Lakers signed Bryant to a $48 million, two-year extension in early November.