HoopsHype Kobe Bryant rumors

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May 26, 2015 Updates

With the next NBA season widely considered to be his last, Kobe Bryant has quietly signed with WME, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned. Although his marketing contracts will continue to be handled by his Landmark Sports agent Rob Pelinka, WME will represent the 14-time All-Star in film, TV, books and digital, similar to what it does for its other superstar athlete clients, including LeBron James, whoseburgeoning Hollywood portfolio includes executive producing the Starz comedy Survivor’s Remorse, developing the Esquire docuseriesWinner’s Circle and an untitled NBC game show and playing himself in Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck. For his part, Bryant recently executive produced his first project, the documentary Kobe Bryant’s Muse, which aired on Showtime on Feb. 28. Oklahoman

May 24, 2015 Updates
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May 22, 2015 Updates

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said star guard Kobe Bryant has told the GM that the 2015-16 season will be Bryant's last with the Lakers. "He has indicated to me that this is it," Kupchak said Thursday in a radio appearance with SiriusXM NBA Radio. ESPN.com

Bryant is scheduled to make a league-high $25 million in his final contract season -- his 20th -- with the Lakers. But there's speculation that Bryant could play beyond next season, and Bryant said he hasn't ruled out that possibility. "I think first and foremost, he's on the last year of a deal," Kupchak told SiriusXM NBA Radio. "There have been no discussions about anything going forward. I don't think there will be." ESPN.com

"I think it is clear," Kupchak said. "He's on the last year of his deal. There have been no discussions [about playing beyond next season]. He hasn't indicated that he wants to continue to play. "But if there is a player out there like that, that won't come here for that reason, then we don't want them. Every great player is demanding and focused, and if you don't want to play for a guy like him that's driven to do nothing but win championships and work hard, then you shouldn't be here. You should go someplace else." ESPN.com

May 20, 2015 Updates

Instead, they'll draft second, behind the Minnesota Timberwolves after jumping in the draft lottery on Tuesday. "We played like crap all season so it's only right we get the #2 pick HA #lakerluck #goodday," tweeted Kobe Bryant. The top prospects in the draft are probably Duke's Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns. The Lakers are absolved from choosing between the two, assuming the Wolves don't go in a different direction, perhaps Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell. Los Angeles Times

May 19, 2015 Updates

Following his freshman year at Metuchen (N.J.) St. Joseph’s High School, Towns was on the Dominican Republic team that played against the United States’ national team in an exhibition game in Las Vegas on July 12, 2012. That USA team, which was preparing for the London Olympics, included LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant, but Towns expressed the most excitement at the time about playing against Kobe Bryant. Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers have the fourth-best odds in the lottery of landing the top pick at 11.9 percent. The third-best odds (15.6 percent) belong to the Philadelphia 76ers. “The biggest thing I took away from that game was a confidence level that I could play with these players, that I can play with the best of the best,” Towns said. “Kobe talked to me. ... He told me to make sure I keep working hard and he talked about some other things. We had a good conversation.” Yahoo! Sports

May 15, 2015 Updates
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May 8, 2015 Updates

Wilkes played with Bill Walton in college, then won championships with the Rick Barry Warriors and, more famously, the "Showtime" Lakers. And almost 30 years after wrapping up his career, he takes a look at the NBA franchise that defined him and sees Kobe Bryant in a familiar position: getting old. But these Lakers don't have Worthy waiting in the wings. "It's very different," Wilkes told Sporting News. "He has very little help, and I'm sure he feels like it's all on him because it has been for the last 18, 19 years. And I'm sure he doesn't know what to expect from himself or what his body can give him now. But it's clear that he's near the end. He's in the last year of his contract. But physically, he just can't carry the group more. Sporting News

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