HoopsHype Kobe Bryant rumors

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February 17, 2015 Updates

But how could that possibly be done? Doesn't the league's financial system dictate certain limitations? Kobe Bryant: Well, okay: Look at the [2011] lockout. That lockout was made to restrict the Lakers. It was. I don't care what any other owner says. It was designed to restrict the Lakers and our marketability. GQ.com

Kobe Bryant: Even with those restrictions, the Lakers pulled off a trade [for Chris Paul] that immediately set us up for a championship, a run of championships later, and which saved money. Now, the NBA vetoed that trade. But the Lakers pulled that shit off, and no one would have thought it was even possible. The trade got vetoed, because they'd just staged the whole lockout to restrict the Lakers. Mitch got penalized for being smart. But if we could do that... GQ.com

Why do you think Jackson would write such negative things about you? Was he trying to psychologically motivate you, or is he just kind of a weird, arrogant person? Kobe Bryant: Well, most successful people are a little arrogant.... I was very stubborn. I was like a wild horse that had the potential to become Secretariat, but who was just too fucking wild. So part of that was him trying to tame me. He's also very intelligent, and he understood the dynamic he had to deal with between me and Shaq. So he would take shots at me in the press, and I understood he was doing that in order to ingratiate himself to Shaq. And since I knew what he was doing, I felt like that was an insult to my intelligence. I mean, I knew what he was doing. Why not just come to me and tell me that? GQ.com

So would you say the perception of him being lazy was inaccurate? Kobe Bryant: He had years where he was lazy. But during those three championships we won? To say he was a beast would be an understatement. To say I didn't learn things from him that I still use to this day would be a disservice. To be fair, I think what happened is that, as you get older, your body starts breaking down, and you have to really love the process in order to get through that. GQ.com

"Does my nature make me less enjoyable to play with? Of course," he says. "Of course it does. Is it possible that some top players in the league are intimidated by that? Yes. But do I want to play with those players? Does the Laker organization want those specific players? No. Magic. Jordan. Bird. We all would have been phenomenal teammates. This organization wants players who will carry this franchise to another five or six championships. The player who does that has to be cut from the same cloth. And if they're not cut from that cloth, they don't belong here." GQ.com

"I've shot too much from the time I was eight years old," Bryant says. "But 'too much' is a matter of perspective. Some people thought Mozart had too many notes in his compositions. Let me put it this way: I entertain people who say I shoot too much. I find it very interesting. Going back to Mozart, he responded to critics by saying there were neither too many notes or too few. There were as many as necessary." GQ.com

Kobe Bryant: So that's when I decided that—if people were going to like me or not like me—it was going to be for who I actually was. To hell with all that plain vanilla shit, just to get endorsement deals. Those are superficial, anyway. I don't enjoy doing them, anyway. I'll just show people who I actually am.... The [loss of the] endorsements were really the least of my concerns. Was I afraid of going to jail? Yes. It was twenty-five to life, man. I was terrified. The one thing that really helped me during that process—I'm Catholic, I grew up Catholic, my kids are Catholic—was talking to a priest. It was actually kind of funny: He looks at me and says, 'Did you do it?' And I say, 'Of course not.' Then he asks, 'Do you have a good lawyer?' And I'm like, 'Uh, yeah, he's phenomenal.' So then he just said, 'Let it go. Move on. God's not going to give you anything you can't handle, and it's in his hands now. This is something you can't control. So let it go.' And that was the turning point." GQ.com

February 16, 2015 Updates

In an advance showing provided to Bleacher Report, Bryant clarified to Rashad that it was not a new injury suffered when Dante Cunningham bumped his shoulder from behind on Bryant's Jan. 21 dunk. It was an injury that got worse—and prompted Bryant to get an MRI that showed how bad it had become. "Even now, the strength in my shoulder's good," he said prior to surgery. "It's fine; I can shoot. I've had this pain for a long time, and I've never actually gotten it looked at because the strength was so good." Bleacher Report

What is clear is that Bryant, who did not appear in New York to speak over the weekend despite being voted to the All-Star team, still has fuel in the tank for another nine-month rally. "I want to see if I can," he said. "I don't know if I can. I want to find out. I want to see." Bleacher Report

Bryant is missing because of injury again—and he figures to be gone for good almost as soon as he comes back. Even though he's the one whose iron will has had to bend to his breaking-down body, Bryant has gotten to gratitude even before the rest of us will next season. "You get older," he said, "you start seeing the beauty that's in that process. … You start trying to find love in that, find the beauty in that—which is completely different than being 21." Bleacher Report

Grant Hill talks with Jordan about Kobe Bryant and how he's been able to stay in the league for so long. MSN

Kobe Bryant craves any edge he can have against an opponent, let alone against his idol, Michael Jordan. So when a a teammate asked him if he would like any feedback on how to match up him shortly before they first squared off nearly 19 years ago, well Bryant was all ears. “Whatever you do,” the unnamed teammate advised, “don’t look him in the eye.” To which Bryant responded, “Why in the hell would I NOT look him in the eye?” Los Angeles Daily News

Bryant has suffered season-ending injuries each of the last three seasons. He tore his Achilles in April 2013 and fractured his knee in December 2013. "I can't say it is the end," Bryant told NBATV. "I thought the Spurs were done 20 years ago. Those guys are still winning. So, to answer the question, I can't say this is the end of my era because I thought their (era) was done and they're still there. So I'm hoping I can have the same rebirth." Sports Illustrated

Even though James didn't win his third MVP award, he crept closer to passing Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant as the All-Star Game's all-time leading scorer. He passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan on Sunday and now has 278 career All-Star points, two behind Bryant. "Any time you're in the conversation with a great is very humbling," James said. "It's an honor. I've just got to keep getting better and better hopefully, and keep understanding how I got here and why I'm here." USA Today Sports

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