HoopsHype Kobe Bryant rumors

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February 20, 2015 Updates
February 19, 2015 Updates
February 18, 2015 Updates
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

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