HoopsHype Kobe Bryant rumors

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February 23, 2015 Updates

On Sunday evening, an injured Kobe Bryant co-hosted ESPN’s Grantland Basketball Hour with Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose. And on it, the trio talked a ton about Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. There were some interesting discussions, particularly when Kobe was presented with the idea that the Thunder is now Russell Westbrook’s — and not Kevin Durant’s — team. Bryant scoffed at the notion. “I have a hard time understanding those kind of conversations — the ‘Whose team is this?’” Bryant said. “If you think about it, the irony is we want players to be unselfish, we want them to be part of a group, we want them to be part of a team, but yet when they win, we’re quick to say, ‘Well, it wasn’t your team, so your championship is devalued.’ It makes no sense. You can’t have it both ways. We can’t sit here and say ‘Whose team is it?’" Oklahoman

"The fact of the matter is they both have different personalities, they can drive the team in their respective ways. The key is for the rest of the team to understand what personality does what and what areas of the game can that personality benefit us.” Oklahoman

Kobe on the criticism Westbrook faces… “I don’t think Russell pays much attention to it. I didn’t. Because you have your blinders on. And your completely focused on what your team needs to do and what you have to do to help that team be successful. Russell, I believe, has the same mentality that I have had. Which is that it doesn’t matter. I’m going to go out here and play hard regardless of what they say.” Oklahoman

Kobe Bryant cleared things up a little Sunday in regards to a report that said he would retire after next season. "Yeah no, that's not true," Bryant told Grantland's Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose in response to an article last week in The Hollywood Reporter. In the THR piece, which was mostly an interview with the Los Angeles Lakers legend about his upcoming Showtime documentary "Kobe Bryant's Muse," author Marisa Guthrie wrote Bryant would retire after next season, without directly quoting him on the topic. Bryant also told Simmons and Rose he's not into the idea of a Derek Jeter-style season farewell tour: "It wouldn't be true to who I've been my entire career to do a farewell tour. First of all, I'd feel weird." The Score

February 20, 2015 Updates
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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

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