Western Notes: Kobe, Thomas, Hayward

Kobe Bryant didn’t hold back during the press conference that followed today’s official announcement that he’s done for the year. He said he has “not one lick” of patience for suffering through another losing season in 2014/15. With Phil Jackson agreeing to take a front office job with the Knicks, Bryant finds it difficult to understand why the Lakers haven’t hired him back, and he called upon co-owners Jim and Jeanie Buss to resolve their differences. He also wants to be in the loop on the team’s moves and expressed his frustration with the trade of Steve Blake. “I just want to get a phone call when somebody gets traded,” Bryant said (Twitter links via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.comBeto Duran of ESPN radio Los Angeles, and Bill Oram of the Orange County Register).

There’s more Lakers-related news as we examine the latest from the Western Conference:

  • Soon-to-be restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas admits to SB Nation’s James Herbert that he grew up a fan of the Lakers and still likes the team. The Kings point guard calls Bryant his favorite player.
  • Gordon Hayward largely stayed out of negotiations between agent Mark Bartelstein and the Jazz on a possible extension this past fall, and he plans to be similarly scarce as Bartelstein talks with clubs this summer, when Hayward will be a restricted free agent. Grantland’s Zach Lowe has more from his interview with the former Butler star, who expresses his fondness for the small-town feel of Salt Lake City.
  • A report last month suggested the Nuggets don’t plan to give Kenneth Faried a major payday when he’s up for an extension in the offseason, but the power forward’s improved play will make the team think twice, writes Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post.

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