Phil Jackson raised the specter of Kobe Bryant playing for a team other than the Lakers in comments the Zen Master made last week, but Bryant made it clear Monday he has no intention to do that, telling Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, “Dude, I bleed purple-and-gold.”
“A lot of players want to go to different teams or contend to win championships,” Bryant said. “I’m a Laker, man. I’m a Laker for better or worse.”
Bryant shed no more light on the matter of whether he’d play at all beyond this season, the last on his contract with the Lakers. While we wait to find out if this is the end for the 36-year-old star or if he’ll re-sign this summer, see more from Lakerland:
- Metta World Peace regrets returning to play 12 days after surgery on a torn meniscus in his left knee during the spring of 2013, his last as a Laker, saying that it affected his ability to perform for the Knicks the next season, as he tells Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. The 35-year-old who’s returned to the Lakers on a non-guaranteed deal feels as though he’s since recovered and is ready to embrace a mentorship role, even if he can’t quite duplicate the soft touch that Derek Fisher used in juxtaposition to Bryant’s caustic personality, as he explained to Medina.
- Nick Young endured trade rumors early in the offseason, and the return of Bryant plus the free agent signing of Lou Williams figures to cut into his time. Still, after trade talk died off and GM Mitch Kupchak met with him to explain the Williams signing, Young arrived at camp Monday with an upbeat attitude, saying Williams “will make things better,” observes Janis Carr of the Orange County Register.
- The Lakers hired Hall-of-Famer James Worthy to work with the team’s coaching staff, the team announced, without specifying a former title for the “Showtime” era great.