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Lakers Rumors: Bryant, World Peace, Russell

Kobe Bryant recently told Lakers coach Byron Scott that this might be the star’s final season in the league, Baxter Holmes of relays (on Twitter). Scott added, according to Holmes, that was the first Bryant hinted about retiring to him. Still, the idea that this could be the end for Bryant is nothing new, as Bill Oram of the Orange County Register tweets. It appears that Bryant is leaning toward retirement, according to recent reports, but he has yet to make a decision.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Despite Bryant’s struggles to open the season, Metta World Peace supported his teammate and said a big reason why he returned to the Lakers was to again play alongside Bryant in an interview with Vlad TV (YouTube link), transcribed by Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders. “I’m really happy to be here to support him,” World Peace said. “Everybody is talking bad about him. Talking about he’s getting old and can’t play, [how he’s] selfish this and selfish that. [Free agents] not coming to play with him because they’re afraid of him. So I said, you know what? Let me get back to the Lakers. People don’t realize I’m on a non-guaranteed contract and I got back to the Lakers. I had to earn this.”
  • D’Angelo Russell has had some difficulty adjusting to the league in his first year and if his struggles continue, he will likely see less time on the court, Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times details. “He has to start getting it, just like the other young guys have to start getting it, and if they don’t, they won’t play as much,” Scott said. “Playing time in this league is a very precious thing and I don’t want our guys to take that for granted. Missing assignments on a continuous basis is not going to go unnoticed. You’ve got to start developing and doing a better job on that end of the floor.”
  • While a young nucleus of Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Russell is developing, the Lakers’ veterans are struggling and time is running out if the team wants to be good enough to attract a free agent star next summer, writes Mark Heisler in his Sunday column for the Los Angeles Daily News.

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