Report: Kobe intends to spend entire playing career as Laker

VIDEO: Kobe Bryant talks with David Aldridge at Lakers’ media day

It never seemed to be much more than cagey ol’ Phil Jackson, eyes no doubt twinkling, needling his former team in Los Angeles when he raised the possibility last week of Lakers great Kobe Bryant finishing his career with a different franchise.

But the Internet being what it is, hungry for NBA headlines, it got the attention Jackson – speaking at the New York Knicks’ media day – might have intended:

Closure was in order, then, when Bryant himself met with reporters on the West Coast at the Lakers’ own media day. Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports was on hand and got a comment from Bryant on Jackson’s suggestion late in the session:

He’s not planning on playing anywhere else.

From Spears’ report:

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Kobe Bryant has a message for Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers fans and anyone else who thinks he will finish his NBA career elsewhere.

“A lot of players want to go to different teams or contend to win championships,” Bryant told Yahoo Sports at the conclusion of the Lakers’ media day on Monday. “I’m a Laker, man. I’m a Laker for better or worse.”

Bryant, 37, is entering his 20th season with the Lakers. He’s making $23.5 million in the final year of his contract, and if he does continue to play, he expects he’ll do so in a Lakers uniform.

“I’m a Laker, man. How many times do I have to say that?” Bryant said “Dude, I bleed purple and gold.”

Bryant missed 123 of the Lakers’ 164 games over the past two seasons, recovering from rotator cuff surgery, a knee fracture and Achilles surgery. He has been cleared to participate fully in the team’s training camp in Honolulu.


  1. this wont be Kobe’s last season…the lakers are very strong on the back court with clarkson and russel…bring kobe to the 3 and bring in solid front court players

  2. harriethehawk says:

    The Fakers won’t make playoffs. Again. Even with Kobe back.

  3. nba says:

    look up type A vs type B personality and tell me which one is Kobe

  4. nba says:

    kobe gotta play 24 seasons to match his jersey # …only four more to go.

    just take a pay cut and reduced role/ minutes

  5. Q says:

    Don’t blame him if he get 20 to 30 Millions per season. Get that money KOBE! no other teams will pay you that amount!

  6. Rishabh says:

    Kobe is a hero, a fighter and a tough one. His tenacity and intensity remains unmatched in the NBA. The other top NBA players can never exhibit the level of energy and competitiveness that Kobe brings to the floor.

    As far, what to expect from him, well, lets face it – Kobe is old and he cannot play at the same elite level at which he single handedly brought rings for the purple and blue. But the guy is looking to do his best. He himself said that he feels quite strong in the legs and those legs havent faced any wear and tear in last 3 yrs. Also, young kids couldnt have anyone better than Kobe to grow around. A minute cap on Kobe, some PG magic from Russell, an improved Clarkson and 7 footer center along with other talented newbies might get Lakers to some distance in the deep West.

    I am not saying that a miracle will happen but miracles do happen. Afterall, basketball is about 5 good players on the floor sharing the ball in order to make one high percentage shot and then not letting that happen on the other end. This can be done. This is achievable. Especially with a legend on the floor.

    When the going gets tough, the tough gets going,

    Lets expect a miracle in LA this NBA season.

  7. Johnason says:

    If Kobe is gonna stay as a LAKER after this years contract expires, then he needs to accept the following:

    1. Learn from Tim Duncan and accept a pay cut
    2. Accept a lesser role and let new players room to grow

    Pretty much just learn from Tim Duncan, where Duncan accepted the role , took less money for the good of the team and allow players like Leonard and Green to grow and take over the Franchise eventually.

  8. Giles says:

    Hope he gets a 4 year extension with some team..

  9. Kadir says:

    everyone remember Jordan when he came back.., too old too slow same goes for Kobe his athleticism is gone SORRY KOBE YOU WILL ALWAYS BE MY SECOND FAVORITE PLAYER IN NBA HISTORY AFTER JORDAN

  10. CLIFF C says:

    Kobe when finished will be the greatest ball hogger of all time!

  11. astate04 says:

    Not much of a lakers fan but I have a lot of respect for Kobe. He is the only person I know that carries the whole team on his back and make them win. The King(Lebron James) can’t even win with decent all around players surrounding him. One more ring for the black mamba won’t hurt anyone. Hope he does it so that he can retire and sleep on all his well deserved riches

  12. purpngold says:

    Told you all already, Kobe will retire a Laker when he feels like it. Not Phil not anybody can change Mamba mentality. This guy is programmed to execute what he sets his mind to. And why in the world would he want to leave the best franchise in the NBA. His legacy is unrivaled, and until there is some one in the nba who can snatch the torch from him, he will carry it as the nba’s top super star, even at this stage in his career. Kobe is the most anticipated visiting player in every arena nation wide. Stop hating and start appreciating.

  13. Alexis Rivera says:

    Kobe Bryant is a warrior. His greatness is unquestionable he is one of the best 12 basketball players to ever play the game. This season his job is to mentor the young rookies especially the no.2 pick D’Angelo Russel. Russell will greatly help Kobe because he is a great playmaker that will help kobe get easy shots, thus his FG% will be much better this year. Last Kobe struggle and shot under 40%, As far as the team I think the Lakers will win a lot more games this year becuase Hibbert is a great defensive center. Defense was the biggest problem last year. The Lakers got a lot of good scorer. Kobe has to accept a reduce role as far as minutes. He should play 28-30 minutes a game. I think that Kobe can still average close to 20 points per game even playing reduce minutes. His legs are going to be fresh and he will be more efficient.

    • Karlos says:

      So, Alexis, what will you say is the over/under on (what you think is going to be) his much improved FG%. Whatever, number you say, I’ll take the under.

  14. Anti says:

    Kobe the brick

  15. noyb says:

    Kobe won’t finish another season on the court. ‘Nuff Sed.

  16. daniel says:


  17. Patty says:

    Kobe Bryant is Great for the game! Congratulations to Kobe Bryant for 20 years in the NBA.

    Kobe, I Pray you play until you get your sixth ring. There is no one else as exciting and has Kobe’s Greatness in the NBA today! NO ONE!!!

  18. michael says:

    If Kobe is a Laker 4 life than this will likely be the mamba’s last year donning the purple and gold. At this point the Lakes don’t really benefit anymore, basketball wise, from having Kobe on the team. Unfortunately big time stars don’t want to play with him no matter how much money is on the table, e.i. Howard, Carmelo, Aldridge, Lebron, and so on. It’s going to be tough to attract free agents even after he retires or chooses to go to another team because, well lets face it, Kobe is a pretty hard act to follow even for players like, lets say a KD or Russ westbrook. Good luck Laker nation!!!

  19. NBAFAN says:

    Lets see why this season brings, what most people forget is that even though he is 36/37 he has rested for the last 3 season due to injuries so there might just be a little spring left in those old legs of his, and everyone in the NBA knows he is not going to hold back he will leave everything he has on the floor.

    Thanks for all those great memories now make us some new ones.

  20. Aaron says:

    Kobe is still as good as he was 5 years ago when healthy the Lakers will improve tremendously

  21. DM says:

    Kobe Bryant likes the extremely bright lights and excessive hype of LA too much to leave. On a side note – only with the Lakers is yellow referred to as gold.

    • cjizzle123 says:

      The Gold is directed towards the 16 championship trophies fam, try not to think too hard…

    • cjizzle123 says:

      The gold is directed towards the 16 championship trophies fam, try not to hurt yourself while you wrap your head around that.

  22. Clark says:

    Yall need to quite this “take less money” nonsense. Kobe Bryant is an NBA Legend, guys of his status shouldn’t even allow the thought of less money creep into their minds let alone say something crazy like that. He has worked tirelessly for yrs. (20) for a franchise and they still not surrounding him with talent to compete for a championship. He deserves whatever he wants, guys of resume don’t take less money, period.

    • Djennemann says:

      Kobe took less money this last time around. He was due 32 million this year under the CBA. Most people don’t pay attention to that… But Kobe is already playing for a discount.

  23. david says:

    To all NBA elite players.
    The Lakers organization takes care of its players, They know Kobe is not worth 23 mil a year, but they are saying thank you for what he has done in the past. So if you are a player that can bring championship to the Lakers, this is your home.
    I remember they gave Kareem a 2 million dollar contract when that kind of salary was unheard of and Kareem was already done as a player.

  24. Steven says:

    Kobe didn’t demand to be paid big money in his last contract who know for sure, but demanding or wanting or asking for so much money per year is different… Kobe has been making lots of money in his contracts with the Lakers over the years let alone the big bucks he’s been making outside of basket for years and years now… You think he would wanna share the wealth some with his team mates that come no were near making the money he does granted they are not the player he his but it’s not like Kobe is hurting for money plus the money the Lakers would have saved over the last few years would had been able to had the money to try and bring in some real good players to really had a chance to chase another title…

  25. GEF says:

    As great a coach that Phil is he is still the ultimate backstabber. He’s the kind of guy that smiles in your face then bad mouths you to make money in his opinionated tell-all book. From what I’ve seen of him he is not the kind of guy you’d want as a friend. …As for the antiSocial Kobe, if he becomes your battle-buddy; He Has Your Back. He’s grown since the angry ‘lazy’ Shaq days & this old Marine could be in the trenches or a fox hole with the Mamba, but not Phil who would only save himself…

  26. Kobe will definitely finish his career as a Laker. Who else would pay him to sit on the injured list most of this season?

    • cjizzle123 says:

      The Bulls…. Drose? The Magic….Grant Hill? The 76ers….All their big men? The Trailblazers….Roy & Oden? There are options…

  27. Trey Hacking says:

    my highschool team could keep up with these scrubs. god bless

  28. Badasi12b says:

    Yeah Kobe should play for the min and the Lakers should pull a Cleveland… Stack their team with the money Kobe would have gotten. Kobe can afford the cut right now. People would rather play in LA than Cleveland, it’s just that the money isn’t right… lol

  29. Peter says:

    Go, Kobe! I believe in you.

  30. Tim says:

    Lets just see what this season brings before looking past it.

  31. reggohllab says:

    If he gets injured again, he needs to accept that his body is betraying him and call it a wrap!

  32. Roland says:

    And yet I believe Phil is right: Kobe wil play for another year and another team. But not in the NBA: I believe he’s gonna play in Italy for a year, like his dad.

  33. johnny dawson says:

    After this season, Kobe should play next season for the veteran’s minimum. That would help his legacy by dispelling the notion that he is greedy, by charging the Lakers so much for his services and producing so little over the last couple years.

    • Anthony says:

      He didn’t demand to be paid that, The Lakers chose to because everything he’s done for the franchise. Its not like if he did take less that they would have won a title let alone make playoff seeding.

    • Carl says:

      CHARGING the Lakers? They gave him that money.

      Plus, Dirk took the same pay cut you’re sitting here saying Kobe should take and got NOTHING.