Kobe Bryant has long hinted his preference is to be a career-long member of the Los Angeles Lakers’ organization. Now comes word that tenure could be even longer than most might have expected.
Yahoo Sports reports “should the right combination of talent come” between now and time when Bryant’s current deal expires at the end of the 2016 season, the Hall of Fame bound guard could be convinced to resign with the team.
“I’ve been very lucky,” Bryant added of the 19 seasons he’s already spent with the franchise. “There’s not too many organizations that come around like the Lakers. There aren’t owners that come around like Jerry Buss. Now, Jim and Jeanie. They’re really committed to this. They’re really hungry for this.”
The same can be said of the now 36-year-old Bryant, who is being described this season as being as patient with this young L.A. teammates as he’s ever been with any squad.
“The idea of me having no patience is misunderstood,” he added. “I don’t have patience when we’re not putting the work in, if I see that we’re not doing our job as professionals. If that’s happening, I’ll let my team know about it. But this is not that kind of group. We work. These guys want to get better every day. They’re there early working, they’re there late working.”
All their hard work was on full display Tuesday night in Detroit. Led by Bryant’s 12 points and game-high 13 assists, the Lakers downed the Pistons 106-96 to earn their second straight win and fifth of the season.
“A knee fracture, an Achilles’ injury and old age – nobody expected me to be moving the way that I am right now,” Bryant said of the way he’s played this season after missing all but six games last year with an assortment of injuries. “To an extent, I didn’t either. But I’ve done a lot of work. It’s a puzzle that there’s no example for. We’re trying to figure this thing out on the fly.”[Photo Credit:Keith Allison]