Bryant also watched Carmelo Anthony and Rajon Rondo not join his current team to make it better. Anthony almost did, but he returned to the New York Knicks. Rondo was traded from the Celtics to the Mavericks, leaving him unavailable for the Lakers. Though Rondo will be a free agent this summer, the Mavericks are convinced he will re-sign and continue to play for Dallas.
Even with these disappointments, Bryant told USA TODAY Sports, “I really do trust management. I mean I really, really do. They’ll get things turned around pretty quickly. I’m not really concerned about that.”
Though Kobe Bryant has faith in the Lakers, he’s one of the few players from the team who feels that way.
Bryant did admit that he was disappointed his team failed to pick up his friend Rondo. He conceded, “We did our part. We did what we could…It’s not from a lack of effort. It’s not from a lack of sports, so I trust the process.”
After next season, Bryant plans to retire.
He was benched during the game against the Warriors in a plan to limit his minutes. The Lakers won 115-105 without him.
Coach Bryon Scott said after the game, “Looking at our schedule coming up, I just thought it was a good time to give him a day of rest and let him prepare for the next game.”
Scott added that Bryant was okay with whatever decision his coach made.
Bryon Scott plans to return Bryant to the lineup Thursday when the Lakers play the Chicago Bulls.
Facing an Achilles tendon tear and a leg injury not too long ago, Bryant focuses on playing instead of worrying about other players. He said, “Playing and competing is what gets me going, and figuring out this body.”
In his 19th season, Kobe Bryant has faith in the Lakers management, even if Los Angeles fans don’t.[Photo Credit: Bridget Samuels]