Shortly after it was announced that Kobe Bryant was done for the season on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar guard held a press conference which he used mainly to blast the team’s front-office. In addition to reportedly wanting Mike D’Antoni gone, Kobe says he won’t stand for another season of sucking, and joined Magic Johnson in publicly putting enormous pressure on GM Mitch Kupchak and owners Jim and Jeanie Buss. Per the LA Times:
With the free-agent crop looking less enticing than expected this summer, Bryant said he had no patience to wait until July 2015, when All-Star forwards Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge could become free agents.
“No. No. Nope. Not one lick,” he said.
“Oh, yeah, let’s just play next year and let’s just suck again. No. Absolutely not,” he said. “It’s my job to go out there on the court and perform, no excuses for it. Right? You’ve got to get things done.
“Same thing with the front office. The same expectations they have of me when I perform on the court, it’s the same expectations I have for them up there.”
“How can I be satisfied with it? We’re like 100 games under .500. I can’t be satisfied with that at all,” Bryant said. “This is not what we stand for, this is not what we play for.”
“I think we have to start at the top in terms of the culture of our team,” he said. “What type of culture do you want to have? What type of system do you want to have? How do you want to play? It starts there.
“You’ve got to start with Jim. You’ve got to start with Jim and Jeanie and how that relationship plays out. It starts there and having a clear direction and clear authority.
“Then it goes down to the coaching staff. What’s Mike going to do? What do you want to do with Mike? It goes from there. It’s got to start from the top.”
Bryant didn’t provide specifics about personnel changes he wanted.
“I can’t really comment too much on that. I just want to get a phone call when somebody gets traded. Let’s start there,” he said.
Bryant remains defiant about his eventual return to a high level of play.
“I don’t want to say I’ll be back at the top of my game, because everybody’s going to think I’m crazy and it’s the old-player-not-letting-go sort of thing, but … that’s what it’s going to be,” he said.