Bryant thinks the place where he resides deserves an NBA squad, but not before he hangs up his sneakers for good. From the OC Register: “Newport Coast resident Kobe Bryant will play his annual ‘home’ game Tuesday night, staying in Orange County for the Lakers’ exhibition game at Honda Center against Utah. Bryant said the NBA shouldn’t just be visiting Orange County. He said the area deserves its own franchise. ‘It’s fun playing in the Pond, because I know how badly they want a team down there in Orange County,’ Bryant said after the Lakers’ exhibition game at Staples Center on Sunday night. ‘And they definitely deserve one … It’s a great place; it’s a beautiful place,’ Bryant said about Orange County. ‘You see how they support the Ducks and how they support the Angels. I think having a basketball team is well deserved.’ For now, though, Bryant likes that the only games anywhere near town are the Lakers and Clippers. That’s why he smiled and added: ‘Hopefully it won’t happen till I retire. This way, they’ll continue to have their allegiance to the Lakers.’”