Things don’t look good in Lakerland, as the team is off to its worst start in over half a century.
No one should expect Kobe Bryant to abandon ship, however.
The Los Angeles Lakers are paying Bryant an NBA-high $48.5 million over the next two seasons -– which could mark an unfortunate end to his Hall of Fame career -– and Kobe plans to stand by them (not that he has much of a choice in the matter.)
Per Yahoo! Sports:
“I hear the chatter of Kobe should ask out and he should go and play for a contender in this latter stage of his career,” Bryant said. “But that’s not what I do. I’m extremely loyal to the Lakers. […] I believe in fighting through the tough times as well as enjoying the good times. It’s my responsibility to get us to be the best that we can be. It’s important that we approach that on a day-to-day basis.”
“We can’t get discouraged by it,” Bryant said. “It’s a very long season. You just have to stay the course. Keep on looking to improve, keep on looking to get better and things will eventually break. […] I’ve enjoyed a great amount of success here. You can’t just enjoy the successful times and then run away from the bad ones. No, I don’t even think about [departing]. I’m a Laker.”
“It was really tough to land those free agents just because of the opportunities that they had,” Bryant said. “You got [Carmelo Anthony] going back to New York, LeBron [James] going back home to Cleveland. The odds just weren’t in our favor. But I took comfort in the fact that the Lakers did absolutely everything possible to make it happen. Absolutely everything possible. […] We offered Pau [Gasol] an incredible deal. I saw them put the work in. It’s much different than in 2007 when I felt like they were just sitting on their hands. This is not that case. They were going after it and being aggressive. I will fight for that till the end. They tried, tried and tried and it didn’t work out. I stand behind them 110 percent. I bleed purple and gold.”