He may not know it yet, and certainly would never make the admission, but Kobe Bryant is no longer playing for NBA championships.
The Los Angeles Lakers are awful, and free agent superstars don’t seem too eager to help The Black Mamba rebuild the franchise on the fly.
Per Yahoo! Sports:
“A knee fracture, an Achilles’ injury and old age – nobody expected me to be moving the way that I am right now,” Bryant said. “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. […] It’s a lifestyle, an absolute around-the-clock lifestyle. There’s no getting away from it. I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of it, the process of it, the building of it. But there will come a point when I don’t anymore, and then it will be over for me.”
“The process of how I got here moves me,” Bryant said. “Never the accolades. It’s the years that I’ve put in, the work. That’s the thing now for me: the work. Every year I play, it’s about winning championships. That’s what I’m supposed to do. What else am I supposed to do? Not about this guy has that, that guy has that. …This is my job.” […] When asked about a season in which reality is that there will be no championship, no playoffs, no winning record, Bryant stops the question short: “Then I’m working toward it: a lot of teaching, a lot of talking, a lot of helping. Because that time will come again. And when it comes, my guys will have to be ready.”
Bryant doesn’t want to talk about passing Michael Jordan on the career scoring list later this month, and scrunches his face when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record is mentioned. “I don’t even know how many points he has,” Bryant said. “I don’t even care.”