Bryant asks to be traded, then backs off Print
Written by Admin   
Wednesday, 30 May 2007 13:13
NBA Headline News

 LOS ANGELES (AP) -Believing he had been insulted and misled, Kobe Bryant asked the Los Angles Lakers for a trade Wednesday and insisted nothing could change his mind.
Then it something did. He spoke with coach Phil Jackson and backed off his request.
``I don't want to go anywhere, this is my team,'' Bryant told KLAC radio. ``I love it here. I called Phil, man, he and I talked, it was an emotional conversation, but he just said, `You know what, Kobe? Let us try to figure this thing out.'
``Phil is a guy I lean on a lot.''
Some three hours earlier, in an interview with ESPN radio, Bryant said: ``I would like to be traded, yeah. Tough as it is to come to that conclusion, there's no other alternative. It's rough, man, but I don't see how you can rebuild that trust. I just don't know how you can move forward in that type of situation.''
Bryant also told KLAC, the Lakers' flagship station, that he hadn't heard from owner Jerry Buss, indicating a conversation could go a long way toward resolving the matter.
Buss issued a statement after Bryant's request, saying: ``We are aware of the media reports. However, Kobe has not told us directly that he wants to be traded. We have made it very clear that we are building our team around Kobe and that we intend for him to be a Laker his entire career. We will speak directly to Kobe and until we do that, we will not comment publicly about this.''
Bryant told KLAC that his agent had contacted general manager Mitch Kupchak early Wednesday.
Bryant, who helped the Lakers win three consecutive NBA championships, has four years left on the seven-year, $136.4 million contract he signed July 15, 2004. That was a day after Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat.
Bryant became infuriated Tuesday when a Los Angeles Times columnist quoted a Lakers ``insider'' as saying it was Bryant's insistence on getting away from O'Neal that prompted the trade to Miami.
Bryant told KLAC he knew who the so-called insider was, but wouldn't identify the person.
Bryant also said he feels Buss misled him three years ago - right before he re-signed with the Lakers - by telling him one thing and Jackson something else about the team's goals.
Bryant said he was told the Lakers would immediately try to rejoin the NBA's elite. But he said Jackson told him Tuesday that Buss was not bringing him back as coach following the 2003-04 season because the Lakers were committed to reducing payroll and rebuilding long term.
``They said nothing to me about a long-term plan. Absolutely nothing,'' Bryant told KLAC. ``They told Phil one thing and they told me another. Actions speak louder than words.''
Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, didn't respond to several messages left by The Associated Press.
The Lakers won championships from 2000-02 and reached the NBA finals again in 2004, losing to the Detroit Pistons in five games. The team was broken up at that time. O'Neal was traded, Jackson left and other stalwarts - Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry and Rick Fox - went elsewhere or retired.
The Lakers failed to make the playoffs the following season. With Jackson returning before the 2005-06 campaign, they finished seventh in the Western Conference in each of the past two years, but were eliminated by Phoenix in the first round of the playoffs.
The Lakers appeared to be title contenders through the first half of this season, going 26-13 despite several injuries. But they lost 27 of their last 43 games to finish 42-40 before bowing to the Suns in five games.
Bryant urged the team at season's end to do what it takes to get back into contention. He essentially repeated those comments last weekend in an interview with the Times.
On Sunday, he suggested former Lakers general manager Jerry West should return. West left the team in the summer of 2000 and was succeeded by Kupchak.
West, an employee of the Lakers for about 40 years as a player, coach and executive, is under contract as the Memphis Grizzlies' president until July 1. He turned 69 this week and has remained a close friend of Kupchak's. West has said he has ``no plans to seek employment with any other organization.''
It was West who brought Bryant to the Lakers, trading center Vlade Divac to Charlotte in the summer of 1996 for the rights to Bryant - the 13th pick in the NBA draft. Bryant was only 17 at the time.
Bryant has made the All-Star team in each of the past nine seasons, clearly establishing himself as an NBA great before age 30. Only one active NBA player, Kevin Garnett, has a longer tenure with one team than Bryant. Garnett has played 12 seasons for Minnesota.
Bryant's anger boiled over Tuesday, when he did a series of interviews bashing the Lakers.
``That place is a mess,'' Bryant said, referring to the team's front office. ``If we're not making strides here to improve this team right now, to be aggressive in that nature, then what's the point of having me here?''
That same day, the 74-year-old Buss was arrested in Carlsbad for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol. He was released on bail later in the day.
``The fact of the matter is that many people don't know what really went down when I was approaching free agency because I have stayed quiet about it this whole time,'' Bryant wrote Tuesday on his Web site. ``The real facts are that Dr. Buss requested a meeting with me during the '04 season long before I opted out of my contract, and he told me he had already decided not to extend Shaq, as he was concerned about Shaq's age, fitness and contract demands.
``Dr. Buss made it clear that his decision was final, his mind was made up, and no matter what I decided to do with free agency, he was still going to move Shaq.''
O'Neal said on the Philadelphia Inquirer's Web site he believed Bryant ``100 percent.''
``There is no doubt in my mind Kobe is telling the truth,'' O'Neal added.
Bryant said he was considering signing with the Clippers and Chicago Bulls three years ago before hearing from Buss.
``Dr. Buss promised me he would rebuild right away, and I believed him,'' Bryant wrote. ``That is why I put my trust in the Lakers. But when stuff like this is coming from the 'inside,' all I can do is hope that someone from the 'inside' comes forward to support me and set straight the facts of what really happened. This is the TRUTH.''

NBA Team Pages

Top NBA Public Bets

#1 505 Toronto Raptors 84%
#2 516 Minnesota Timberwolves 75%
#3 524 Golden State Warriors 75%
#4 512 Detroit Pistons 70%
#5 518 Houston Rockets 70%
#6 503 Dallas Mavericks 66%
#7 513 Indiana Pacers 62%
#8 502 Charlotte Hornets 61%
#9 507 Miami Heat 60%
#10 520 Oklahoma City Thunder 60%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NBA Futures

View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.