Here’s what the Lakers are saying about Buss’ phone call to Kobe, as released in a statement:
I talked with Kobe this morning and assured him that I share his frustration and, more importantly, I assured him that we will continue to pursue every avenue possible to improve our team with him as the cornerstone. I told him that we will keep him apprised of our progress and we agreed that we will talk again in the very near future.
Grab a magnifying glass and begin the lingustic investigations:
May 30 :: 2007
The Truth: A new road ahead
Wassup y’all …
Man, today is one of those surreal days for me and my family. When you love something as much as I love the Lakers its hard to even imagine thinking about being elsewhere. But, the ONE THING I will never sacrifice when it comes to basketball is WINNING. That is plain and simply what it’s all about. It’s in my DNA. It’s what pushes me to work as hard as I do. It’s my daily passion and pursuit.
The more I thought about the future, the more I became convinced that the Lakers and me just have two different visions for the future. The Lakers are pursuing a longer-term plan that is different from what Dr. Buss shared with me at the time I re-signed as a free agent. I have seen that plan unfold for the last three years and watched great trade opportunities come and go, and have seen free agents passed on. That has led to the Lakers not winning a playoff series. All of that was frustrating in itself, but then, this week to have someone “inside” the Laker organization try to blame me in the media for us not being a contender right now — that is what brought me to my current position today.
I want it to be clear that I still love, with all my heart, the Laker Legacy. From Mikan to West to Goodrich to Wilt to Kareem to Magic. That will never change. And the support my family and I have gotten from Lakers fans is undeniably the best. I will also always believe that.
But, now there is a new road ahead. I am gonna keep grindin and keep workin to get back to competing for Championships. Sometimes the trek up the mountain is tough. But, I know we’ll get there.
Special thanks to KLAC producer for these transcripts…
5/30 LOOSE CANNONS WITH KOBE BRYANT
Steve: And now we have Kobe Bryant joining us on AM570KLAC K Los
Angeles California and Orange County. Kobe, How you doing man?
Kobe: Ummm.. Doing alright man.
Mychal: Really, you sound kind of down Kobe.
Kobe: It’s a tough day man.
Mychal: Yeah, it is this is a shock, this is a 9.9 on the rector
scale out here. As far as the Lakers are concerned. And I never I’d
see the day come or here this day happen. Kobe. What made you arrive
at this decision?
Kobe: ahhh… it’s the hole insider thing!! Prior too.. Prior too…
to seeing that up until the day before… um I was all for this
summer… and us as an organization trying to figure something out
for next season and umm… from all the pressure from the talk of the
media… and so forth and so on….ummm…Phil indicated and said
what there going to do something there going to do something and
there going to do something now.. and there not going to wait anymore
and ummm and so I was comfortable with that you know the next day I
pick up the paper and see this laker insider you know, trying to use
me as a scapegoat for something that I did not do… that I’ve
absolutely gotten crushed for for the last 3 years and you know
prior to reading that I just assumed it was media… I just assumed
it was a guy that you know just talking and just speculating that I
had something to do with that until I saw this laker insider peace
and when I saw that you know and you know enough is enough I was
going to half to speak my peace and tell exactly what happened.
Steve: I have a quote her from Dr. Buss. Kobe we just got this
responding to your comments today with Stephen A. Smith about being
traded I want to read this to you and get your response, Quote ” 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 are team around Kobe and that we intend for him to be a
laker his entire career. We will speak directly to Kobe until we do
that we will not comment publicly about this.” I wish they would
comment publicly but Kobe what is your reaction to Dr. Buss statement.
Kobe: Really. Where is he. I don’t even know where he is.
Mychal: He hasn’t called you?
Kobe: I don’t even know where he is. How Call. I don’t even know
here he is. I haven’t even heard from him in a long time. I don’t
know where he is. Hows I’m supposed to call him. He has my phone
number, he can call me.
In the ever-evolving Kobe Bryant fiasco, it now seems that Kobe is open to staying with the Lakers. During an interview with 570-AM, Kobe said his agent, Rob Pelinka, called Mitch Kupchak this morning to inform him of Kobe’s trade demand. Yet, a phone call from Phil Jackson apparently changed Kobe’s mind. Phil told Kobe that the Lakers are not committed to building a winning roster and are going to scrap their long-term plan.
So here’s the latest from Kobe:
“I can only hope that they do something, because I don’t want to go no place else. I don’t want to. I want to stay here. I hope they do something.”
“Phil said, `we want our players to feel confortable and feel that they can trust the people they’re around.’ He said, `Let us try to work that out. Let us try to figure things out.’ That made me feel a lot better. Phil is a guy I leaned on all season for clarity and hope. Right now, it’s no different.”
“(Phil) said, `They are now determined to do something.’ They’re determined to get something done and they’re off this long-term plan thing. They want to go ahead and get something done. For me, the frustration would have been alleviated if they had told me about a long-term plan.”
Asked directly if he wanted to stay with the Lakers, “Man, more than anything. That’s why I hope they can do something. Figure something out. When Phil and I talked, it was an emotional conversation and he said, `You know what, Kobe, just let us try to figure this thing out.’ That gave me some hope because I don’t want to go no place else. I want to stay here. This is my team. I love it here.”
Here’s the official word from Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, regarding Kobe Bryant’s trade demand:
“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.”
Less than 24 hours ago, Kobe Bryant plainly said that if he wanted a trade, he would ask for one. No media speculation necessary. Well, on Stephen A. Smith’s radio show this morning, Kobe did just that. Kobe said he wants to be traded, and said the Lakers will be able to do nothing to change his mind.
A sampling of quotes from the radio interview:
“Yeah, I would like to be traded. As tough as it is to say that and as tough as it is to come to that conclusion, there’s no other alternative. They obviously went in a different direction in terms of rebuilding. I wish they would have told me that prior to me signing with the team.”
“I just want them to do the right thing, man? They know what they did, you know what I mean. They knew the situation that they painted. Do the right thing, man. You know you were trying to rebuild and you told me something different. I resigned because there was a promise made. You know the blame you cast upon me. They know this stuff. Just step up and do the right thing.”
“At this point, I’ll go play on Pluto. I just want to work hard. I just want to play and just enjoy the game of basketball.”
It’s impossible to represent, in a newspaper story, exactly what Kobe Bryant did today. He basically took a blowtorch to the organization, and things will never be the same. Kobe and the Lakers might continue to coexist, but the relationship has changed forever. I did my best to sum up the day in tomorrow’s paper, but I thought you might be interested in reading all of what Kobe had to say on his two radio interviews today. If you have the time, I urge you to listen to the 570-AM interview, because the passion and anger in Kobe’s voice is amazing. But for those who have the time and energy, here’s most of what Kobe had to say in two interviews. Continue reading →