In the midst of recent speculation, including that of Coach Jackson, that he would finish his NBA career elsewhere, Bryant states that he doesn’t plan to play for anyone but the Lakers.
A lot of players want to go to different teams or contend to win championships. I’m a Laker, man. I’m a Laker for better or worse…How many times do I have to say that? Dude, I bleed purple and gold.
Lakers coach Scott says that Bryant will have a hard minutes cap this season. The cap is an attempt to preserve Bryant, who has had his last three seasons cut short by injuries. Scott:
I know Kobe’s a competitor and he’s going to play as many minutes as you want him to play. I’m also a competitor, so I want to win and I know having him on the court gives me the best opportunity to win.
Bryant tells general manager Kupchak that the 2015-16 season will be his last season with the Lakers. Bryant is 36 years old, and will be entering his 20th season in the NBA. Kupchak:
I think first and foremost, he’s on the last year of a deal. There have been no discussions about anything going forward. I don’t think there will be. A year from now, if there’s something different to discuss, then it will be discussed then. I talk to him from time to time … and he is recovering. He’s running. He’s getting movement and strength in the shoulder. We expect a full recovery, but yeah, he’s much closer to the end than to the beginning.
The Lakers wins 113-111 over the 76ers. Clarkson scores 26 points, Brown scores 20 points. Noel get his ninth double-double of the month (19 points, 14 rebounds), Canaan scores 18 points for the 76ers. Coach Scott:
He’s not afraid of the moment, You’ve got to like to that.
I was trying to get myself in a good position to rebound the ball and Wayne got space to shoot it.
I’m at a stage personally where I have confidence that he’s going to step up and not be intimidated by the moment.
In a brief statement, Buss reflects on Hundley’s contributions to the Lakers.
Hot Rod was a colorful player and man, and an important member of the early Lakers teams in the 1960s and therefore the history of our franchise. We’re saddened by his passing, and send our condolences to his family.
The Lakers win 101-99 Wolves in overtime. Clarkson takes 20 points and two steals.
I think I took a few steps back. I didn’t take care of the ball well, held the ball a little too much on the offensive end. I’ve just got to keep growing, man, go back and watch the film, learn from it
Thunder wins 127-117 against the Lakers. Westbrook has a double-double (27 points, 11 assists).
We did a good job of just staying in attack mode and finishing well in the paint
Korver is expected to miss at least three games after breaking his nose in a game against the Lakers. He is injured after he took an offensive foul from Davis in the first half of the game.
The Knicks defeat the Lakers. Lin has 38 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists. Bryant puts up 34 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers. Lin:
The only thing we established tonight is four in a row. Now we try to go for five tomorrow. I’m not too worried about proving anything to anybody. As a team we’re growing and trying to build on the momentum.
Bryant on Linsanity:
I think it’s a great story. I think it’s a testament to perseverance and hard work. Good example for kids everywhere
Bryant becomes the Laker’s franchise leading scorer in a regular season match against the Memphis Grizzlies, passing Jerry West. The achievement came on a dunk in the 3rd quarter. Bryant has 44 points for the night, but the Lakers end up losing the match.
It’s a great honor to say the least [because] of the great players that have played here and the tradition we have. [West] taught me so much when I was 17 years old. He showed me a lot about the game, the jump shot and spin moves and all the others. Even though it’s me passing him in the record books, it’s still us, and it’s still Magic and all the other great players.
Kobe hits a game-winning buzzer beater as the Lakers defeat the Heat 108-107. Down by two with 3.2 seconds left, Bryant slips when he catches an inbound pass and is forced to throw up an off-balance 3-point shot over Wade’s outstretched arm. Bryant:
It was the luckiest shot I’ve ever taken, by far. It felt good, [but] I just couldn’t believe this ball might go in on this shot.
In the duel between the two elite shooting guards, Bryant puts up 33 points and 7 rebounds and Wade drops 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists.
After demanding a trade in May, Bryant now says he is glad he wasn’t traded from the Lakers:
I’m happy to be here. My guys and I — we have such a tight bond. Business and basketball sometimes can cloud things, but when you get here in your element and you’re around your teammates and just having a good time with them and thinking about them and not about the business of the game, that’s when it becomes fun.
Bryant scores 34 points in a victory against the Sacramento Kings. As a result, Lakers claim the 7th seed. Bryant also wraps up his second scoring title, averaging 31.6 points this season.
It’s always a sense of accomplishment because there are so many great basketball players in the NBA. It’s always fun to be on the top of that list.
Bryant scores 50 points against the Hornets, marking his fourth consecutive performance with at least 50 points. In his previous three games he had scoring totals of 65, 50, and 60. All four games were victories for the Lakers. The only player who has had more 50-point games in a row is Wilt Chamberlain, who had a streak of 7 games. Elgin Baylor and Michael Jordan are the only other players to hit at least 50 three straight times. Bryant:
It’s a tremendous honor for me to be in the same (category) with those guys. The coolest thing about it is this younger generation gets a chance to learn about Elgin Baylor, gets a chance to learn about Wilt Chamberlain and some of the things that they’ve accomplished, so that the legacy will continue to live on.