Lakers’ executive vice president of business operations, Jeanie Buss, joined Mark Willard and Mychal Thompson on ESPNLA NOW on Thursday to discuss numerous topics, including Kobe Bryant’s future in a Lakers uniform.
A lot has been made over the last couple of weeks about the ample cap room the Lakers will have next summer. Much of the discussion has centered around how much of a pay cut Bryant is willing to take, which would allow the Lakers the opportunity to sign two superstars in free agency.
Some feel that if Bryant demands too much at the age of 35, the Lakers will need to move in another direction. However, Jeanie Buss believes Bryant should be a Laker for life:
“Kobe is part of the Laker family and he always will be. There’s not many players who play 18-19 years with the same franchise, and it’s important to us that he has a chance to play his entire career with the Lakers.”
Buss also wants Bryant to take his time and be fully recovered so he can play the remainder of his career at the highest level:
“I want Kobe to take the time that he needs to get healthy. I don’t want to see him come back any sooner than when he’s ready, and I know he’ll know when that is. There’s no reason for him to do anything that compromises his health.”
Throughout his career, Bryant has been able to play through pain and has come back much earlier than expected from injuries. Everyone knows that he’s aiming to return by opening night against the Clippers, but the important thing is to think long-term.
There are so many people counting him out, so it’s also important that he gives himself the best opportunity to prove those doubters wrong. Whether he comes back opening night or later in the season, Bryant will return at a high-level and finish his career the way he wants to.
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