Before the 2013-14 NBA season got underway, ESPN ranked Kobe Bryant and made a projection on where they believed the Los Angeles Lakers would end up in the Western Conference standings. The sports network giant ranked Bryant as the 25th best player in the NBA while predicting the Lakers finishing 12th in the West.
In classic Bryant fashion, the five-time NBA champion wasn’t a fan of ESPN’s rankings and used it as fuel to the fire in terms of his return to the floor this season.
On Tuesday, a press conference was held by the team due to Bryant signing a lucrative contract extension on Monday. Bryant took another jab at ESPN via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Kobe was on one today, 1st this, “You’re at ESPN, so you’re probably wrong” then, this “can’t be revoked by the NBA” – all in good fun tho!
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) November 26, 2013
With the Lakers locking Bryant up for another two years after this season and the team playing better than expected while shorthanded, the veteran shooting guard was noticeably anxious and excited during his press conference. Bryant clearly can’t wait to get back on the floor and appears to be more than ready to prove all the doubters wrong.
ESPN’s ranking will definitely be something Bryant will continue to use as motivation. Although no one expects much out of the Lakers at this point in time, this team seems to be coming together with a lot of young players stepping up. Xavier Henry, Wes Johnson and Jordan Hill continue to play well and have been improving with more time on the floor.
Adding Bryant back in the mix would only improve this team’s chances of competing in the West while giving the superstar guard the opportunity to make ESPN look foolish once again.
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