Lakers News & Rumors Recap: ESPN Gives Kobe More Motivation For Return

Kobe BryantAs if ESPN hadn’t done enough to motivate Kobe Bryant heading into the 2013-14 NBA season saying the Los Angeles Lakers will finish 12th in the Western Conference, the massive sports network poured more fuel on the fire on Wednesday.

Apparently, ESPN believes Kobe is now the 25th best player in the NBA. Obviously, there’s a lot of questions marks heading into the upcoming regular season due to Kobe coming off surgery on his Achilles, but ranking him that low is surprising to say the least.

At this point in time, no one questions the fact that Kobe is nearing the end of his career. Even Kobe is starting to embrace the end of his career, but putting 24 players ahead of the perennial All-Star and future Hall-of-Famer has left the Lakers fan base enraged while scratching their heads in disbelief.

Essentially, Lakers fans should thank ESPN for lowballing the Lakers and arguably one of the greatest basketball players of all-time. Kobe thrives on being the underdog and will use this ranking as more motivation to return to form as one of the league’s elite.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of ESPN’s low ranking is the fact Kobe hasn’t responded via Twitter or Instagram. The five-time champion is likely as busy as can be in China with it possibly being only a matter of time before he vents through social media.

Stay tuned. Kobe might have another gem on the way.

Lakers Nation News

Lakers News: Kobe Opens Up About Reaction To 2004 Shaq Trade

Kobe Bryant Doesn’t Know When It Will Be Time To Retire

Kobe: “I Don’t Know How I’m Going To Come Back From This Injury”

Lakers News: ESPN Ranks Kobe Bryant As 25th Best Player

POLL: NBA Players Pick Jordan Or Kobe Over LeBron For Final Shot

Lakers News: Dr. Judy Seto Discusses Traveling With Kobe In China

Former Laker Chris Duhon Intentionally Hit By Car In Parking Garage

Lakers News: D’Antoni Thinks Kobe Won’t Be Ready For Season Opener

Should The Lakers Trade Pau Gasol? Maybe, But There’s No Rush

Lakers News

A Billion People In China Do Care About Kobe Bryant [LA Times]

Kobe Bryant Is Headliner From The Bench In Beijing As Lakers Lose [LA Times]

Kobe Bryant REALLY Draws A Crowd In Beijing [LA Times]

Gambling Website Predicts Lakers Finish With Low Win Count [LA Times]

Lakers Look To Bond In China [OC Register]

Gasol, Kaman Prove To Be In-Tune Tandem [OC Register]

Kobe On Return: ‘When I’m Ready, I’m Ready’ [OC Register]

Kobe Bryant Happy To Be Back On Bench [OC Register]

For Lack Of Better Options, Here Are The Lakers SFs [Silver Screen & Roll]

What Will Be Coach D’Antoni’s Biggest Change? [Silver Screen & Roll]

We Measure Team Defense Wrong [Silver Screen & Roll]

Thoughts From China, Lakers Vs. Warriors [Forum Blue & Gold]

NBA News

Why The Rush For Bogut And The Warriors? [SB Nation]

Howard Upset Magic Gave No. 12 To Harris [SB Nation]

Another Reason For Free AGents To Pick Contenders [SB Nation]

Adidas To Offer $180 Million To Wiggins [SB Nation]

Burke To Miss 8-12 Weeks [SB Nation]

Melo Says He Wants To Be A Free AGent But That Doesn’t Mean He’s Leaving New York [Pro Basketball Talk]

Oden Has Knee Swelling, Minor Setback After Scrimmage [Pro Basketball Talk]

Mavericks Getting Scientific About Sleep, Fatigue And Game Performance [Pro Basketball Talk]

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