Kobe implies on Web site he wants trade

Updated: 2007-06-18 09:29

LOS ANGELES - Kobe Bryant implied again that he wants to be traded, writing on his Web site that "the Lakers and me just have two different visions for the future." The statement posted Sunday on kb24.com was the latest in a recent series of sometimes inconsistent comments from Bryant about whether he wants to remain in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, seen here in April 2007 and who is increasingly upset over the direction the National Basketball Association team has taken, wants the club to trade him.[AFP]

"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," the two-time scoring champion wrote.

"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 28-year-old Bryant, a nine-time All Star, has four years left on his contract - but he can terminate it following the 2008-09 season.

Bryant last month voiced frustration at Lakers management and publicly requested he be traded after the team was eliminated by Phoenix in the first round of the playoffs. Though he said nothing could change his mind, Bryant later backed off after speaking with coach Phil Jackson.

Bryant wrote Sunday on his Web site that the Lakers, owned by Jerry Buss, are not supporting him with players the team needs to win championships.

"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," he wrote. "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."

Buss' spokesman, Bob Steiner, and Lakers spokesman John Black both declined to comment Sunday.

Buss, who signed Bryant to a seven-year, $136.4 million contract in 2004, issued a statement two weeks ago stating, "We will continue to pursue every avenue possible to improve our team with him as the cornerstone."

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