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
"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