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"When Phil and I spoke, he was optimistic and determined that we'll both be back," Bryant told Patrick. "Phil is somebody I listen to. I lean on him a lot. He assured me things are going to be OK. Things are going to be all right. Don't go full bore just yet. Take a deep breath and let us work these things out and everything will be all right. Which was very encouraging.
"I don't want to go anywhere else. I want to be here for the rest of my career. It was encouraging to hear that," he said.Later Wednesday, he had two different messages for the Los Angeles-area media. "I can only hope that they do something because I don't want to go no place else. I don't want to," he told radio station KLAC. "I want to stay here. I hope they can do something." Still later, he told the Los Angeles Times in an interview that he wouldn't mind a trade. Speaking at 8:27 p.m. ET, according to the Times, he said: "Nothing's changed. It's just a matter of I don't want to go no place else. I don't have much of a choice. When things like this go down, you just sit back. What can I do? It's like a broken record." The Times asked Bryant if he still wanted to be traded. "Yes," he said. Bryant, who turns 29 in August, is owed $88.6 million for the four years he has left on the seven-year, $136.4 million contract he signed July 15, 2004. That was a day after Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat. Bryant said he felt Buss misled him right before he re-signed by telling him one thing and Jackson something else about the team's goals. Bryant said he was told the Lakers would immediately try to rejoin the NBA's elite. But he said Jackson told him this week that Buss wasn't bringing him back as coach following the 2003-04 season because the Lakers were committed to reducing payroll and rebuilding long-term. Jackson was out of coaching one season before being rehired by the Lakers, who haven't won a playoff series since Bryant re-signed. Bryant earned $17.72 million last season and can terminate his contract following the 2008-09 season -- a move that would leave $47.8 million on the table. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.