Saturday, June 16, 2007
Reports: Bryant not budging off trade demand
ESPN.com news services
Kobe Bryant met with Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss in Barcelona, Spain and reiterated his demand to be traded, according to Los Angeles-area media reports citing unnamed sources.
The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif., cited two unnamed league sources who said Buss was shocked by Bryant's continued demand for a trade, and left the meeting uncertain if he would comply with the disgruntled All-Star's wishes.
A source told The Los Angeles Times that Buss wanted to appeal to Bryant, reassuring him that winning remains the team's focus and that trades take time to engineer, but that Bryant remained concerned about the team's direction and did not budge from his desire to leave L.A.
Team sources told The Times the Lakers still have no plans to trade Bryant and remain hopeful that the issues can be resolved.
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The Lakers confirmed the meeting took place but would not go into details. Bryant had been vacationing in Spain, while Buss has been in China for the past two weeks.
"Our position is that it's a private meeting between the two of them and it shall remain private between the two of them," Lakers public relations director John Black said.
Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, did not return messages seeking comment, both newspapers reported. But on Friday, he told ESPN.com's Chad Ford, "Kobe's position remains unchanged ... Kobe would like to be moved."