Sunday, June 17, 2007 Updated: June 18, 12:17 PM ET
Kobe again uses own site to publicize rift with Lakers
ESPN.com news services
LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant posted a previously published message from May 30 on his Web page Sunday strongly reiterating his preference for a trade from the Lakers.
"When you love something as much as I love the Lakers its [sic]
hard to even imagine thinking about being elsewhere," the message on
his Web site, kb24.com, read. "But, the ONE THING I will never sacrifice
when it comes to basketball is WINNING."
The two-time scoring champion also 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 nine-time All Star has four years left on his
contract, but 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.
"I don't want to go anywhere -- this is my team," Bryant told
KLAC radio at the time. "I love it here. I called Phil, man. He
and I talked; it was an emotional conversation. But he just said,
'You know what, Kobe? Let us try to figure this thing out."'
Sheridan: Bull Market?
If the Lakers do trade Kobe Bryant, his desired destination appears more and more to be the Windy City, Chris Sheridan writes. Blog
• Vote: What does Kobe want?
But the second delivery of the message is a reassertion on Bryant's part that he remains unhappy with the franchise. Bryant wrote that the Lakers,
owned by Jerry Buss, had not backed 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 comment Sunday.
Buss, who signed off on Bryant's seven-year $136.4 million
contract in 2004, two weeks ago issued a statement stating, "We
will continue to pursue every avenue possible to improve our team
with him as the cornerstone."
Bryant earned $17.72 million last season and will earn $88.6
million over the next four years. He is considered one of the NBA's
most dominant players and a top draw at the Staples Center.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.