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Lakers' Bryant upbeat before exhibition with SuperSonics

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Kobe Bryant appeared upbeat when he
spoke to reporters before the Los Angeles Lakers faced Seattle on
Thursday night in an exhibition game.

Bryant has mostly ignored the media since Lakers owner Jerry
Buss stated last week that he "would certainly listen" to trade
offers for the two-time defending NBA scoring champion.

When asked about his recent silent treatment, Bryant said: "Why
would I need to bang my head against a wall?"

He missed some practice this week because of a sore knee, then
said in his first formal interview since Buss' statement that it
caught him off guard.

He repeated again on Thursday his desire to not discuss the
matter.

"When I'm here, wherever I'm at, I'm ready to go," Bryant
said. "It's not my job to worry about what management is doing at
this point. I voiced my frustrations over the summer and I'll just
leave it there."

Bryant asked to be traded 4 1/2 months ago, then avoided speaking
about the Lakers until the beginning of training camp Oct. 1, when
he talked more positively, saying he was looking forward to the
season.

It seemed the parties had put negative feelings behind them
before Buss made his comments to three beat writers last week.