Before the 2014-15 NBA season got underway for the Los Angeles Lakers back in October, a highly critical article surfaced about Kobe Bryant and how he’s hurt the team’s chances of bringing in another superstar.
The anonymous sources in Henry Abbott’s ESPN article ripped Bryant for his antics and tendency to be difficult to work with.
In a recent interview with Sam Amick of USA Today, superstar Kevin Durant shot down the notion of big-name players not wanting to play alongside the five-time NBA champion. The question was brought up when talking to Durant about Bryant passing Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list:
“Excuse my language, but that’s (expletive),” said Durant, who congratulated Bryant via text message after he surpassed Jordan on Sunday. “I want to play with a winner every single night, especially somebody who wants to win that bad, who works that hard, who demands a lot, who raises up your level. I’d want to play with a guy like that every day. … (His style) may make people uncomfortable, how he acts and just how he approaches the game, but I love that type of stuff. I think (the accusation) is BS.”
Durant isn’t the only star player to express the same sentiment about Bryant. Paul George of the Indiana Pacers was mentioned in Abbott’s article for not wanting to share the spotlight with Kobe in Los Angeles.
It didn’t take long for George to refute the report that he didn’t want to play with Kobe in Los Angeles. George was adamant that was not the case.
As for Durant, these comments come at an interesting time with no one knowing exactly what the future holds for the four-time scoring champion. Durant won’t be a free agent until the summer of 2016 when Kobe’s contract with the Lakers expires, but he’ll likely be the main target for the storied franchise that summer.
Bryant could be compelled to return to the Lakers for another season or two if Durant comes to Los Angeles. The odds are definitely in favor of the Oklahoma City Thunder re-signing the reigning NBA MVP and the Washington Wizards might make a case to bring him home, but the Lakers can’t be ruled out of the Durant sweepstakes.
Lakers Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan On NBA All-Time Scoring List