Kobe Bryant’s drive and desire to win is no secret. It’s what has both endeared him to the city of Los Angeles and drawn the criticism of some for what they believe is too much intensity from Bryant. With the Los Angeles Lakers eliminated from the playoffs and on pace to finish the season with the worst record in franchise history, Bryant’s patience or lack thereof, was on full display when he met with the media following the official announcement that he wouldn’t return this season.
In a lighthearted moment during an interview with ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Bryant took some solace in the Lakers struggles this season:
If you’re going to fail, I guess fail and be the best at it.”
Bryant then stated it’s important not to dwell on the losing this season and focus on improving moving forward:
It’s important to try not to beat ourselves up about it. It is what it is. We’ve been decimated by injuries, but now it’s time to regroup and look ahead and start strategizing as an organization. Alright, how are we gonna turn this thing around?”
Though Bryant didn’t completely admonish the losing, he further reiterated the importance of the Lakers rebuilding quickly, telling Rovell he wants the process to be expedited because of his desire to win. The window for Bryant to win another title has steadily been closing over the last four seasons and many proclaimed it nailed shut when he tore his Achilles at the end of last season. Bryant returned to the court in December and appeared to be regaining form before a knee fracture set him off course.
The Lakers are a lock to get at worst a top-10 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and will have ample cap space to retool the roster. What may make matters difficult on the Lakers is if big name free agents decide against opting out. Carmelo Anthony is one of the few sure-fire free agents to be, but Phil Jackson’s recent addition to the New York Knicks front office may be enough to help convince Anthony to stay with the Knicks. The Lakers may ultimately need to wait for the summer of 2015 before they are able to add the championship-level pieces Bryant desires.
Kobe Bryant On Change THIS Summer, Jim and Jeanie Buss, Coaching Staff