Kobe Bryant: 'I don't think about leaving. I'm a Laker'
The Lakers have started the season 0-4, their worst record through four games since the 1957-58 season, three seasons before the team moved to Los Angeles. They are the only Western Conference team that hasn't won a game this season.
"I hear the chatter of Kobe should ask out and he should go and play for a contender in this latter stage of his career," Bryant said to Yahoo! Sports. "But that's not what I do. I'm extremely loyal to the Lakers. You can't just enjoy the successful times and then run away from the bad ones. No, I don't even think about [departing]. I'm a Laker."
The Lakers are unlikely to move Bryant anyway, as he is making $23.5 million this season and $25 million in 2015-16.
Bryant said that the team will keep looking to improve and hope things break their way later in the season. He also said that he wasn’t upset that the franchise did not land any top free agents in the offseason because they made efforts to make themselves better, saying, “I stand behind them 110 percent. I bleed purple and gold."
“It was really tough to land those free agents just because of the opportunities that they had," Bryant said. "You got 'Melo going back to New York, LeBron going back home to Cleveland. The odds just weren't in our favor. But I took comfort in the fact that the Lakers did absolutely everything possible to make it happen. Absolutely everything possible."
Bryant is 11th in the NBA in scoring at 24.8 points to go along with 4.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists this season.
The Lakers play the Phoenix Suns (2-1) at home on Tuesday.
- Scooby Axson