You see that picture above with Kobe holding up four fingers? Despite not having his thumb up due to him holding a trophy, the Black Mamba has won 5 NBA titles during his 16-year career in a Laker’ uniform. Why on earth would he want to leave? Because he lost Lamar Odom? Please. Kobe’s old enough now to know that losing a player doesn’t mean the world is coming to an end. In fact, according to RealGM.com, Bryant put a stop to all those rumors.
“I don’t have any feeling about [leaving] whatsoever,” Bryant said, addressing speculation that he might request a trade. “I’ve been here for 16 years. I’m going to up and leave now?”
He’s right, why would he want to leave now? Kobe’s not a quitter that’s for sure, he’s probably the only guy left in the league that has the Michael Jordan gene to do whatever it takes to win. He’ll throw his teammates and his own coach under the bus if it means winning a title. You need a guy like that on your team, you need someone who will ride your ass like Zorro when he feels like you’re not giving everything you have. You’re getting paid to play basketball and at the end of the day, winning a championship is the ultimate goal. Is the money nice? Hell yeah. But it’s not everything, and most guys figure that out rather sooner than later.
I expect the old Kobe to be back this season, not the banged up one with a bad knee and having to alter the way he plays just in order to stay on the court (see his index finger). He says his knee is 90 percent better than it was last season, and you know what? I believe him.
“I’m not a big medicine, techie guy,” Bryant said. “But I know my knee feels 90 percent better. My understanding was that the guy who invented it … [Germany] is where he’s from and where his home base is. So I didn’t want to go someplace else where he had to move his equipment. If I am going to do it, I want to do it right and do it in the place where he is most comfortable doing it.
“I can run. I can jump. I can run the track. I can lift weights the way I want to lift weights. I can practice every day. Those are things I couldn’t do last year.”
Traveling to Germany just to get your knee fixed? That’s dedication and motivation. Most guys would say screw it and find the best person for the job in the states, not in another country. If he’s back to the old Kobe, every team in the league better be on their toes because it doesn’t matter who has the best Big Three and this and that, Kobe has one thing that’s more dominant than anyone’s in the league: The will to win.