SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Kobe Bryant feels great, would welcome Byron Scott as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, would love to play alongside free agent Carmelo Anthony and is pleased with the moves of the team’s front office so far.
At least that’s how the All-Star guard presented things at UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, where Bryant is hosting his annual youth basketball camp.
But for anybody hoping for definitive answers, Bryant had nothing to offer.
“Obviously it’s a hot topic of conversation in terms where everybody is going to go,” he said. “Everybody is here to read tea leaves. I don’t have much to tell you. I don’t have any information you guys don’t already know.”
Bryant addressed a throng of reporters during a wide-ranging conversation delayed by about an hour as he watched the end of the World Cup semifinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands elsewhere.
He teased reporters asking him for his thoughts on the game.
“I missed it,” he deadpanned. “I was trying to rush over here to get to you fine folk. I didn’t get a chance to catch the end. Who won?”
His joke fooled nobody, as he had moments earlier tweeted his excitement for an Argentina-Germany final, followed shortly after by another tweet that expressed his boredom at a by-now all-too-familiar line of questions. The tweet included the hashtags “diffwritersamequestion” and “yawn.”
Mostly, Bryant stressed patience in waiting to see who signs where.
“It’s a little hard now because I think everyone is playing the waiting game to a certain extent, at least we are,” he said. “You kind of want to see where the dominoes fall and then operate from there. You wind up operating in somewhat of a window. You start seeing other players going other places, players that you can use to fill out the roster, right? So you see these things happening and you’re behind a bit, but it’s worth the wait.”
The 18-year NBA veteran didn’t hide his sentiments about the possibility of playing alongside Anthony, the Knicks free agent and his two-time Olympic teammate.
“I would love to play with him,” Bryant said. “We’ve really clicked since 2008. I would love to see that.”
Bryant said he would also welcome his former teammate, Scott, as his next coach.
“He was my rookie mentor when I first came in the league, so I had to do things like get him doughnuts and run errands for him, things like that,” he said. “We’ve had a tremendously close relationship throughout the years.”
In terms of grading the performance of the Lakers front office this offseason, Bryant suggested that he was pleased, but that he would not be happy with another rebuilding year.
“I’ve never had patience; I’m not going to start now,” he said. “But you do what you have to do as an organization. God forbid we end up with absolutely nothing, it’s not for a lack of effort. That’s something I would be extremely proud of. We put forth the effort and gave it our best shot. What can you do? You just go from there and do your best and try to win.”
Bryant said he believed signing Anthony would go a long way to retaining unrestricted free agent Pau Gasol.
“My biggest message to (Gasol) was, ‘Make sure you enjoy this process,'” Bryant said. “‘The ball is in your court. This is your decision to make, don’t feel like the weight is on your shoulders.’ I’m sure if we got Carmelo that would help him make his decision.”
Bryant said he feels as though his body is in midseason form.
“Physically, I feel great,” he said. “I don’t think about my knee when I’m training, I don’t think about my Achilles when I’m training. I feel sharp and crisp and we’ll just add on from there.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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