LOS ANGELES (AP) — Intentional or not, Kobe Bryant seems to be doing everything he can to pressure the Los Angeles Lakers into trading him. So far, it doesn’t appear to be working.
The latest twist in the Bryant saga involves an amateur video of the nine-time All-Star denouncing general manager Mitch Kupchak and teammate Andrew Bynum.
Lakers spokesman John Black said the team was contacted about the video before Bryant first requested to be traded on May 30.
“It doesn’t change our stance at all,” Black said a day after saying essentially the same thing — that the team has no plans to trade the two-time defending NBA scoring champion.
“These people called us about a month ago, they told us they wanted to sell it, we told them we had no interest in buying it,” Black said. “That’s the end of the story. There’s been no further contact between them and us.”
Kupchak declined further comment, saying, “I think enough has been said.”
A spokesman for the men trying to peddle the video to media outlets told the New York Times they were talking with Bryant when one decided to take a photograph and some video, but they didn’t believe Bryant was aware they were filming.
According to the Times, the video lasts 24 seconds — an interesting coincidence since Bryant wears No. 24 and his personal web site is http://www.kb24.com.
The Lakers passed up a possible opportunity to acquire star guard Jason Kidd from the New Jersey Nets at the trade deadline in February because they didn’t want to part with the 19-year-old Bynum — a 7-footer taken with the 10th overall pick in the draft two years ago.
“Are you kidding me?” Bryant says in the video before using several profanities in adding that the Lakers should “ship out” Bynum.
Bryant also spoke in negative tones about Kupchak. Bryant called the Lakers’ front office “a mess” in a radio interview the day before first making public his desire to be traded.