After a tumultuous season that ended injury and having watch the Lakers get swept out of the playoffs, Kobe Bryant has had some time to think about what he wants next season. And despite most people believing that what Kobe Bryant wants next season is Dwight Howard as far away from the Lakers as he can get, Bryant seems to singing another tune.
According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Bryant not only wants Howard back, he wants the entire core from this season’s team back. A core of players that led the Lakers to an eighth seed in the Western Conference.
LOS ANGELES – Kobe Bryant wants Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol back with the Los Angeles Lakers next season. He says he “would really love” to see that happen and believes there will be a title reward in the end.
“I’m sure I’ll talk to Jimmy and I’m sure I’ll talk to Jeanie as well, the Buss family, and figure out what we need to do,” Bryant told reporters Tuesday. “It’s obviously a lot on the table for them with the [financial] penalties and so forth. It’s a tough call to make. But then again, it’s one more year, one more year. That’s how I look at it.
“One more year. I don’t know how I’m going to suit up and my contract is up after next year. Pau is done after next year. Hopefully, we get Dwight locked up so he’s here for a while so the future is kind of set and take a crack at this thing.”
Even Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak reiterated that Kobe really wants to keep the team together.
“Yes, it’s true that Kobe would like to keep the team together,” Kupchak said. “But a lot of the players are free agents. They are going to have a say in this as well. Whatever we choose to do, if a player decides to go somewhere else that’s not possible.”
But like clockwork, Dwight Howard is the buzz kill in all of this because he’s not quite ready to commit to the Lakers.
“I’m just going to get away,” Howard said. “I think that I should be a professional and not let anybody make the decision because this decision is for myself, and myself only. Making a decision like this, you don’t want to make it off emotion or what other people are saying.”
Despite the buzz kill that is Dwight Howard, Kobe still has hopes that Howard will be in a Lakers uniform next season.
“I hope he [returns],” Bryant said. “It’s just a matter of what he feels in his heart and what he wants to do. He kind of has reached a crossroads in his career. I think Los Angeles is a perfect spot for him to assert himself and put his foot down and have his career really take off and be what it should be. There is no better place for centers to be than Los Angeles.
“I will talk to him. Bring him out to the house, chill with him a little bit and watch another cartoon movie or something. We’ll have a good time.”