Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978) is an American retired professional basketball player and businessman. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Bryant is an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. 

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He's been doing the defensive part all year long. Sometimes the people want more. Tonight he gave them more.

I think the biggest change is we have a system that we believe in and we trust ... It's Phil and the system? Absolutely. It's a beautiful system. When everything's clicking, it's a beautiful thing to watch.

I think it's great to put our past behind us and just move on. I think it was important to show the fans.

Sometimes I do wonder what college would have been like. But I made my decision.

I know how to play my guard spot ... He can worry about the low post.

It's always good to have more rest in the perfect-case scenario. But I'm willing to do whatever it takes.

The guy said NBA players are one in a million ... I said 'Man look I'm going to be that one in a million.'

We are a young team and we played extremely well tonight. We just take it game by game and we are starting to see more success.

I just wanted to come out and show my teammates that we could shoot in the building. I wanted to come out and open up the basket a little bit. I wanted to will us to victory.

I wasn't really looking to attack or to assert myself. I think we had a lot of things we could take advantage of and we did that. We had them right where we wanted them just a couple of bounces didn't go our way.

As far as carrying the torch for the years to come I don't know. I just want to be the best basketball player I can be.

We're starting to play with more of a purpose now and a clear concept of what we're trying to accomplish out there.

I enjoy seeing how we respond in big games. Most of our guys haven't played with this much hype before.

You guys are going to make your own assessment. I'm not going to comment. We're going to move on and win games. Shaq and I are going to move on and be teammates and win another championship.

I was very familiar with him and Eddie (Jones) and Rick Brunson. I just know what he's about. He's a steady basketball player rarely makes mistakes on the floor.

We've made some significant strides. I look for us to make more significant strides. We're not in a position where we're playing our best basketball.

Oh yeah? That's pretty good company -- excellent company.

I had some shots that I felt like I should've made, I just didn't make them. I'm not going to shoot the ball great every night.

I'm just sick and tired of talking about it. It's been two years. Enough is enough.

If we're in a situation where I need to put points on the board then I'll do it.

We are on a journey and to put on a show like this for the fans here in L.A. is truly something special. I grew up in front of these people and now they are seeing me as an older young man.

He's supposed to be on the left side.

This is such a challenge for both of us. Phil prepares us so well and wants us to pay attention to the details. We didn't always do that tonight but we stayed with the system and found a way.

We've been joking with him because he's gotten extremely close in a bunch of games. He's in a great rhythm. He knows where shots are coming from he knows where the assists are coming from how to set the table. It's fun to watch.

We had a great run. Three rings. I think people should leave it the hell alone and move on. ... I understand it's interesting but we also have an interesting game. The game itself tomorrow is interesting.

We had mental lapses in the fourth quarter. It comes from us not playing together for a long time. It comes from inexperience.

No need to comment. You can see the knot on my head.

I am very frustrated. We shouldn't have lost this game. We are not coming out ready to play.

Oh hi Kobe. Yes well about the book ...

They execute the same way. It's just that when Steve and Raja Bell come back they have more waves to throw at you and they do it for 48 minutes.

I think that from the start of this series we have just been playing extremely well and we are moving the ball around really well. We have just evolved into this from the start of the season it has been process. We are just playing so well together.

Sometimes it gets frustrating

It was a good month. We were able to win more ballgames than we lost. We built ourselves a pretty good cushion going into the following one. Hopefully next month will be just as productive for us.

We had the opportunity down the stretch. That being said we still played like crap.

We did a good job of digging in defensively. We just tried to keep them uncomfortable. Try to take them out of their sets and try and take them out a little bit of the things they like to do.

A real cool guy.

We just didn't execute. We need to man up and not make excuses.

I was so frustrated by the loss the other night I was going to will us to victory.

I think their experience kicked in and overwhelmed us a bit tonight ... We kept fighting back and did some great things with our execution. Our inexperience on defense hurt us as they were spreading the floor extremely well and getting good looks at the basket.

I was very familiar with him and Eddie [Jones] and Rick Brunson. I just know what he's about. He's a steady basketball player rarely makes mistakes on the floor.

It's my job to pick us up when we are down. I had to sharpen my focus.

You just keep trying to play aggressive until you foul out.

I didn't know that kid had that big of (a heart). I think it was good.

I think you have to represent your city and your organization. Tracy's been a good friend of mine for a long long time and I look forward to him putting on a good show.

His strength is really to get everybody on the same page ... He's masterful at doing it. We're just going to follow his lead. Anybody who wins that many championships puts the opposition in a defensive position.

We got some pretty good looks down the stretch ... They didn't go down for us.

It was much harder to watch as opposed to playing in the game. I was kind of going back and forth.

No matter what happens it's not worth running up into the stands and knocking someone out ... I didn't think they were gonna be out for the entire season.

When they double-team me and triple-team me and I swing the ball we've got to step up and knock those shots down.

I think it's entertaining the fact that I've been able to score points. The important thing is that I've been able to do it and we've been able to win. That's why I do it

That's a good astute observation. I wanted the shot. I always want the ball in my hands. They had me covered. I wish I could have gotten a better screen on the play. But Luke had a good look in the corner.

I don't listen to that. I listen to the big guy that's who I play for.

It really doesn't matter to me. We're just talking about clothes. I can understand what the NBA is trying to do. I love my sneakers but we're just talking about clothes.

He has been solid for us all year. Now he's putting points on the board which is very popular with the people.

We're playing good basketball. We feel like we can carry it over into the playoffs.

It's cool to be a part of history having two great coaches go head-to-head.

My heart was devastated

We didn't execute. Tonight they stepped up their pressure.

I think Lamar is a great facilitator in orchestrating the offense a little bit which frees me up a lot more to attack and do some of the things I've been doing.

Very surprised. Shocked actually. Very very surprised.

It's a different challenge but something we've tried to do all season long is just learn how to play with one another. And what I mean by that is to play to everybody's strengths know what our weaknesses are and how to counteract that pretty much pick each other up.

We wanted to win the game the game was in the bag it was in the refrigerator. There was no reason for me to go back in.

I started coming off the pick and roll and I was so wide open. It really threw me off at first. It's been two months since I've been that wide open.

on an island by themselves.

He had a great game. He actually taught me to play defense. I wasn't surprised by his play at all.

It doesn't matter whose team it is. But this is his team so it's time for him to act like it

It's definitely the best scoring game I've ever had.

He can play. I think he's been a surprise to people. Now I don't think he's so much a surprise anymore.

I don't care about 50 points. It doesn't matter at all. ... Weird things happen in the NBA. This was one of them.

You just stay patient that's all

It took away from the nerves a little bit.

I think this was our best game this season. We played very well at both ends of the court consistently. We did a great job containing our energy and when we went to our bench they came in and maintained our energy. We had guys step up consistently and make big plays. That is what we have to do. If we can keep this rolling we will make a lot of noise.

Everybody's been pretty amazed. I got hundreds of calls congratulating me on the game saying keep it up.

What I'm doing right now I'm chasing perfection.

I just wanted to come out and provide some energy and my shot started falling. It turned into a lot of momentum for us. The third quarter has been our nemesis all year.

Shaq is Goliath. I was just playing off him ... They collapse on him and make it hard for him to breathe down there. Then that?s when I take over.

highly sensitive confidential embarrassing and private matters.

It was a great read by them. They sent out all small so they were able to switch everything. They took the play away from us.

The big three he took says a lot about him because he hadn't been shooting threes well all night. And he pulls up down there in the stretch on a big possession and not only takes it but drills it.

Very surprised. Shocked actually. Very very surprised. I've been hit with a couple of flagrant fouls already this year. I've been hit with a clothesline and no suspensions come of that. And I get two games for this?

The party?s just getting started. This is where the fun starts.

He steps up and makes big shots. He understands how to clear himself and elevate over guys and get a shot.

I just decided I cannot miss these.

You guys can go in there anytime. Crack open a book. Expand your imagination and read and learn because that is truly the key to success. The more you know the more power you gain.

You think about what they went through and have to ask yourself 'How well would you get through the same thing?' Their strength is just tremendous. It's just overwhelming.

They did a good job defensively. They were just crowding me and trapping me every time I came off a pick-and-roll or when I was in transition. We were playing so well as a team. Everybody was contributing. We had a nice lead. There was really no reason for me to push it or force shots.

We're not bored now

You want an example (of how things have changed since the 81). 'Kobe you suck

It was kind of tough to find my rhythm get back in the flow. I had to take a lot of bail-out shots.

Play defense. Don't stink it up on the defensive end or you will not win.

You want to come out here and play good basketball. The fans here know their basketball and want to see good basketball.

These young guys are playing checkers. I'm out there playing chess.

I think that it's a great step for us being that we didn't make the playoffs last year. We were able to bounce back. It's a step in the right direction. But it's not something that we're going to celebrate over.

I was just determined. I was just locked in tuned into what was going on out there.

I'm in the worst f------ situation.

It's a huge honor. I'm very proud to be a part of the team and us trying to gain back what we feel is ours -- and that's the gold medal.

They came out and they zoned up and they trapped and they doubled and we just continued to move the ball. It took me three quarters to kind of get the rhythm down on what they were trying to do defensively so I could go into attack mode in the fourth quarter where I was able to start attacking the basket a little bit and get something going.

We're more than good. It's beyond comprehension. That's my guy. We go out on the road. After games we sit and talk. We review film on the plane. That's why it bothers me when somebody says something like that.

Weird things happen in the NBA and tonight was one of them. We had a chance to win the game and just didn't close it out. They made some big shots down the stretch and came away with the victory. Even though (Odom) made a mistake as a team defense down the stretch cost us the ballgame.

It just happened. It's tough to explain. I would have been sick as a dog if we would have lost this game.

That?s Big Shot Rob ... When the game?s on the line he?s going to get us kick-started.

They basically ran the ball down our throats in the first half so we had to get adjusted to the tempo. In the second half we were able to get a bead on them a little bit better.

He thinks defense first he's committed to playing defense for all 48 minutes.

He's such a quiet kid. That was the most emotion we've seen out of him all year. I think he was waiting for this moment to go in and compete against Shaquille. I had the same thing when I first came into the league (in 1996) and competed against Michael (Jordan).

It meant a lot to me that he saw the difficult time I had last season taking the brunt of the load and him wanting to come back and help me out through the process ... It's important for me to get his back.

And now the shoe's on the other foot. When I was going through it I wanted people to be patient with me. I'm just reciprocating.

I'm just achy. You've got to push through it. My teammates talked about doing a better job trying to pick me up sometimes and not having me shoulder the whole load all the time.

It was probably our biggest home win of the year.

I was just determined. I was just locked in tuned into what was going on out there. These points tonight mattered. We needed them. The points I put in the basket were instrumental. It means a lot more.

I'm always going to look to be aggressive and take those shots but we let this one get away because we lacked defensive intensity in the fourth quarter.

It's going to be fun it's going to be challenging. I'm just looking forward to getting over there.

We want to go into the road trip playing with some momentum playing with some kind of rhythm.

I have played a lot of playoff basketball and I have never had a game quite like this with our backs against the wall seemingly out of it and us just battling back and getting this win. We matured about 10 to 15 years today.

When I was 14 or 15 he started cheating. He'd elbow me in the mouth rip my lip open.

I've pretty much done all I can here and you know God will carry me the rest of the way so I'm pretty comfortable with that.

Thank you so much. I really appreciate it

I didn't even know the record existed until a couple of days ago. I never in my wildest dreams dreamed of being in such great company like Elgin. There have been a lot of great players in this franchise and I have learned a lot from some of them.

I think people should just leave it the hell alone. Move on.

Against them you have to play hard on defense. You have to rotate hard rotate quick and rotate well.

The arrival of our new daughter ... is such an incredible blessing for me and my family. We are all full of beautiful emotions after such an incredible day.

I told him it was all him. 'This is you being a warrior.

It was a good season for me individually. I'm more proud of what we accomplished as a team getting to the post-season. At the end of the season here we are

It's been a good month.

I'm very happy for the city. The city is used to championships and I am as well.

We didn't play very well and we couldn't make shots. We didn't execute and we couldn't match their energy or their effort. They outworked us tonight.

I've played sick before. I've played sicker than this. It's kind of old hat for me. You've just got to use your energy more wisely play a more cerebral game. You have to pick your spots.

It gives us confidence. It shows that our play is not a fluke. We move the ball consistently and play defense consistently. This bodes well for our confidence.

It's a different feel than I'm used to that's for sure.

We matured about 10 to 15 years.

I've got to do what I've got to do. I don't really care whether it's 50 shots 60 shots or five shots. I've got to do what I have to do to help us win.

with force and violence against her will by choking her with his hands around her neck while bending her over a chair in the hotel room.

You just look for him. You make sure you take care of them.

It doesn't bother me at all. Do I hold any hard feelings? Not at all ... Life is too short to sit around and hold grudges. I don't hold any whatsoever.

When we all walked in you could feel their spirits being uplifted like they felt very encouraged and happy that we were there. It was just real cool to see that. To be able to go back (to New Orleans) play a game there and be able to uplift them again that's special.

I wanted to come out in the third quarter and provide some energy and the shots started falling.

In the second half they looked to stop everybody else and I got going. I picked up the momentum and was able to break the game open.

If Phil and Tex feel like making a change would be better for the team that's what we will do. We trust them wholeheartedly.

Shoot the guy schooled me. What do you expect?

They are the best team in the league right now. There's not much more to say about what makes them tough --versatility execution and understanding of concepts.

We just wanted to tighten them up. They looked too comfortable in the first half. We just wanted to put a little more pressure on them and challenge them a bit.

It excites me more than anything.

We played hard at both ends of the court. It's a great accomplishment for us. I'm excited more than anything.

It was the most fun shot I've ever hit because it's us enjoying this as a unit.

It is a physical game and especially in the playoffs it steps up to another degree. It is fun to be a part of those types of games. It is nothing personal.

I can't take credit for what's happening out there. I learned it all by watching tapes of Elgin Oscar Robertson and all the great players. I stole everything and incorporated it into my game.

I went shopping today and everybody was saying 'Hey you going to score 90 tonight? You going to score 100 tonight? I said 'You know how crazy that sounds?

I've been in a lot of playoff battles but never had one quite like this. We had our backs against the wall and we were seemingly out of it.

We're pleased with the way we played. We feel good.

I just want to be recognized as a great player. That's what we all want. It's about getting the W's (wins) and nothing else. I can't let what people think or say about me bother me.

We executed a lot better in the second quarter. Defensively we did a great job. We played hard. Lamar had a great game.

I really don't give it that much thought. A lot of people talk about it and they saw how difficult it is to do. I just go out there and I work hard.

Expectations for us this season aren't very high at all

He's my man here. Every time I'm in Houston he comes out and checks out the game and I hook him up with stuff.

I'm proud of us. We came back and played hard. We got into a big hole in the first quarter but we were able to fight back. Late in the fourth quarter we were able to make a push and give ourselves an opportunity to win the game. Both teams played hard it's a shame somebody had to lose.

Shaq didn't call me this summer

I am very fortunate and blessed to play this game. I try not to think about it (the streak) but I appreciate and feel blessed on what's going on.

We've been on a stretch here where we have to win these games. And I try to lead by example. The way I go about doing it and my role here on the team is to put the ball in the basket.

It is fun for us as a team to get a win like this. It builds camaraderie and togetherness.

He's Jordan and I'm Kobe.

I try to show my daughter that you have to compete at everything. You can't back down. I want my kids to understand that so when somebody puts an obstacle in front of you and says you can't do something you don't back down. You push through that to get something accomplished. I tried to set that tone for her even at an early age. She's competitive already at the age of 3. Seriously.

If this is a formula that's going to carry us the rest of the season I don't know. It's a pretty good formula for us. We'll see if we can keep it going.

I'm innocent. I didn't force her to do anything against her will.

That was a great class. A lot of great players came out of that draft. I don't think people are fully aware of the talent that came out of that draft.

I thought we'd have our ups and downs being that it's a new system trying to learn it. It's just moving the ball spacing timing rhythm things like that. I knew it would kind of be like a roller-coaster ride.

You look for Tracy and you make sure you take care of him. Tracy has been a good friend of mine for a long long time and I look forward to him putting on a good show.

This being our home court people come here and think it's Hollywood and all sorts of stuff so they think they'll come down (the lane) and look pretty and shoot jump shots and dunk the ball and finger-roll the ball and do all sorts of cute stuff. And we've got to stop that.

I didn't shoot well for three-fourths of the game. I've had some games like that where I don't start off well but I know if I stay within the game and keep shooting I can get hot at the end.

How about us vs. them?

During the regular season we were trying to find our rhythm and I had to shoulder the scoring load. We know we can start attacking teams as a unit and not me going out there trying to score 40 or 50 points.

Whoever we play it's going to be tough because it's two great teams. We just have to make sure we do our homework and go out there and try to execute.

That's unthinkable. It's pretty exhausting to think about.

It's crazy, it's crazy man. That's way out in left field.

We're not worried about getting him more touches. We're worried about winning the game and getting everybody better looks.

We've been allies for a long time ... We've had our public battles but we know each other so well. When pressure situations came he knew I'd be able to orchestrate the offense exactly how he wanted it.

It's not important to me at all. I really could care less. It's just out of necessity. The team needs me to do it to get through a tough point in the season. It's all that is no more no less.

For me it was about the W and that's why I turned it on. Then I just tried to ride the wave and demoralize our opponent - and it turned into something special.

It's very exciting. I heard them say Kobe is must-see TV. I think it's cool it generates a buzz around the game.

We just focus on moving up constantly.

Lamar is a dangerous player. There are not too many like him in the league. As a matter of fact, he's probably the only one in the league that size who can handle the ball, post you up and shoot the 3.

I've been double-teamed like I was tonight before so that's nothing we haven't seen. But I'm beginning to think that this is the formula for playing us and other guys are just going to have to step up and make their shots.

I had in my mind that it was just going to be a really sad sight ... But when you walk in you see that everybody was just real spirited. There was a lot of energy in there -- a lot of resolve and determination to bounce back.

I told my teammates to pick up the slack. My hand was bothering me so it was tough for me to shoot the ball. ... I just decided that I cannot miss these (three at the end).

It made me feel good yeah because we've been through so many wars together. And it feels good to kind of be able to enjoy ... the sweetness of it. And now to be able to move on for the organization to move on the city to move on and to focus on building this team (I) wish him all the best with his team down on South Beach.

This weekend is smooth for me. I'm looking forward to competing with these guys getting out there on the floor and competing and trying to raise the game for all of us.

Any player that was going to come down the lane at that point in time I was going to let him know that he just can't walk through there. I think we as a team have to do a better job of establishing that.

People that know me understand that's just me. That's not something that was fabricated. The people who don't side with you or agree with you you use that as fuel. You use that as motivation.

My hand was bothering me. It was tough for me to shoot the ball. I asked the team to put up the steam a little bit.

I got some pretty good sleep. I'm just so excited. I don't really need much sleep right now.

It's not going to have any carry-over effect from a mental standpoint or anything like that. Everything's thrown out the window. It's a new season.

That felt good. That's basketball. That's how basketball was in the '80s. You see Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson standing talking in the tunnel and that's basketball.

It is what it is. We came out gave a good effort. They executed better knocked down more shots and won the game.

You just try to take it one day at a time ... You step on the basketball floor and just play. It's fun. I'm comfortable with it.

I was very familiar with him and Eddie [Jones] and Rick Brunson ... I just know what he's about. He's a steady basketball player rarely makes mistakes on the floor.

At the end of the season here we are - playing our best basketball.

I didn't quite get the look I wanted. I'm not even sure if I got it off in time.

They executed much better than we did down the stretch and they got big plays when they needed to and we did not make the stops when we needed to.

Phil and I kind of have an understanding ... A lot of things are said without being said. I'm the type of person I can just move on from something.

He knew what he did. When he hit me he knew what was going to happen. It just sharpened my focus.

I felt like when we came back from the All-Star break we needed everybody to feel like they were part of the team ... I'm just trying to do whatever the team needs at any given time.

That's excellent company to say the least. That might be the biggest understatement of the year. ... Scoring is something that just comes naturally to me. I think I came out of the womb scoring.

Today I brought some champagne into the locker room. They all wanted to spray it around but I said no we'll sip it from a glass. I told them next year when we win it all we'll spray it around then.

He was a good pickup for us.

It was the most fun shot I've ever hit. Just because it's we as a unit enjoying this moment together with the entire city of L.A.

I couldn't even dream of this when I was a kid. There was no way possible.

They came out and they zoned up and they trapped and they doubled and we just continued to move the ball. It took me three quarters to kind of get the rhythm down on what they were trying to do defensively so I could go into attack mode in the fourth quarter.

We are going from the bottom to the top all together so it's important for us to enjoy the journey and that is what we are doing right now. We have four days off coming up here and I would have been sick as a dog if we would have lost this game. I just wanted to step up and inspire us to play well and it turned into something special.

Everyone is not jumping for joy with finally making the playoffs but it is a big accomplishment for us being that we didn't make it last year and nobody expected us to make it this year and here we are.

We just fell right in line with what we are supposed to do. Lamar is such a great facilitator he takes a load off of my shoulders. I can just focus on putting the ball in the basket and he becomes the facilitator for our team.

Shawn Marion is a great defender but Lamar is a great player.

It really hasn't set in. To sit here and say I grasp what happened tonight I'd be lying.

Not even in my dreams.

It's fun to be a part of.

When somebody comes down the lane you've got to hit him. You can't let them come down the lane and just finger roll and get easy baskets. ... That's just basic NBA basketball.

I was a little tired at the end but I was motivated.

I just score buckets when we need them. I just take the game over. Doing what I do.

I found out 30 minutes before the game and was told that I would have to handle the bench.

What I saw today was a collection of people who have obviously been through a devastating time but are not down. Their spirits are not down. It's a bounce-back kind of attitude and energy that I got from them. ... Their energy is just tremendous.

Yeah that was crazy. That could have made it a two-point game which is right where we wanted to be.

He had a great game. He did exactly what they brought him here for. He made timely baskets. Gary's been a heck of a defender his entire career. He actually taught me how to play defense. I wasn't surprised at all.

I don't miss 15 games because of a toe injury that everybody knows wasn't that serious in the first place.

I like watching the Pistons. It looks familiar to me. Everybody is on the same page. For me that's entertaining basketball.

The only thing I will feel on eggshells about is questioning from you guys the media

Oh come on, you have got to be kidding me. I had good looks but missed them. It is as simple as that. They just weren't falling. Some nights I am on fire and other nights I have nights like tonight where the shots weren't going in.

If you hear (evacuees) talk on television it seems that they have a feeling on top of the emotional devastation that they're on an island by themselves. As Americans we rally around our people. We're going (to Houston) to let them know that we care for them and will be there to support them.

That is experience and age. They are veterans and knowing what they need to do within their system to maximize the whole. They have guys who are extremely talented.

They came out and played a lot harder than we did. After the last showing they had on their home floor I think they took it upon themselves and played with more effort and more heart. And they did it.

All in all we feel like we're playing extremely well.

We're a really young team that comes into this hostile environment playing against a championship contender. And we didn't play well. I mean at all. And we found ourselves in a position where we should've won this ballgame.

I mean it's tough to make the jump ... So you know the person's going to be faced with a lot of challenges some ups and some downs...I can't speak on behalf of other players but I can only speak on behalf of myself. And in that situation you know it was best for me to skip college and go straight to the pros. It worked out well.

We both know what we need to do. And we're both determined to make it happen.

[Bryant said he wouldn't mind playing for Jackson again.] I'm just right down the middle man ... It doesn't matter to me. I'd love him as a coach. It doesn't matter to me. If they want him here he'll be here. If he wants to come he'll come he'll coach and we'll go from there.

Sacramento has added a player in the mix that is everything that they weren't when we played them in the playoffs. The guy plays defense first and now Sacramento has become much more aggressive on defense.

There's been a lot of talk of me being a one-man show but that's simply not the case. We win games when I score 40 points and we've won when I score 10.

I was aggressive. I saw how they played defense and decided to come at them.

I wasn't even thinking about it. It is what it is. I just move on. I have my team to worry about and getting my guys ready for the game. I just go out there and do what I do.

We didn't hit any shots tonight. And last night it seemed like we were hitting every shot we took.

I don't know if it was the days off or whatever but we just weren't in rhythm. You can probably blame it on the thong Shaq had. It kind of traumatized everybody in the locker room. But we'll be all right. We'll bounce back the next game.

We're just not going to do it period.

I'm just doing what I need to. When the game's on the line they put the ball in my hands and we worked on getting in the position where I could deliver.

I'm playing against great players playing against the best in the world. The competition - that's what I've always wanted.

[I don't see six rings on Kobe's fingers. Let's say Kobe retires when Jordan will at 40. That means he'd play 23 seasons. You think Kobe can't get four more rings in the next 16 seasons?] Seven rings eight rings nine rings ... I don't care. I just want to win. Every year.

Yeah I broke it out. It's fun for us. The guys get hyped about that. That was kind of a backbreaker so that was the airplane.

It was very disappointing so I just try not to think about it too much. I just let it go. Everything happens for a reason and this for whatever reason is the time for me to be on the team.

A lot of times things get blown out of proportion in a negative light especially in the NBA ... But there are a lot of players in the NBA who really care about the community and want to use their basketball-playing ability for a good cause.

It's their versatility and their execution that sets them apart. They think the game. We've got some catching up to do if we are going to make this a rivalry again.

This is Generation Next coming up to see the game appreciate the game and know what it's about.

We are a much better team right now. We are playing really well and executing very well. We are moving the ball and defensively we are working hard hustling and closing out the shots.

We knew it was a big game. Especially playing them in this city. We needed this win.

It feels good to be mentioned among the elite players who have ever played the game.

It's Phil and the system -- absolutely ... It feels great it's a beautiful system. When everything's clicking it's a beautiful thing to watch.

We didn't match it. We didn't contest their shots.

It was just a special moment. We're honored to be a part of it really. This is truly a historical event and we felt like we came out here and gave them a good show.

That's not what we play for. That's not what it's about. It's not to score 70 points. We wanted to win the game and the game was in the bag. It was in the refrigerator.

It made me feel good. We've been through so many wars together. Now just be able to move on try to do the best for this team wish him the best in South Beach. I think it's good for the city of Los Angeles good for the NBA good for the youth being Martin Luther King Day.

He had an incredible game. Believe it or not he can do this on a consistent basis and the challenge he gets is judging how to pick the defense we are going to have to penetrate.

It just happened. It's tough to explain. It's just one of those things.

They just have more sets now and more options. They are looser.

Our spacing was good which made it very difficult to corral me. When they did we were able to swing the ball and get open opportunities for everybody else.

We didn't play very well and we couldn't make shots. We didn't execute.

I had a look. It was a tough shot.

It feels good to finally get one of these close games.

I don't know what to say. I'm happy to win MVP in Philadelphia. The booing was just hurtful. But it's not going to ruin this day for me.

I think that'll come as camp continues to unfold. You have to have a system you have to have a structure everybody falls in line. The thing about this offense is every position is interchangeable.

Not when we're winning ballgames. We have to keep that in perspective. The most important thing is winning. That's why I go out there and I do what I do. I sense the moment. I see if we need me to take over the game and that's when I do it.

I got my caveman club

My parents are my backbone. Still are. They're the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40.

We're playing good basketball but the playoffs are all about preparation. We're just going to go out there and play.

That just shouldn't happen. Next time I'll guard him.

For him to just call me and tell me what a great game it was and how proud of me he is meant more to me than the 81 points. That means more to me than even the game itself because I idolized him as a kid.

I don't want to be the next Michael Jordan I only want to be Kobe Bryant

I just imagine the company to be in that class. It's a tremendous tremendous honor.

Lamar is such a great facilitator he takes a load off my shoulders so I don't have to facilitate I can just focus on putting the ball in the basket.

I know this city is used to championships and I am as well. But it's one step at a time and this is a step in that direction.

We had a screen and roll situation with me and Brian Cook and we just did not execute it right.

We have to understand that we're not playing for right now, we're playing for the long haul. It's important to be patient. It will come.

I listen to the big guy. That's who I play for. If he says go out there and shoot the ball 50 times that's what I'm going to do. I just follow his orders follow his lead and try to play the way he wants me to play to the best of my ability.

I'm very excited man very excited. I'm excited to be an Olympian to represent our country. I've been looking forward to this.

You got to talk to the team when plays break down but nothing close to what (reporter Peter) Vecsey or (TV analyst David) Aldridge said.

They made a concerted effort to send two guys over at me. They just trapped me all over the court.

Absolutely. I'd trade it in a heartbeat. It's about getting to that elite level. That's what my career is about.

We've been through so much. When I try to play the game I try to please him. So when he's happy with my performance it makes me happy because I learned the game from him. He taught me how to play.

We botched the play up and didn't execute it right. The spacing was messed up. We had a nice screen and roll situation. ... We just didn't execute if properly.

When the game is on the line they put the ball in my hands. I've gotta do what I've gotta do I don't care if it's 50 shots 60 shots five shots.

It was a big game for us ... We are a young team and we had to battle back to get the win.

I really don't want to turn this season every [media] session into a me-and-Phil conversation.

I just think it's an accomplishment on this path that we're on to try and get back to the top.

I was just letting the shots fly. You know I don't leave any bullets in the chamber.

We know this is the way we want to play because we can attack them inside. So this is what we want to do. Personally I get to the basket get some free throws and all I need is one jumper to go and I'm hot.

We both do what we need to do to win the game. In my case we have a young team so in a lot of circumstances I've had to carry the load for us to be competitive in ballgames. But I hope [Iverson] in Philadelphia and I in L.A. we can get to the point when we won't have to score that many points.

I think it's an accomplishment on this path that we're on to try to get back to the top. It's just about the journey enjoying the journey and the accomplishments and achievements that we have along the way just makes the journey that much more exciting.

He's helping to protect our country ... It's a chance for me to give back. I'm deeply honored to be here. It goes beyond words. To request my presence to be here it's unbelievable.

I am just blessed. I have just been blessed to be able to play this game. I am just very fortunate.

I'll do whatever it takes to win games whether it's sitting on a bench waving a towel handing a cup of water to a teammate or hitting the game-winning shot.

This decision came only after reviewing all the evidence -- testimonial evidence and physical evidence. The standards are the same in this case as in any other case

It feels good. It lets me know they appreciate what I do out there on the floor.

If you hear (evacuees) talk on television it seems that they have a feeling on top of the emotional devastation that they're on an island by themselves ... As Americans we rally around our people. We're going (to Houston) to let them know that we care for them and will be there to support them.

Ooh ... you just gave me goose bumps.

I had two guys on me. Somebody else should've been open.

I look forward to it. You know he's going to compete no matter if it's the All-Star game on the playground or versus the Lakers. He's going to compete hard.

[OK maybe he's not exactly smiling. But Bryant sure seems to be taking his severe ankle sprain in stride. Instead of gnashing his teeth the 26-year-old Lakers star (and fiery competitor) has sounded philosophical and upbeat in TV interviews.] I think eventually it'll make us a better team ... It's a positive thing.

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