Tweet of the Night: Jay Williams says Kobe would leave Lakers as a free agent if they aren’t contenders

KobeKobe Bryant has never known any team other than the Los Angeles Lakers. He started his career in Los Angeles as a teenager, and only once did he flirt with the idea of switching jerseys during his 17-year career.

The guard has said throughout the latter part of his career that he would remain a Laker for life, but you never know how things can turn out in the NBA. This is the final year of Bryant’s current contract, where he will earn a whopping $30 million. Beyond that? No one can really say for sure because he is in the process of trying to come back from a devastating Achilles injury – something not many players have been successful at doing. We all know that if there is anyone that can successfully come back from it, it’s him.

That doesn’t necessarily mean he will come back as the same guy from last season, though, and how he looks once he does return to action may have a big say in how much the Lakers would be willing to pay him. Remember, Bryant has clearly stated that he is not interested in taking any kind of pay cut on his next contract, which will likely be the last of his career. What no one has really considered is the idea of him simply choosing to leave the team. Could Bryant really choose to go that route after all that he’s been through with his beloved Lakers? Former NBA player Jay Williams seems to believe as much:

 

Normally, it would be hard to fathom Bryant pulling such a shocking move. But then again, his situation as of now is anything but normal. If he doesn’t have the same kind of athleticism he had prior to the Achilles heel surgery upon his return, the Lakers would be that much worse as a result. Does he want to stick around for that at this stage of his career?

They have just enough talent to be competitive this season, which means a high lottery pick for next season is unlikely. There are no young, homegrown talents on the roster. Steve Nash will be 41 when his contract expires and no one knows what Pau Gasol will do. Still, things would have to go very, very badly this season for Williams’ belief to come to fruition. Sadly, that’s not out of the question when it comes to what may be ahead for these Lakers.

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James Park is the chief blogger of Sheridan Hoops. Find him on twitter @SheridanBlog.

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  1. jerry25 says

    Stephen A. Smith is convinced that Kobe will retire if he can’t do it anymore. In that case it would be hopeless to expect another championship, unless he accepts a near Vet Min salary to go elsewhere or leave enough cap space to actually construct a new Lakers team with Nash also under contract.

    If Kobe Does sign a large extension, then even if he is near old form, he still has no chance to win a championship. He has a 30 million cap hold which would require that Kobe be under contract Before knowing what free agents are available. Certainly you can cross off LeBron, Melo (won’t play under D’Antoni or share ball with Kobe) and Paul George. The Lakers have nothing to offer for Kevin Love. Who does that leave?
    If Kobe signs for 20 million, that only leaves about 23 million for other free agents and then they could use their MLE. Who would want to play with an aging Kobe who still demands the ball, anyway.
    Bottom line is that Lakers are screwed, no matter how you look at it. The new CBA is working. I do however agree with Jay Williams about Kobe wanting that 6th Championship more than anything. Kobe will be very Sad in retirement.

    Long live the Clippers and Nets. Justice eventually triumphs.

  2. PC3 says

    He has copied everything Jordan has done from tounge,licking lips,won title acted like MJ when MJ father died & was crying in the locker, copied jordan jump shot , jumps like MJ, changed his jersey to #24 hummm MJ #23….Can anybody say swagger jacker RT LOL #SMH Kobe ..any record that Kobe breaks for not gng to college in the NBA, LBJ will break all of them..Now back 2 the topic so if Kobe copied MJ on everything so what makes u think he will leave lakers if MJ never left the bulls RT..lakers want him for marketing purposes anyway & Kobe wants 2 be MJ so bad while LBJ is gng down as the GOAT Im a #Witness

    • CC3 says

      You must not have a life. what does lebron have to do with this? LOL
      Everyone knows MJ is the GOAT right now and always will.
      Remember MJ is 6-0 Undefeated in NBA Finals
      Lebron is 2-2

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