Fresh off his fourth NBA championship, Kobe Bryant had until Tuesday, June 30, to opt out of his final two years remaining on his current Los Angeles Laker contract. If he chose to do so, he would make himself an unrestricted free agent shocking the entire NBA.
He has spent his entire 13-year career in LA. He has been there since he was 18 years old. So is Kobe ready for a change of scenery?
Not even close.
Kobe Bryant announced he has no plans to go anywhere, that the Lakers have no plans for him to go anywhere, and we as basketball fans would be wasting our breath talking about it.
I believe you Kobe.
It was confirmed on Wednesday, July 1, by team spokesman John Black of Bryant's decision to remain a Laker. The Lakers and Bryant's agent are currently negotiating a contract extension, but if somehow they cannot agree, he can opt out as soon as next June.
Not any serious basketball fan expected him to jump ship on the Lakers, but now with Bryant staying in LA for sure under their belts, the Lakers can turn their attention towards resigning free agents Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom and keeping the core group of guys they have together.
I'm not a huge Lakers fan, although I do not have anything against them either, but as neither a Lakers fan nor a Lakers hater I can say if they get Ariza and Odom back next year, look for them to repeat.
Nobody in the NBA matches Kobe's intensity on and off the court, and his teammates respect him and listen to him like a coach. They have plenty of star power but also enough role players who do their job to continue winning championships.
Kobe Bryant currently has four NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. If they keep this team together, along with Phil Jackson, who knows how many he could end up with.
Kobe is winning again, and he seems to like that type of scenery pretty well.