Originally posted on BlackSportsOnline  |  Last updated 6/15/13
I always said no matter what Kobe says, they would have to drag him off the court. He isn’t going to go quietly into the sunset. It is his competitive nature, I actually think being injured has made him more determined to come back and play at a high level for a couple of more years. Bryant wants to be “back next season with a vengeance,” the source said. And he wants “two more cracks at it to win seven NBA titles at least.” In other words, it’s highly unlikely next season will be his last. Bryant has always publicly maintained that he will play only while he’s able to perform at an elite level. Next season is his final one under contract with the Lakers. A source with knowledge of the Lakers’ thinking told ESPNLosAngeles.com that the team was planning to open extension talks with Bryant as soon as it was allowed to under NBA rules, which ironically came right after he ruptured his Achilles in a game against Golden State on April 12. Both sides would love to see Bryant retire as a Laker, sources said. But the Achilles injury complicated the issue, especially the timing of talks about an extension. If Bryant really wants a crack at two more titles, when his contract is up, he is going to have to take far less money than the $30 million he is being paid. If he is serious about allowing the Lakers to put the proper talent around him for one final run, he will agree to a salary that allows a lot of flexibility. In 2014, lot of quality free agents will be available, so the Lakers turn around could be quick.
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