Kobe Bryant appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Thursday night, wearing leopard-print shoes and a bandage of some sort on his ailing right elbow and copping to just how much sway he holds over the Los Angeles Lakers organization.
Bryant admitted that the season has been an, shall we say, evolution. “What’s a Laker team in L.A.,” he asked, “without drama?”
He has guaranteed that this team, which is hovering around .500, will make the playoffs and Kimmel asked what would happen if anyone disagreed
“If anybody in that locker room would have said, ‘Well, I don’t know if we’re going to make it,’ I would have called the Buss family [the Lakers’ owners] and said, ‘Cut this guy right now! Get him outta there!’” Bryant said and everybody laughed uproariously because this is, of course, totally true.
In his 17th season, Bryant also said that he’d be retiring “soon” — as a Laker. “It’s coming to an end and I’m happy it’ll with a Lakers uniform,” said Bryant. He won’t be going out, he said, like Montana or Favre. “I’m not going anywhere. I couldn’t possibly. I’ve been very fortunate to be with one organization,” he said. “I just feel like you just try to do the best that you can to win with the organization you’re with. If it happens, great. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
Earlier in the season, he said the Lakers were “old as [expletive]” and did the Fred Sanford old-man routine again. “When I came in the league, I had an Afro. I can’t grow one now if I tried.”
And when that moment comes, he won’t become some sort of roving diplomat like Dennis Rodman despite having lived abroad as a kid and speaking multiple languages. He will, he said with no trace of irony, “pass” on that.
Now, all we want to know is how’s the elbow? Oh, and why isn’t Phil Jackson the Lakers’ coach?
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 8, 2013