Jim Buss says he wants Kobe Bryant to be a Laker for life. That's a shocker. Who in the Lakers front office wouldn't want Kobe to remain with the team until he calls it quits?
The problem is placating Kobe and putting a competitive team around him. I guess Buss has it all figured out.
"I think about a lot of things to improve this team, to figure out how to manage the finances of it," said Lakers executive vice president of player personnel, Jim Buss, as a guest on the "Mason & Ireland Show" on 710 ESPN on Friday. "One thing I haven't thought of is Kobe being somewhere else. I don't know why that question has ever come up and I'd like to squish that one."
While it's hard to imagine Bryant in another uniform, it's had to say that Bryant will be able to compete at an elite level for the duration of his career. A caller on the show Buss appeared on went as far as saying that Bryant and the Lakers had a short window of opportunity to win a sixth championship. Buss thinks that Bryant has a lot left to give and won't sell him short.
"I might disagree with you that Kobe only has three or four years left, but we'll see," Buss said. "As you see, we make trades and our whole focus isn't to win a sixth (championship). I'm not sure I would stop there for Kobe; I would go to seven or eight if we can. ... I think Kobe is going to be a Laker for life and I'm pretty sure he's not going to hang them up after two years."
The only way Kobe leaves Los Angeles is if the Lakers are in so much disrepair that he doesn't want to stick around for a rebuilding job. His competitive juices will keep him in the game for as long as he desires.