ESPN Conversation: Kobe Bryant

With the imost talked about season, arguably in Lakers history (after having the best off-season in the history of the team, acquiring all-stars Dwight Howard AND Steve Nash), the Lakeshow hasn’t started like we all envisioned a few months ago. Steve Nash has been out the majority of the season with injuries, Dwight’s been working his way back to game shape after back surgery and Pau Gasol has been dealing with knee tendinitis. Kobe’s done all he can this year, averaging an NBA high of 29.2 points a game, and is starting to see the other side with his contract with the Lakers ending after the 2014 season.

In this nearly 40-minute sit down with ESPN New York’s Stephen A. Smith, the Black Mamba discusses the Lakers on the court struggles this season, his level of frustration this year and new personnel on the team, which includes Dwight Howard and Nash and the firing of Mike Brown for Mike D’Antoni. The two also discuss how much he has left in the tank after the end of his contract next year, and whether he thinks Dwight Howard will return to the team next season after he’s a free agent.

I’m not a Lakers guy but it’s extremely sad to see a passionate athlete this down regarding his team and pending future, considering it’s a possibility that they miss the playoffs if this core group of talented stars doesn’t mesh with the return of Nash under the Mike D’antoni system. Speaking of which, the Lakers are off to a rough start at 9-13, 4 games under .500 for the first time in nearly 8 years as they’ve lost three straight and 7 of their last 10.

After last night’s upset loss to Kyrie Irving and the Cavs, Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni was asked about their defensive struggles, which he went on to say they spent 30 whole minutes out of an entire 3-hour practice to address the problems. D’Antoni then lost his temper and got pissed. This is not a good week for Laker heads out there, with Kobe looking miserable in his interview, which you can catch after the jump.

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