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The W - Basketball - Jerry Buss calling Kobe's Bluff
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Kawshen
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Since: 2.1.02
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.95
ESPN sez:


LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant has held his ground, saying he will opt out of his Lakers contract at the end of the season and test free agency.


Owner Jerry Buss doesn't believe him.


"I certainly hope -- you can put that in capital letters if you like -- that Kobe re-signs," Buss told reporters during his annual meeting with the media at Staples Center on Sunday. "I guess my basic feeling is this is where he belongs ... I have faith that when it comes time, Kobe will be signed."


Buss said those convictions also mean he will not approve a trade of Bryant this year.


"I'm not about to trade my son," Buss was quoted as saying in The Los Angeles Times. "Kobe is clearly going to end up on a level that maybe only two or three other players have achieved, and I want to be around to see him when he reaches his peak, which is still many years away."


Buss also said that he expected to sign center Shaquille O'Neal and coach Phil Jackson to rich contract extensions that will make each the highest paid in their respective roles.


"I don't think it was at all obvious until just recently that [Jackson] wanted to continue to coach a few more years," Buss said. "Once he said that, it becomes a negotiation. He sends his agent in, I send my man in, and they hammer it out. I would have preferred, quite honestly, to sit down with him and just work out the contract. But if he prefers the agent versus my agent, then that's the way it'll have to be.


"He set the stage, so there's really nothing I can do about it."


Buss also added that he has wanted point guard Gary Payton in a Lakers uniform for many years.


When the conversation turned back to Bryant, Buss spoke openly about the sympathy he has for his star guard, who continues to navigate his ongoing legal situation.


"I felt a lot of pain for him ... [like] a father experiences tremendous pain for the problems his son is having," Buss was quoted as saying in The Times.


Buss also dismissed the recent Bryant-O'Neal feud, calling it "mild" compared to fights his sons used to have when they were little.


"If you raise children, you get kind of used to those things," he said. "I guess I can't get involved or alarmed by it. I have probably the best general manager [Mitch Kupchak] in the business. I have probably the best coach in the business. That's their jobs, to take care of those things. My job is to sit up in the box and let them win."






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CRZ
Big Brother
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65
http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-lakerep3nov03,1,2882483.story (registration required)

Buss Expects Bryant to Stay

By Tim Brown, Times Staff Writer

Kobe Bryant has said he will opt out of his contract and then just might leave Shaquille O'Neal and the Lakers behind this summer, but owner Jerry Buss does not believe it.

Therefore, Buss, who speaks often of the organization and those in it as his extended family, said Sunday night that he would not approve a trade of Bryant, apparently not in any circumstance.

"I'm not about to trade my son," Buss said. "Kobe is clearly going to end up on a level that maybe only two or three other players have achieved, and I want to be around to see him when he reaches his peak, which is still many years away."

As he does annually, Buss met with reporters Sunday evening in an upstairs conference room at Staples Center. Buss, who was wearing a blue floral shirt, faded blue jeans and Nike sneakers, said he expected to sign O'Neal and Phil Jackson to rich contract extensions though he admitted that he had hoped that Jackson would come to him personally for negotiations instead of sending his lawyer. He also said that he'd hungered for Gary Payton for many years, that he is continuing to groom his children to become the next generation of Laker ownership, and that he is deeply troubled by Bryant's legal situation.

"I felt a lot of pain for him," he said, just as "a father experiences tremendous pain for the problems his son is having."

Still, Buss laughed easily during a 20-minute conversation, once marveling at the sight of O'Neal, Bryant, Payton and Karl Malone together in Laker uniforms, and then saying the recent Bryant-O'Neal quarrel was mild compared with those in which his sons engaged when they were young.

"If you raise children, you get kind of used to those things," he said. "I guess I can't get involved or alarmed by it. I have probably the best general manager [Mitch Kupchak] in the business. I have probably the best coach in the business. That's their jobs, to take care of those things. My job is to sit up in the box and let them win."

As Buss, 70, embarks on his 25th season as Laker owner, he faces a possible roster overhaul in July, among a handful of issues.

Jackson is in the final season of a five-year, $30-million contract. And with Buss courtside in Hawaii, O'Neal made a huge show of his desire for an extension. An extension for Bryant has been on the table for 16 months, long enough that the original three-year offer has, per the collective-bargaining agreement, become a four-year offer.

"I certainly hope you can put that in capital letters if you like that Kobe re-signs. I guess my basic feeling is this is where he belongs," Buss said. "I have faith that when it comes time, Kobe will be signed."

Jackson and O'Neal will get their contracts too, Buss said, and each will become the highest-paid in their fields, probably important to both.

"I don't think it was at all obvious until just recently that [Jackson] wanted to continue to coach a few more years," Buss said.

"Once he said that, it becomes a negotiation," he said. "He sends his agent in, I send my man in, and they hammer it out. I would have preferred, quite honestly, to sit down with him and just work out the contract. But if he prefers the agent versus my agent, then that's the way it'll have to be. He set the stage, so there's really nothing I can do about it."

Had it been only the two of them in the office above the practice floor in El Segundo, Buss said, "I can't help but think" that the extension would have been signed by now. "But there's certainly no guarantees on that," Buss said. "That's a guess."

There is no doubt that he would have Jackson return, Buss said, and Jackson said late in training camp that he assumes that he will be back, probably with a two- or three-year deal.

"I could never turn down the winningest coach in history," Buss said.



CRZ
redsoxnation
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.40
    Originally posted by Kawshen
    Buss said those convictions also mean he will not approve a trade of Bryant this year.

Of course should another type of conviction occur he won't be able to approve a trade of Bryant for 4-25 years.

(edited by CRZ on 4.11.03 0943)


Why Pro Wrestling proves the INS cannot keep terrorists out of the United States: If a felon like Nathan Jones is allowed into the United States with no special skills (unless being totally inept in the ring counts, but I think there are enough totally inept people in the US to keep that skill from being unique or special), then how the hell can they justify keeping anyone else out?
BigVitoMark
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Since: 10.8.02
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.10
Didn't Bryant say when he came into the NBA that the only team he would play for is the Lakers? I can't imagine that three rings later he's ready to change his mind. I can't shake the feeling that this is just a power play to try and get more money. Wouldn't the Lakers be able to pay him more than anyone else under the salary cap because he's already part of the team?
Broncolanche
Sujuk








Since: 2.6.03
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.57
    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    Of course should another type of conviction occur he won't be able to approve a trade of Bryant for 4-25 years.


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