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Lakers GM: Kobe Bryant says next season will be his last with team 05.22.15 at 2:36 pm ET
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Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said Thursday that Kobe Bryant has told him next season will be Bryant’s last with the Lakers.

“He has indicated to me that this is it,” Kupchak said in an interview on SiriusXM, via ESPN.com.

Bryant’s contract runs through the 2015-16 season, during which he is scheduled to make a league-high $25 million. He will be 37 at the start of next season, and missed much of this season with a shoulder injury that allowed him to play only 35 games.

“I think it is clear,” Kupchak said. “He’s on the last year of his deal. There have been no discussions [about playing beyond next season]. He hasn’t indicated that he wants to continue to play.”

Kupchak said he expects a full recovery from Bryant, but does not expect there to be any discussions with Bryant about playing for the Lakers beyond next season. Whether Bryant receives a farewell tour from the Lakers and league is up to Bryant, Kupchak said.

“It’s kind of up to the player, if they want to do something like that,” Kupchak said. “And it also may take away some options a year from now and put a player in an awkward position, but he will be recognized appropriately with great gratitude when it is time.”

Bryant is a five-time NBA champion and the league’s third all-time leading scorer with 32,428 points.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Rex Ryan plays down impact of Deflategate on Patriots 01.30.15 at 8:08 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Rockets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Mavericks at Heat, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Bulls at Suns, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Harvard at Princeton, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Monmouth at Fairfield, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kent State at Buffalo, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Sabres at Canucks, 10 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Providence at Boston College, 7:30 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College hockey: North Dakota at Nebraska-Omaha, 8:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
Tennis: Australian Open, 3 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— New Bills coach Rex Ryan still might not want to kiss Bill Belichick‘s rings, but he also isn’t ready to pile on the Patriots coach regarding Deflategate.

Reporters caught up with Ryan on Thursday in Phoenix, and Ryan laughed when asked if he ever suspected that the Patriots deflated footballs.

“No, I never, you know, I don’€™t see that,” Ryan said (via MassLive.com). “And I think it’€™s unfortunate that this takes away. This is the biggest stage there is and here we’€™re talking about something like that. It is a black eye to the league and the league will handle it as they see fit. But they’€™re a great football team, and they’€™ve earned the right to get here. Same thing with Seattle.”

Ryan also said he doesn’t believe the legacies of Belichick and Tom Brady will be affected by this controversy.

“I don’€™t think that’€™s anything,” Ryan said. “I mean, when you look at, you’€™re going to have a guy that’€™s arguably going to end up being if not the best coach in the history of the game, at least in that conversation. Same thing about their quarterback. So I don’€™t think it’€™s going to be anything.”

Ryan also weighed in on the issue the Patriots have been having with the fire alarm in their hotel going off in the middle of the night.

“Let’€™s face it: Belichick probably did it himself,” Ryan joked. “He’€™s the one that pulled the thing and created a different story. Those things happen. You try to prepare your team in the offseason — training camps and all that kind of stuff. Would you pull a fire alarm or something? You may.”

Ryan claimed that alarms have gone off in his teams’ hotels during visits to New England, but he insisted he wasn’t getting his revenge this week.

“I was not there,” he said. “You can’t blame that one on me.”

— Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth is headed to jail for five days after pleading guilty Thursday to reckless driving for an incident in July in Virginia.

Werth admitted that he was driving his Porsche GT3 RS more than 100 mph on I-495 in Fairfax Country. A Virginia State Police trooper paced Werth driving at least 105 mph on an on-ramp, and Werth pulled way from the police cruiser on the highway, which has a posted speed limit of 55 mph.

Werth, who was cooperative after being pulled over and admitted he was “pressing his luck” by driving so fast, had been convicted of the charges in December. He appealed and was due for another trial next week before reaching a plea deal. He will serve his sentence on weekends.

“We are aware of the agreement reached today. It is clear that Jayson has taken this matter seriously and with great personal reflection,” the team said in a statement. “We do not condone reckless behavior, and we expect all members of the Washington Nationals organization to act in a responsible manner. We support Jayson, who is an integral part of the community and of the Washington Nationals family.

Werth, who declined comment after the hearing, is entering the fifth season of a seven-year, $126 million contract. He hit .292 with 16 home runs, 82 RBIs and a team-high .849 OPS in 147 games last season. He had arthroscopic shoulder surgery Jan. 9 and is expected to be ready to play in 2-3 months.

— One day after having season-ending shoulder surgery, Kobe Bryant said he intends to return in September for his 20th season.

“Yeah, that’s the plan,” Bryant told ESPN.

Bryant stopped by Staples Center to visit with former teammate Pau Gasol before Thursday’s Bulls-Lakers game, although Bryant said he wasn’t feeling well enough to go on the court.

Bryant will be heading into the final year of his contract in 2015-16, when he is slated to earn $25 million. The 36-year-old said he doesn’t pay attention to other people’s suggestions that he should retire.

“I don’t really listen much to what people have to say, to be honest with you,” he said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 30, 1973, the Patriots had perhaps their best draft ever. Which three players did they select in Round 1?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “His desire to be so competitive, I’€™ve never seen it. You could put him in the category of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, just some of the great athletes in this world, and I’€™€™m talking different sports, too. He has the fight, the will and the determination to go out there and destroy anybody who’€™€™s in his way. You see the results on the field, he’€™€™s awesome.” Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis on Tom Brady

STAT OF THE DAY: 25 — Percent decrease in recorded concussions in NFL games from 2013 to 2014, according to data released by the league Thursday

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch play Mortal Kombat X on “Conan.”

Magic guard Victor Oladipo soars in for an impressive dunk against the Bucks.

Bulls forward Joakim Noah makes a nice behind-the-back pass to Pau Gasol for a layup against the Lakers.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Offensive lineman John Hannah (fourth), running back Sam Cunningham (11th) and receiver Darryl Stingley (19th)

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Phil Collins was born on this day in 1951.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Jayson Werth, kobe bryant, Rex Ryan
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Paul Pierce pays tribute to injured Kobe Bryant 01.28.15 at 8:02 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Louisville at Boston College, 9 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College basketball: SMU at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Temple at UCF, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Wake Forest at Florida State, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Duke at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Texas Tech at Oklahoma, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Kansas at TCU, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: St. John’s at Creighton, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Georgia Tech at Miami, 9 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: East Carolina at Memphis, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Penguins at Capitals, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Blackhawks at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Exhibition, Chile vs. United States, 6 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2), 3:30 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Things are going well for former Celtic Paul Pierce, who has become a veteran leader for a talented Wizards team. Not so much for Pierce’s longtime rival with the Lakers, Kobe Bryant.

Bryant is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his rotator cuff in a game over the weekend, and even before his injury his team was headed for another miserable season.

Although the two have butted heads in the past, Pierce lamented the loss of Bryant.

“It always saddens me, knowing that Kobe, who is one of my NBA brothers we lose [him] due to injury,” Pierce said before sitting out the Wizards’ 98-92 victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles with a toe injury. “It always saddens me.”

Added Pierce: “A lot of fans around the league pay to watch Kobe, a lot of fans around the world. Regardless of how the Lakers are doing or not, he’s an icon. He’s a player who defined his generation. A lot of people that come out here to see him.”

Bryant recently said that he’s enjoyed his on-court verbal exchanges with Pierce, and Pierce agreed.

“It’s just fun. We’re one of the last two of our generation,” Pierce said. “That’s pretty much a lot of the things we talked about on the court, a little bit of a trash in there.

“But we also said there’s no more trash-talkers in the league today coming up. It’s a generation that’s passing by, and a lot of these guys are friends. I don’t think this new generation is as competitive as we were with the past guys.”

— Clippers forward Matt Barnes, whose temper has gotten him in trouble a number of times in the past, lashed out on Twitter at the owner of the Suns after being fined for an incident in Phoenix.

The NBA slapped Barnes with a $25,000 fine Tuesday for his conduct during Sunday’s game, when he directed inappropriate language toward a fan.

Barnes, who shot 1-for-9 in the Clippers’ 120-100 victory, acknowledged he swore, but he claims it was because Suns owner Robert Sarver provoked him.

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Read More: kobe bryant, Matt Barnes, Paul Pierce, Robert Allenby
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant out again with torn rotator cuff 01.23.15 at 8:07 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Nuggets, 9 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Bulls at Mavericks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: VCU at Saint Louis, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Manhattan at Quinnipiac, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Valparaiso at Green Bay, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: All-Star Fantasy Draft, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Providence at UMass-Lowell, 7 p.m. (NESN)
Soccer: FA Cup, Manchester United at Cambridge, 3 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9 p.m., 3 a.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The hits keep on coming for the Lakers and Kobe Bryant. On Thursday the team announced that Bryant tore his right rotator cuff in the second half of Wednesday’s loss to the Pelicans when he attempted a two-handed dunk.

Bryant, 36, headed home Thursday after an MRI revealed the tear.

Bryant remained in the game after suffering the injury despite struggling to do anything with his right arm. A righty, he managed to hit a 14-foot jumper with his left hand (video above).

He said after the game that it felt as if the shoulder “came out of the joint a little bit.”

“I felt fine when I went up, and didn’t feel too good when I came down,” he said.

The NBA’s highest-paid player at $23.5 million, Bryant is averaging 22.3 points per game, although he missed eight games over the past month to get some rest.

— The Bulls are struggling, but star guard Derrick Rose said it’s not the fault of coach Tom Thibodeau.

Fingers have been pointed at the former Celtics assistant as the team had lost six of its last eight games before Thursday’s 104-81 victory over the Spurs.

“This doesn’t have anything to do with Thibs at all,” Rose said. “The way that we’ve been playing doesn’t have anything to do with Thibs. He’s preparing us right. He’s doing everything and did everything possible to prepare us as a coach. It’s up to the players to give that effort.”

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Read More: Derrick Rose, Gregg Popovich, kobe bryant, Tom Thibodeau
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Lions enjoy irony of Cowboys’ overturned call in loss to Packers 01.12.15 at 7:15 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Pelicans at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE, NBA TV)
NHL: Lightning at Flyers, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
College football: National championship, Oregon vs. Ohio State, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Cowboys lost to the Packers on Sunday after a catch by Dez Bryant on fourth down was overturned on review late in the fourth quarter, much to Dallas’ dismay.

Although it’s clear Bryant lost control of the ball after it hit the ground — which by rule makes it an incompletion, he insisted after he game that he could not understand the ruling.

“Look, I’ll tell you this, I’ve never seen that a day in my life,” Bryant told reporters. “I want to know why it wasn’t a catch.”

Added Bryant: “All I know is I had possession, I had possession of the ball coming down. That’s possession, right? One, two, reach. Bam, that’s possession.”

The Lions, who lost to the Cowboys the previous week thanks in part to a changed call that the league later admitted should have been a Dallas penalty, could not help but enjoy the irony, and they weighed in on Twitter.

Tweeted Eric Ebron: Karma Always Comes Back Around.

The fact that the player involved was Bryant, who ran on the field last Sunday to argue the initial pass interference call and probably should have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct, made it that much more ironic.

Tweeted Cornelius Lucas: It’s Funny how life works’€¦ Haha.

Added Cory Hilliard: Poetic Justic. Sorry Cowboys fans, but this is hilarious.

Lions receiver Calvin Johnson was a little more sympathetic, as he had a key catch overturned in 2010 on a similar call. Tweeted Johnson: Sorry @dallascowboys. We know the feeling.

— According to reports out of New York, the Jets have settled on their new leadership. Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is said to be the choice for coach, and Texans director of college scouting Mike Maccagnan will be the general manager.

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant moves past Michael Jordan into third place on NBA’s scoring list 12.15.14 at 7:44 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at 76ers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Elon at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
NFL: Saints at Bears, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NHL: Lightning at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Queens Park at Everton, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kobe Bryant provided the Lakers with a rare positive moment during a miserable season, as he moved past Michael Jordan for third place on the league’s all-time scoring list during Sunday’s victory over the Timberwolves in Minnesota.

Bryant, who began the night eight points behind Jordan, hit two free throws in the second quarter to tie and pass the Bulls legend. He finished with 26 points to give him 32,310 and now ranks behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928).

The game was stopped briefly so that Bryant could receive the ball from Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor along with congratulations from players and coaches from both teams.

“I’m just honored to be here, man, to still be playing,” said Bryant, who made his NBA debut as an 18-year-old in 1996, going scoreless in six minutes against the Timberwolves. “I appreciate being able to play this long. Careers normally don’t last this long. I really appreciate the opportunity to still be out there playing and performing and doing what I do.”

Said Jordan in a statement: “I congratulate Kobe on reaching this milestone. He’s obviously a great player, with a strong work ethic and has an equally strong passion for the game of basketball. I’ve enjoyed watching his game evolve over the years, and I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes next.”

Penguins star Sydney Crosby became the latest NHL player to be diagnosed with the mumps, as the two-time MVP was held out of his team’s two weekend games.

Crosby developed swelling on the right side of his face, and when his condition worsened Friday he was sent to the hospital, where the diagnosis was made. He was kept in isolation through the weekend and was expected to be through the infectious stage by Monday, although the Pens ruled him out of Monday’s game against the Lightning.

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Read More: Jakeli Lenard Mitchell, kobe bryant, Michael Jordan, Sydney Crosby
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant goes off on ‘soft’ Lakers teammates 12.12.14 at 8:05 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Knicks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Traill Blazers at Bulls, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Lakers at Spurs, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: FCS quarterfinals, Chattanooga at New Hampshire, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Lakers are not good, and the frustration is showing. Kobe Bryant, who does not always practice with the team, was there Thursday, and he was even more intense than he normally is.

He trash-talked with Nick Young and Jeremy Lin, then he lashed out at the reserves as the starters crushed them in a scrimmage.

“Now I see why we’ve lost so many games,” Bryant said. “We’re soft like Charmin!”

Shortly thereafter, Bryant stormed off the practice court, yelling at general manager Mitch Kupchak that he wasn’t getting challenged enough. Said Bryant, “These [expletives] aren’t doing [expletive] for me.”

When he met with reporters a little later, he was back in control.

“I was just being myself,” he said. “I don’€™t get a chance to really get out there and play too much because of my body and stuff. I don’€™t know if it helps them. It obviously raises the intensity level. It was a tough practice for them.”

Bryant said his “soft” comment was meant to see if his teammates would respond.

“I just challenge guys, see what happens,” he said. “I’ve always believed in throwing them in the pool and then seeing if they can sink or swim.”

Derek Jeter participated in a Q& with Harold Reynolds at Hamilton College in upstate New York, and the recently retired Yankees shortstop offered some tips on how to avoid bad press.

“There’€™s two things you can always say to the media. One is, you have no comment. There’€™s no follow-up to that,’€ Jeter said. “The second thing I think most people get in trouble with, they’€™re afraid to say, ‘€˜I don’€™t know.’€™ If you ask me a question and I say, ‘€˜I don’€™t know,’€™ how are you going to follow it up?”

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Lakers coach Byron Scott calls Julius Randle injury ‘heartbreaking’ 10.29.14 at 10:28 am ET
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The Lakers lost more than a game Tuesday night when they fell 108-90 to the Rockets at Staples Center.

Just 14 minutes into his career, rookie Julius Randle landed awkwardly on his leg after going up for a shot. The training staff immediately attended to Randle, who clearly was in pain.

The No. 7 overall pick was carted off on a stretcher and got X-rays, and the results revealed that Randle had a fractured tibia. After hearing the news, Lakers coach Byron Scott called the incident “heartbreaking.”

“The last three or four minutes, obviously we weren’t thinking a whole lot about basketball,” Scott said. “We were just thinking about Julius and hoping he’s OK.”

Kobe Bryant, who made his long-awaited comeback during the game, said the Lakers will miss the growth they could’ve had with Randle in the lineup.

But Bryant added that the injury could end up helping Randle in the long run.

“We’ll help him through this, and he’ll come back a better basketball player,” Bryant said. “That’s the goal, is to try to find a silver lining in this. He’ll use the time to come back and be stronger.”

Read More: byron scott, Julius Randle, kobe bryant,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Syracuse reportedly will address NCAA allegations next week 10.24.14 at 8:07 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
World Series: Royals at Giants, 8 p.m. (Fox, WEEI-FM)
College football: South Florida at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Troy at South Alabama, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: BYU at Boise State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Oregon at California, 10 p.m. (FS1)
College hockey: Michigan at UMass-Lowell, 7:15 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Colorado at Boston College, 7:30 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
MLS: Dynamo at Fire, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Women’s CONCACAF semifinal, United States vs. Mexico, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— According to reports out of Syracuse, the school will address accusations of major rules violations in a hearing with the NCAA next week.

There have been reports for almost two years that the men’s basketball team was under investigation, with part of that centering on the academic record of Fab Melo, who was suspended in 2012. Newer reports indicate there are concerns surrounding the football team as well.

That’s news to coach Doug Marrone, who coached the Orange from 2009-12 and now is in his second season in the NFL as coach of the Bills.

“There’s nothing that I know about that we did that wasn’t either punished or put forth,” Marrone told Syracuse.com. “One thing I did, if we made a mistake, an incidental contact or something, I just always reported it. It’s not worth it. This way I can sleep at night.”

MASHUP POLL: Will Syracuse be punished for NCAA rules violations?

  • Yes, the basketball team finally will be exposed for cheating (68%, 54 Votes)
  • No, this is just another report that will prove to be minor (33%, 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 80

Loading ... Loading ...

Since the investigation began, Syracuse restructured the athletic department’s academic services department, which included at least three employees changing jobs.

According to an ESPN story, the issues with Jim Boeheim’s basketball team include extra benefits, and the allegations date back about 10 years and are as current as 2013.

“There were things going on consistently [with the men’s basketball program] for a long time,” a source told ESPN.

— Lakers president Jeanie Buss came to the defense of Kobe Bryant, saying she did not agree with the ESPN The Magazine feature that indicated top free agents do not want to play alongside the aging star.

“Any free agent that would be afraid to play with Kobe Bryant is probably a loser, and I’m glad they wouldn’t come to the team,” Buss said Thursday.

Added Buss: “I read the story. I don’t agree with any of it. If there is somebody that’s on our payroll who is saying things like that, I’ll soon get to the bottom of it, and they won’t be working for us anymore.”

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Read More: Jeanie Buss, kobe bryant, Steve Nash, syracuse
Kobe Bryant not worried about critical ESPN article: ‘It’s not the first one’ 10.22.14 at 11:11 am ET
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Lakers star Kobe Bryant has faced enough criticism through his years that he’€™s used to it by now.

After a recent article in ESPN The Magazine said Bryant’€™s play over the last few years is a big factor in Los Angeles’€™ decline, the 19-year veteran just let it slide. Bryant said that so many different stories always come out that it’€™s impossible to dwell on just one.

“It’s not the first one and it won’t be the last one,” Bryant said Tuesday night after a preseason loss to the Suns. “One thing I’ve come to understand over the years is that you’ll have a bad story that comes out on a Monday and it seems like it’s the end of the world and it seems like everybody’s taking shots at you. But time goes by and then you look back on it and it was just a Monday.”

A year after the team finished seventh in the Western Conference and barely clinched a playoff spot, the 2013-14 Lakers missed out on the postseason for the first time since 2005. Times have been difficult for Los Angeles in recent years, and the critics have been tougher on the team and Bryant in particular.

Bryant said he isn’t concerned with the magazine article, instead looking toward winning and getting back into form.

“Stay focused on the bigger picture and things are never as bleak as they seem at the time,” Bryant said. “I just kind of roll with it.”

Read More: kobe bryant,