kobe bryant

Kobe Bryant quotes on the late Jerry Buss

Q: On the impact Dr. Buss had on him and if he finds it ironic the Lakers will be facing the team he most wanted to beat the most on Wednesday (Boston):

Bryant: Yeah, I do. To me, personally, he obviously believed in me since Day 1 being a 17-year-old kid to where I am now. His competitive spirit, his vision where this organization should be and how it should go beyond basketball with the global outreach that he had on his mind. We talked quite a bit about that and we talked about the old times. He’s obviously had a profound impact on me, to say the least.

Q: On Dr. Buss having an influence in him staying with the Lakers:

Bryant: Of course. I think in 2007 was really the big one. I had to make a choice and believing in him, which wasn’t very hard to do once I took a step back and see everything that he accomplished. I had a chance to sit down with him and we talked about what his vision was and his vision for rebuilding this team and rebuilding this team quickly. It was easy for me because I was a Lakers fan growing up, so I saw how many championships he’d been able to win and see how many times he was able to rebuild. It was a pretty easy call for me.

Q: On his talk with Dr. Buss about rebuilding the team:

Bryant: He went into a little bit of the salary cap, free agents and all this other stuff, which, his memory was pretty remarkable in terms of what he was able to remember, the space he had available, who was available and how he was going to put it all together. When somebody has that kind of detail, it’s pretty easy to roll with.

Q: On if he’s concerned about the future of the organization:

Bryant: It’s tough. It’s tough to follow in those shoes. I think the important thing to do is to take the lessons he’s taught – and I’m sure there are many – and things that they’ve learned from him, and try to carry it on to the future.

– Reported by Trevor Wong of the Lakers.com Blog