Talking Shop with Kobe Bryant

Oct 14, 2009, 4:12 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2011, 7:55 pm

Last night I was up until 2am watching (cue the dramatic music)…”Sonic Gate”! Though I’d love to see the NBA back in Seattle, I’m pretty sure the money’s not coming from public funds, so let’s get to it, owners! Come in here with that big dollar sign bag and bring us a team!

But for now I’ll settle for following the best of the best – and that term definitely includes Kobe Bryant, who was kind enough to join me today.

Kobe wasn’t happy about the Sonics’ departure either, as I came to find out, saying, “They have such a rich basketball history – it’s hard to picture Seattle without the NBA.” He did extend an invitation to NBA fans here in Seattle to “become Lakers fans for now.”

payton bryantHe did have some fond memories of playing up here in KeyArena. Although, he says his most memorable was probably not his fondest, as he recalled, “Gary Payton took me to school.”

Kobe and I had plenty to talk about outside the Seattle scope as well. We are talking about a man fresh off an NBA Championship – so what I really wanted to know was how a scoring leader, MVP and reigning champ could actually get better in the off-season. Kobe, never one to disappoint, says “I’ve gotten healthier. This is the only summer I’ve really had some time off – I feel like I’m 26 again.” It’s hard to imagine how that will translate to the court this season – watch out Western Conference.kobe24

I was also curious about the new faces in the Lakers’ crowd – specifically Ron Artest. When I asked him how he felt about the move, Kobe was honest in telling me he “had a mixed reaction.” Though he did tell me that no matter what the trade situation, even if the same people are on the team each year, “Our team was going to be different even if we had Trevor (Ariza) back. You can’t go into every season thinking it’s going to be a carbon copy of the year before.”

Being the former teammate of one Shaquille O’Neal, I thought he’d be one of the best guys to ask about Shaq heading to Cleveland. Though he didn’t have much advice for LeBron, he did say “It makes the Eastern Conference a lot more interesting.”

So what’s in store for the NBA’s ‘most clutch‘ player this year? I suppose we’ll just have to keep in touch with him and find out!

Wyman & Bob

Wyman and Bob

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Talking Shop with Kobe Bryant