Kobe will not opt out but rather return home to the world champion Los Angeles Lakers. Also, he wants the team – and media – to focus on resigning Lamar & Ariza:
ESPN: Kobe Bryant said he plans to stay with the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers even if he opts out of his contract this summer. Phil Jackson said his health will dictate whether he returns as coach.
Bryant met with Jackson and general manager Mitch Kupchak for an individual exit interview Friday.
The finals MVP can terminate the last two years of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He’s spent his entire 13-year career with the Lakers, winning four NBA championships. But he could get a new, more lucrative and longer deal if he opted out.
Asked by reporters if he would opt out, Bryant said, “I’ve been deflecting that all year and I ain’t going to stop now.”
Pressed to explain, he responded, “I’m not going anywhere. I know I ain’t going nowhere, so it’s just a waste of our breaths just talking about it.”
Bryant turns 31 in August. He averaged 32.4 points, 7.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds during the finals, when the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic in five games.