Yahoo! Sports: Although he didn’t rescind his trade request, Kobe Bryant softened his stance somewhat Thursday night, saying he had apologized to Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak in person for the way he handled his upset feelings five weeks ago.
“I just felt like as a man, it was important for me to tell him, `I’m sorry it came out that way,”‘ Bryant said at a lightly attended news conference at Loyola Marymount, where he spoke mainly about his camp for youngsters at the school this week.
Bryant said that while he could have called Kupchak, it was important he speak with him face-to-face.
“I was frustrated, I was venting,” Bryant said.
When asked whether he still wanted out, Bryant replied: “I haven’t thought about that in a long, long time. I’ve kind of stepped away from that. I’ve concentrated on Team USA. What I say is what I say. We’ll just have to see where it goes.”
The U.S. national team begins practice July 20 in Las Vegas.
Bryant, the NBA’s leading scorer the past two seasons, complained about a lack of talent around him at season’s end, and said May 30 he wanted to be traded, adding nothing could change his mind.