L.A. Times: While recovering from hip surgery at home, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson weighed in Monday on the latest movement in the Kobe Bryant ordeal, sounding a positive note for Bryant’s future with the team.
Jackson, who had hip-replacement surgery last Tuesday, has spoken with Bryant numerous times since the nine-time All-Star demanded a trade May 30, an action Bryant reiterated last Friday in a meeting with team owner Jerry Buss.
“He’s made a decision that he feels justified to hold — one that I’ve questioned — that he has reasons to leave the Lakers,” Jackson wrote Monday in a brief e-mail to The Times. “However, it’s my unshakeable feeling that Kobe will be a Laker next October — when training camp opens.”
Bryant credited Jackson as being a voice of reason during Bryant’s now-infamous day of seemingly contradictory talk-radio and newspaper interviews on May 30. Bryant said he wanted to be traded on a talk-radio show early that day but appeared to leave wiggle room for remaining with the Lakers on subsequent radio shows. Then, later in the day, he told The Times that he indeed wanted to be traded.