Tags: jeanie buss | kobe bryant | free | agents

Jeanie Buss: Kobe Bryant Only Scares Off 'Loser' Free Agents

By    |   Friday, 24 Oct 2014 06:37 AM

Jeanie Buss, president of the Los Angeles Lakers, has taken the side of Kobe Bryant after the team's longtime star was attacked in a recent ESPN The Magazine article that claimed free agents don't want to be his teammates.

The story written by Henry Abbott and posted online this week quoted unnamed agents and an unnamed Lakers employee who said free agents do not want to play with the future Hall of Famer and past NBA champion. Abbott wrote that just this year the team lost top shelf free agents like Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh not because of money or location, but because of Bryant.

"For years the Lakers lived by the Mamba," Abbott wrote, referring to Bryant's nickname. "This is the story of how they're dying by him."

Abbott wrote one of biggest problems is that Bryant hangs his teammates out to dry when the team does poorly but accepts the credit when things go well.

"I've had a lot of clients in the last five years, good players, who didn't want to play with Kobe," one agent told Abbott for the story. "They see that his teammates become the chronic public whipping boys. Anyone who could possibly challenge Kobe for the spotlight ends up becoming a pincushion for the media. Even Shaq (O'Neal)."

The article quoted a Lakers' source who said that Bryant "sabotages his own efforts" to win by "scaring off the free agents we're trying to get. We're trying to surround you with talent and your ego is getting in the way."

That brought a strong responds from Buss, on ESPN's SportsCenter on Thursday.

"I read the story," Buss said. "I don't agree with any of it. If there is somebody that's on our payroll who is saying things like that, I'll soon get to the bottom of it, and they won't be working for us anymore."

Buss added that if free agents did not want to play with Bryant, she likely did not want them on the Lakers squad anyway.

"Any free agent that would be afraid to play with Kobe Bryant is probably a loser, and I'm glad they wouldn't come to the team," said Buss.

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Jeanie Buss, president of the Los Angeles Lakers, has taken the side of Kobe Bryant after the team's longtime star was attacked in a recent ESPN The Magazine article that claimed free agents don't want to be his teammates.
jeanie buss, kobe bryant, free, agents
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2014-37-24
Friday, 24 Oct 2014 06:37 AM
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