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Kobe Bryant on 2007 trade request: Bulls were 'my No. 1 choice'
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com

While making an appearance on ESPN's "The Grantland Basketball Hour," Kobe Bryant acknowledged that he requested a trade from the Lakers back in 2007, though a prospective deal never materialized.

"Chicago was my No. 1 choice," Bryant said.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers were in discussions with the Bulls but were hung up on the inclusion of forward Luol Deng, who is now a member of the Heat. Bryant also revealed that he declined a prospective deal with the Pistons that included Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and several draft picks. Detroit was not among the teams on his trade list.

"I gave you a list of teams I'm comfortable being traded to," Bryant recalled. "Not Detroit."

The Lakers would eventually won back-to-back titles with Bryan and Pau Gasol in 2009 and 2010. Bryant is seeking a "career rebirth" despite being limited to 41 games the last two seasons due to injury. He's scheduled to make $25 million next season -- his 20th season with the Lakers.

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Kupchak: Lakers won't make final playoff push for Kobe Bryant
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com

Lakers general manger Mitch Kupchak said that the team wouldn't sacrifice the future to make a final playoff push for Kobe Bryant next season. 

Kupchak told the Orange County Register, "To jeopardize the next five or seven years, bring in old veterans that make a lot of money, just to win one more year, because that’s Kobe’s last year or could be his last year, I’m not sure that fits into doing it the right way."

Bryant is out for the rest of this season after rotator-cuff surgery. It's the third straight season that has ended early due to an injury. He played 35 games this season and just six last year, meaning he's appeared in just one out of every four Lakers' games over the past two years. 

Next season will be Bryant's twentieth with the Lakers. He's scheduled to make $25 million in the second year of a two-year, $48.5 million extension. 

“This team primarily has been Kobe’s team now for almost 18 or 20 years,” Kupchak said, “and we’re much closer to the end of those 18, 20 years than we are to the middle or the beginning. So at some point we have to start a new run."

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Lakers' Scott believe Kobe Bryant could play beyond next season
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com

Lakers coach Byron Scott said Thursday that he believes shooting guard Kobe Bryant could continue playing beyond the 2015-16 season, ESPN reports.

Scott believes an upgraded roster will give more incentive to a return from Bryant, who has said health and whether he has a desire to keep playing will determine whether he keeps playing beyond his current contract, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Bryant said in an interview with NBA TV that aired Monday that he's seeking a career "rebirth" despite being limited to just 41 games over the last two seasons due to injuries. He averaged 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 35 games this season before undergoing surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.

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Kobe seeking career 'rebirth' following two injury-plagued seasons
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Lakers veteran guard Kobe Bryant is not considering retiring from the NBA despite being limited to 41 games the last two seasons due to injury. Although, he will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season due to shoulder surgery.

The 36-year-old Bryant admitted he is seeking a career "rebirth" after drawing inspiration from the Spurs, whose veteran-laden team won a fifth NBA title under coach Gregg Popovich last season.

"I can't say it is the end," Bryant said during an interview with NBA TV, which aired Monday. "I thought the Spurs were done 20 years ago. Those guys are still winning.

"So, to answer the question, I can't say this is the end of my era because I thought their [era] was done, and they're still there. So I'm hoping I can have the same rebirth."

In an interview published in February's GQ Magazine, Bryant said he is optimistic about the Lakers being one of the top teams in the NBA in 2015-16.

"I know what Mitch [Kupchak, the Lakers GM] tells me. I know what Jim and Jeanie [Buss, the team owners] tell me," Bryant said in the interview, which took place in January, per ESPN. "I know that they are hell-bent about having a championship caliber team next season, as am I."

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Carmelo, Kobe discussed teaming up during offseason in L.A.
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony was considering joining the Lakers and Kobe Bryant this past offseason when he was a free agent, according to the New York Post.

"They came in at the 25th hour, they swooped in there," said Anthony, who owns an apartment in Los Angeles. "It was a great visit. The conversations I had with Kobe was just man to man. We both had to come to reality and say, 'Is this what we really want?' And it didn’t happen."

The Lakers were reportedly never interested in pairing the two superstars in Los Angeles, according to the report.

"We’ve been talking for a long time, man, especially this summer, just me and him communicating, and talking and being honest with one another as friends and brothers should be. It was a lot going on there on his behalf and my behalf trying to figure everything out," Anthony said.

Anthony, who is averaging 24.1 points and 6.6 rebounds in 36 games this season, also thinks Kobe will be back in 2015.

"I know him, and this is not the way he wants to go out." Anthony said. "I’m pretty sure he’ll do whatever he has to do to get back on the court one more time before he hangs them shoes up."

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