Kobe Bryant recently spoke highly of a franchise that has cut paychecks to Adam Morrison, Andrew Bynum, and Smush Parker, by stating that only a "special" kind of player can be a Laker. That perhaps debatable statement came after Bryant was asked if, this summer, he would help recruit free agents to the franchise he spent two decades playing for.
"You know, the thing about this franchise is that you shouldn't need recruiting to come in it," Bryant said. "It takes a special person to want to play for this franchise, and take the pressure that comes along with playing for this franchise. The pressure of following Magic [Johnson]'s footsteps, myself and the dynasty that we've had, it takes a special person to do that.
"And if I need to convince you come here, to carry that legacy forward, then you ain't the one to be it."
Bryant made his comments to ESPN's Jalen Rose, the man he once scored 81 points against (and which also recently got discussed):
In addition to that, he also elaborated on his original point by stating, in a manner you'd come to expect from him, "When you're here, the most important thing is winning championships. I don't care about anything else. It's winning championships. You don't have to like each other, but you will show up to practice every day and play hard, you will focus and commit to winning, and you know, if that's the case, then you'll be just fine."
Asked by Rose what would happen if a player didn't have those traits, Bryant responded by saying that the hypothetical person could get lost.
"Then you can go play someplace else," he said. "That's fine, too. I mean, it's a certain personality that comes along with it. It's a brand thing. I mean, the Lakers stand for excellence. They stand for winning. We don't hang division banners. You know what I'm saying? We don't do that. We don't retire everyone's jerseys. We retire Hall of Fame jerseys.
"... The people that are here need to be able to lift that standard and hold themselves to that standard. Which in turn gives you the ability to hold everybody else to that standard. If you can't do that, you can't be here."
Keep in mind, looming free agents.