Is Kobe’s Incessant Talk of the Future To Ensure LA Lakers Don’t Amnesty Him?

Ever since he ruptured his Achilles tendon, Kobe Bryant has been talking about the future like never before, even going as far as to revise a few things he's said over the past year.

Bryant, still unsure of when he may be back in the NBA, told ESPN that he would like at least two more cracks at an NBA Championship, hoping to retire with at least seven titles.

While that's an admirable thing for him to say as he chases down the great Robert Horry (much less that Michael Jordan guy), it seems to fly in the face of what he has said about his future when he was asked before the ankle injury.

At the All-Star Break, Bryant told reporters that he was looking at a maximum of two more years in the league, later claiming that he would make the final decision regarding the end of his career this summer.

Of course, he also once called it "unfathomable" to see himself playing past the 2014 season, which would give him one final, hobbled year if he were to stick to that prediction.

Ever since injuring his ankle near the end of the regular season, however, Kobe has talked more confidently about the distant future than he has over the past year.

One of the most ridiculous statements we've heard from him over the past few months is that he wants to play in the season opener.

There's a point where he goes beyond being confident and optimistic, and enters a realm of either delusion, or possibly gamesmanship.

It's thought that a six-to-nine-month range represents the early end of a return for Kobe, which would put him back between opening day and mid-January.

However, next year's All-Star Break seems to be a more believable target, and even then we're talking about seeing him in limited minutes.

It seems there's one of two things going on here; either Bryant is sending positive vibes to a big man who might be worried about re-signing with the team based on The Black...

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