Kobe Bryant Says He Could Play Right Now If Lakers Were Contending

The Los Angeles Lakers' season may be busted beyond repair, but Kobe Bryant's tough-guy persona is still intact.

Because, priorities.

Appearing on The Dan Patrick Show, the Black Mamba indicated he wouldn't be sitting out right now if the Lakers had something to play for, per producer Paul Pabst:

For real? This is neither what Lakers fans want nor need to hear right now.

You're tough, Kobe. We get it. 

But it was also the Lakers, according to Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding, who ruled you out for the rest of this season. You're not cleared to play and, at 35, with two years and nearly $50 million invested in your latest contract extension, you would be insane to play even if the Lakers were contending.

That makes this something of an empty dig that pales in comparison to his hawkish rant from before.

Not long after being officially shut down for the remainder of 2013-14, Kobe took direct shots at the Lakers' front office, warning them another year like this would be unacceptable.

From ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin:

Oh yeah, let's just play next year and let's just suck again. No. Absolutely not. Absolutely not. It's my job to go out there on the court and perform. No excuses for it. Right? You got to get things done. It's the same thing with the front office. The same expectations they have of me when I perform on the court is the same expectations I have for them up there. You got to be able to figure out a way to do both.

If Kobe wants to lob unflattering quips Los Angeles' way, then by all means, he should.

The Lakers gifted him with a lucrative, loyalty-driven extension before he returned from a ruptured Achilles, but that was hardly hush money. There is no dollar amount that can quell Kobe's candid need to win.

And while we can argue forever about why or why not he should ...

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