Bryant not using it as motivation in the new season…
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Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant insists he has known for a while that ESPN “are a bunch of idiots” after being ranked the 40th-best player in the NBA.
A year on from being ranked the 25th-best player in the league, Bryant has dropped even further this time round after playing in just six games last season due to a left knee fracture.
The 36-year-old has returned to training camp and pre-season in full health and he has dismissed taking too much from the ESPN ranking.
“I’ve known for a long time [that] they’re a bunch of idiots,” Bryant told reporters on Thursday.
“Honestly, all jokes aside,” Bryant added, shedding his smile, “it really doesn’t bother me too much. I’m going to do what I do regardless. God willing, I can stay healthy, and if I wind up proving a lot of people wrong in the process, that will just wind up being collateral damage.”
The Lakers legend was speaking after the 119-86 pre-season loss to the Utah Jazz in which he scored a game-high 27 points on 10-of-23 shooting and 7-of-13 from the free throw line in just 28 minutes of action as he continues to impress ahead of the new campaign.
Lakers coach Byron Scott has conceded that he would “hate to be one of the guys that doubted him”, as he sees him in action in practice every day and believes that he is getting stronger and will have the last laugh.
However, it remains to be seen how the Lakers perform this season with Nick Young and Steve Nash already suffering injuries which will likely see them both miss the start of the new year.