Kobe Bryant Shuns Idea of Joining LeBron James and Anthony Davis: ‘I Like My Rings the Hard Way’

Omar Guerrero
3 Min Read

If Kobe Bryant were to come back and play for the Los Angeles Lakers this season, he would have a chance to win a sixth NBA title with superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the way.

While most retired players would probably salivate at the thought of playing again with a championship all but guaranteed, Bryant recently shunned the idea aside.

The Laker legend was a guest during a recent episode of “Ledlow & Parker” with hosts Candace Parker and Kristen Ledlow quizzing him on a variety of topics. According to the 41-year-old Bryant, he wouldn’t want a championship ring if it were handed to him on a silver platter.


“No,” Bryant said repeatedly when asked if he would come back from retirement with a guaranteed ring as an incentive. “I like my rings the hard way. I like fighting through them and earning them that way. I don’t like to jump into the easy route. So I wouldn’t take it.”

Both Ledlow and Parker weren’t surprised at Bryant’s response. As one of the most competitive players to ever play the game, the 18-time All-Star relished the idea of working hard to earn everything he had accomplished.

Bryant was also asked if the current situations with the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are considered the “easier route” to a championship.

“If you could pick a team in L.A. it seems like it’d be the easier route,” Bryant replied. “Both teams are great. But you got some great teams around the league too that are playing well. But what I’m more fascinated to see is how the coaching brings this collection of talent together. What system are they using? How are they developing throughout the course of the season? Because on paper you have a lot of teams that look good and a lot of duos that look good.

“But now, systematically, you got to figure out how you’re going to execute as a team, what’s your personality going to be as a team? And how are you going to progress through that throughout the course of the year? How you’re going to manage injuries, and all those kind of variables that could win or lose you a championship.”

In other words, Bryant isn’t so sure that one of the league’s L.A. teams will win the 2019-20 title.

Despite boasting superstars such as James and Davis on the Lakers, and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the Clippers, anything can happen during the course of a season that can make or break a team, especially with the league having several superstars spread across so many franchises.

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Omar is a former writer for King James Gospel. The very first team he rooted for was the Showtime Lakers and his favorite player back then was James Worthy. Seeing the Purple and Gold win back-to-back championships in the '80s made him a basketball junkie for life. He has witnessed and celebrated every Lakers championship since then and is now looking forward to a new era of basketball in Tinseltown led by LeBron James.