June 19, 2009

Bryant says he will stay with Lakers

Kobe Bryant said Friday he would not take advantage of a free-agent clause in his contract and planned to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Less than a week after leading the Lakers to the NBA title, his fourth with the team, Bryant insisted he had no thoughts of leaving Los Angeles.

I'm not going anywhere, you know I'm not going anywhere, Bryant said at a news conference. It's a waste of our breath.

Bryant, who has played 13 years with the Lakers, has a clause in his current contract that allows him to opt out on the final two seasons of the deal and become a free agent July 1.

He averaged 26.8 points while playing in all 82 regular-season games in the 2008-2009 campaign.

While the Lakers were disposing of Orlando in five games to win the league crown, Bryant averaged 30.2 points per contest.