Kobe Bryant once thought Jim Buss wanted to amnesty his Lakers contract
There have been stories about Bryant that have surfaced lately about different aspects of his career. One of which was from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who recalled the time when Bryant was “convinced” that then Lakers President Jim Buss wanted to amnesty the remainder of his contract.
Once, we were having dinner at Javier’s in Newport Beach and out of nowhere began one of our strangest conversations: Kobe was convinced that Lakers president Jim Buss wanted to amnesty the remaining money and years on his contract and force him to leave the Lakers. He had no evidence, just a hunch.
“That is never happening,” I told him. “They’d burn the city down.”
“I think he wants to do it,” Kobe insisted.
Well, what would happen then?
“I’ll go to New York and play for Phil [Jackson].”
There was no reason to believe Buss ever considered it, but Kobe couldn’t stop talking about it that night. In some ways, it was a rare crisis of confidence for Bryant. He had to understand that the Lakers would never cut him loose. Still, he kept coming back to the idea over that long dinner.
Nothing ended up happening to Kobe Bryant in terms of a potential amnesty. In fact, the opposite occurred, as he went on to play all 20 seasons of his NBA career with the Lakers and even received a farewell tour in his honor during his final season in Los Angeles.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant were among the nine people who was killed in the helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning. They were heading to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks before the incident happened.