SANTA BARBARA (CBSLA.com) — Kobe Bryant hosted his eighth annual Boys and Girls Basketball academy at UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday after answering a storm of questions from the media as he made his first public appearance in the United States during the NBA offseason.
After answering the short questions about the camp, the media immediately went to the hot topic: free agency and where forward Carmelo Anthony may end up.
“Obviously, it’s a hot topic of conversation in terms where everybody is going to go,” he said. “Everybody is here to read tea leaves. I don’t have much to tell you. I don’t have any information you guys don’t already know.”
Last Thursday, Anthony met with Lakers executives, including owners Jeanie and Jim Buss, to see what they have to offer.
According to reports, the Lakers offered Anthony a deal for four years that could be worth close to $100 million.
Five-time champion Bryant expressed the Lakers’ patience in waiting to see who goes where.
“It’s a little hard now because I think everyone is playing the waiting game to a certain extent, at least we are,” he said. “You kind of want to see where the dominoes fall and then operate from there. You wind up operating in somewhat of a window. You start seeing other players going other places, players that you can use to fill out the roster, right? So, you see these things happening and you’re behind a bit, but it’s worth the wait.”
Since the 2008 Olympics, Bryant and Anthony became close. They spent a whole month together training and playing for the Beijing Olympics.
“I would love to play with him,” Bryant said. “We’ve really clicked since 2008. I would love to see that.”
As for the offseason transactions, Bryant has been happy with the front office, which signed first-round draft pick Julius Randle.
“I’ve never had patience; I’m not going to start now,” he said. “But you do what you have to do as an organization. God forbid we end up with absolutely nothing; it’s not for a lack of effort. That’s something I would be extremely proud of. We put forth the effort and gave it our best shot. What can you do? You just go from there and do your best and try to win.”
Bryant said he feels great physically and that his body is in midseason form.
“Physically, I feel great,” he said. “I don’t think about my knee when I’m training, I don’t think about my Achilles when I’m training. I feel sharp and crisp, and we’ll just add on from there.”
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)