Los Angeles — This week, in a candid interview with Let’s Make A Deal host Wayne Brady, Laker legend Kobe Bryant revealed that he is seriously considering playing college basketball next season.
“It makes sense on so many levels,” Bryant explained. “I’m 36, so a 40-game season would be perfect for me. And with the Western Conference of the NBA getting stronger every year, it will only get harder for me to win another ring, especially with the lame-ass teammates I got now.”
Bryant, who jumped to the NBA straight out of high school, has always felt that he missed something by not going to college. “You know what I mean: hoisting that Final Four trophy, cutting classes, under-age boozing, banging drunk coeds — the things every kid dreams about.”
Which colleges are you looking at? Brady asked. “The usual suspects — Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Kansas. UCLA is my safety school. Basically, whichever program offers me the best contract. Right now I’m leaning toward Kentucky. I know they just lost their top seven guys, but Coach Cal is a great recruiter, so they’ll just reload. It would be nice to play with some NBA-caliber talent again.”
When Brady reminded Bryant that college athletes are not paid, the Laker star laughed heartily. “Yeah, and Shaq don’t hate my guts! Tell me another one.”
Asked about Kobe’s comments, Kentucky coach John Calipari acknowledged that the Wildcats are actively recruiting Bryant. “It’s just a matter of agreeing on his phony class schedule and ironing out the financial details with his agent,” Calipari said. “I’m sure the money will not be a problem. We’ll simply re-structure Ashley Judd’s contract.”
The Lakers refused to address the potential defection of Bryant. Said Lakers coach Byron Scott, “Right now our whole emphasis is on losing the rest of our games and solidifying our place in the lottery.”