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It has come to pass for Kobe Bryant

Bryant says he's at peace as he talks about his new role with the Lakers, Dwight Howard, Mike D'Antoni's offense and how he wants to be remembered when he retires.

February 01, 2013|T.J. Simers

We argue about what is sacrificed in the pursuit of always having to win, and he says, "Winning takes precedence over all. There's no gray area. No almosts.

"It's a very unbalanced way to live and I know that. It's not healthy. And I can't justify it, but someone has to win and why not me and the Lakers organization."

To win, he contends, he must set an example.

"This team needed it," he says. "In the meeting we had in Memphis we were talking about doing things that maybe we're not what we do best. What I do best is shoot, maybe passing is the best way for us to win now.

"I tried it in the seventh game of the [2006] playoffs against Phoenix," he says, while not pleased being known as the Tanker.

"I scored 50 in Game 6 and we lost. I scored like 17 in the first half, and took a gamble. I decided to pass to try and get everyone else going. It didn't work.

"I took the same gamble here and if it hadn't worked out, what would people be saying now? Kobe isn't shooting so he can prove some point?

"What I'm doing now is being selfish. I'm trying to help the team because I want to win a championship."

He says he hasn't decided when he will retire, but he knows fans won't see him fade as they did when Michael Jordan played with Washington.

"You didn't have to see that version of Michael. He retired at 36 in Chicago at the top of his game. There's a not a chance you'll see me [like that]."

So when the end comes, how does he wish to be remembered?

"As a winner and overachiever," he says. "A guy who worked and played hard like he was the 12th man on the roster."

And a complicated human being, pretty much like everyone else, I guess.

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