Kobe Bryant has rejected the idea that he may sit out for the rest of this season in order to ensure that his body is ready for the final two years of his contract, according to CBS Sport.
The Lakers icon, who sustained a knee fracture in December only six games after his return from a seven month layoff, insists that he has every attention of returning to the court for his franchise before this season is out.
His team have seen their form spiral downward to the point where a place in the playoffs looks more like an impossibility than a probability, and as such some have developed the theory that Bryant would perhaps be better served by forgetting this campaign so that he can maximise his chances of a strong return in the 2014/15 term.
However Bryant, ever the competitor, was quick to dismiss such a route.
“The only thing I can afford to consider is getting better, getting stronger," Bryant said.
"I can't allow myself to think any other way. I can only think about the next step. To do anything else becomes distracting if you allow yourself, if you give yourself wiggle room to not push yourself as hard as you possibly can. To think about sitting out and this, that and the other, your motivation is all wrong. I refuse to think that way.
"We'll see where it's at in February and see if it's good to go.”
Despite the fact that he’s been forced to sit on the sidelines for the majority of this season Kobe is still expected to make the Western Conference All-Star team for this year, with recent polls showing him leading the way at point-guard.