LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant may be officially out of action until the start of next season, but that has not stopped the five-time NBA champion outlining plans for a dramatic improvement in results at the Staples Center when he returns.
Bryant has been forced to accept a watching brief for nearly the entire campaign by Achilles and knee injuries respectively, sitting on the sidelines as the Lakers have tanked to a humiliating 22-43 record.
The 16-time All Star has been vocal about the need for an inquest as to what's gone wrong in LA from top to bottom at the end of the season, refusing to accept any excuses for why the Lakers have failed to woefully to produce a push for the post-season despite his absence.
When asked by ESPN if Lakers management team Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak deserved plenty of time to turn things round, Bryant sarcastically replied: "Oh yeah, let's just play next year and let's just suck again. No. Absolutely not. Absolutely not.
The 35-year-old then went on to admit he must share the burden of expectation next season, declaring: "It's my job to go out there on the court and perform. No excuses for it. Right? You got to get things done. It's the same thing with the front office.
"The same expectations they have of me when I perform on the court is the same expectations I have for them up there. You got to be able to figure out a way to do both."
Bryant will stay with LA for the long haul after putting pen to paper on a whopping $48.5m two-year contract extension, but the same can't be said for coach Mike D'Antoni.
With LA braced to spend a spare $25m dollars in salary cap this summer D'Antoni may also be moved to make way for a new coaching team, with the Lakers desperate to recapture former glory at all costs.