Kobe Bryant's long awaited comeback from injury was supposed to be the shot in the arm the Los Angeles Lakers needed to bounce back from a disastrous 27-55 season.
But with the famous franchise having endured a rough start to the 2014-15 campaign, losing all four of their games to date, it's fair to say things haven't gone exactly to plan.
With that in mind there have even been some outlandish suggestions that the Lakers may look to trade away Kobe (their one true star player) in a bid to build for the future - a policy that has been used by several tanking teams in the recent past.
“I believe in fighting through the tough times as well as enjoying the good times."
While the Laker nation are desperate to see a quick return to more prosperous times it is unlikely anyone connected to the franchise would wish to see their hero sacrificed in order to accelerate that process.
Kobe does though have a no-trade clause written into his recent $48.5 million, two-year deal meaning he holds the power should a new venture prove appealing.
With that in mind fans will be delighted to hear Kobe Bryant's recent comments to Yahoo Sports regarding the prospect of seeking a trade in this his 17th season in the NBA.
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"I hear the chatter of Kobe should ask out and he should go and play for a contender in this latter stage of his career," explained Bryant.
"But that's not what I do. I'm extremely loyal to the Lakers."
“I believe in fighting through the tough times as well as enjoying the good times. It’s my responsibility to get us to be the best that we can be. It’s important that we approach that on a day-to-day basis.”
With one NBA GM recently marking Kobe's potential trade value as "zero" it would be interesting to see if there would even be any market for the 16-time All-Star should the unthinkable happen.
Long road ahead
Fortunately though for new head coach Byron Scott it doesn't look like he'll have to worry about losing Kobe anytime soon. After seeing the likes of Steve Nash and Julius Randle ruled out for the season the franchise leader is needed more than ever.
With a 0-4 record going into a two-game week Bryant is refusing to get too downhearted just yet:
“It’s a very long season. You just have to stay the course. Keep on looking to improve, keep on looking to get better and things will eventually break."
“I’ve enjoyed a great amount of success here. You can’t just enjoy the successful times and then run away from the bad ones. No, I don’t even think about [departing]. I’m a Laker."