NBA All-Star Media Day: Bryant in high demand, as LeBron ponders Rio involvment


The best talent in the NBA gathered to speak to the media in Toronto ahead of Sunday's annual All-Star Game.

Traditionally media days, especially for the All-Star Game, are typically a fun way for athletes to talk about a wide range of subjects.

There were plenty of players who made comments and we have broken the day down in the key statements from basketball's biggest names.


Kobe Bryant

The media hoarded Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant early, as the 20-season professional is playing in his final All-Star Game. 

He spoke in Spanish and Italian during his questioning session, and was asked if he knew any Arabic.

When he spoke in English, Bryant talked about what an incredible career he has had.

"I'm looking around the room at guys who are tearing up the league who were four when I started," he said. "How many guys can say they've played 20 years and seen three, four generations come up through the league?"

As for the game itself, Bryant said he would "be good with" playing just 10 minutes. 

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, but the Oklahoma City Thunder small forward is not thinking about that for now. 

He did seem intrigued, however, by a suggestion made during an interview on ESPN Radio. He was asked if he would sign a short-term contract that would delay his free agency one year, which would mean he and Russell Westbrook would become free agents at the same time.

"Actually that's probably one of the first times I've heard that one, but, no, I haven't really thought about it, man. I'm just getting back to playing again [after injury], I haven't thought about contracts or free agency or none of that stuff at all," Durant said.

"I really haven't thought about that one. I guess I have to."


LeBron James

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James said he was still undecided about whether he will play for the USA at the Rio Olympics. Earlier this week, a report said the reason why is because Bryant will not be participating. 

James did, though, add that he loves playing for the team.


Other notes

Klay Thompson says the Golden State Warriors are going after the Chicago Bulls' 73 regular-season wins record but, "73 wins doesn't mean a thing without the ring".

Washington Wizards' John Wall says Bryant told him he can pick his brain whenever: "To hear one of the all-time greats say that - it means a lot."

The NBA's reigning MVP Steph Curry says his favourite Bryant moment was when he scored 81 points against the Toronto Rapors in 2006: "To score 81 points is something that just seems ridiculous."

Kawhi Leonard of San Antonia Spurs echoed the sentiment: "His 81-point game and just going to school the next day and talking to everyone about it."

When asked if he will throw alley-oops to Bryant, James Harden of Houston Rockets jokingly responded, "If he can dunk!".