After Thursday's Los Angeles Lakers practice, Kobe Bryant spoke to the Los Angeles media for the first time since passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list.
Almost immediately, Bryant was asked about recent positive comments from Dirk Nowitzki calling Bryant the "greatest player" of his generation.
"That means everything, right? Because those are my peers, so to have the respect from them is really what the game is all about," Bryant responded.
With the Oklahoma City Thunder coming to town on Friday, a reporter asked the 36-year-old about Kevin Durant's public denouncement of anyone not wanting to play with Bryant. The Thunder's forward said he would love the opportunity to play alongside with the living legend and would welcome the competitive fire Bryant exudes.
"(I) greatly appreciate it," Bryant said about Durant's declarations. "We play for each other. We play to have the respect of one another, and so to hear those comments coming from your peers, that means a lot."
The veteran guard responded to a question about trade rumors by saying that 19 years in the league had numbed him to trade talk.
"Most of the times, the ones that you hear about are the ones that never happen," Bryant imparted his wisdom on trade rumors. "And the ones that you don't hear about are the ones that do happen."
Focusing on his current teammates, Bryant said he was satisfied that his guys were working hard every day to move beyond the bad start to the season. On a personal level, the 36-year-old said his body had allowed him the ability to practice for a couple days in a row. Also, having four days in between games helped provide Bryant with recovery time.
Finally, Bryant was asked about being tempted to play beyond his current contract if the Lakers look like they have an assortment of stars lining up to play in LA.
"It's really just my call, man," Bryant responded. "If I want to play, I'll play. If I don't want to play anymore--if I don't want to go through the process of getting my body ready day in and day out--then, I'm not going to play."
Bryant will play on Friday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center.
Notes: Jordan Hill is a doubt for Friday's game with an upper respiratory issue. He was unable to take part in the Lakers' practices on Wednesday or Thursday. Carlos Boozer would likely be the player to step in for Hill if the forward cannot recover in time.