Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers is surrounded by the press during the Los Angeles Lakers media day. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN
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EL SEGUNDO, California: The third-leading scorer in NBA history had only the faintest smirk when he stood in front of the photographers in his gold jersey Monday and held up a white sign reading: "Kobe Bryant". Even heading into his 20th season, Bryant isn't exempted from the Los Angeles Lakers' regular preseason rites like the media day that precedes the start of training camp. But if the 37-year-old Bryant is beginning the final season of his incredible career this week, he insists he doesn't know it.Bryant understands sports well enough to know his future will be a constant topic this season.Bryant has accomplished nearly everything possible in an NBA career, but the five-time champion's last three seasons have ended early due to injury. Bryant still dreams of a sixth ring, and he laughed at former coach Phil Jackson's speculation he could pursue that goal elsewhere next year when his lavish Lakers contract runs out.
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