Lakers' Bryant upbeat before exhibition with SuperSonics

Updated: October 19, 2007, 1:22 AM ET
Associated Press

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Kobe Bryant appeared upbeat when he spoke to reporters before the Los Angeles Lakers faced Seattle on Thursday night in an exhibition game.

Bryant has mostly ignored the media since Lakers owner Jerry Buss stated last week that he "would certainly listen" to trade offers for the two-time defending NBA scoring champion.

When asked about his recent silent treatment, Bryant said: "Why would I need to bang my head against a wall?"

He missed some practice this week because of a sore knee, then said in his first formal interview since Buss' statement that it caught him off guard.

He repeated again on Thursday his desire to not discuss the matter.

"When I'm here, wherever I'm at, I'm ready to go," Bryant said. "It's not my job to worry about what management is doing at this point. I voiced my frustrations over the summer and I'll just leave it there."

Bryant asked to be traded 4 1/2 months ago, then avoided speaking about the Lakers until the beginning of training camp Oct. 1, when he talked more positively, saying he was looking forward to the season.

It seemed the parties had put negative feelings behind them before Buss made his comments to three beat writers last week.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press