According to Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register, the first order of business for the Lakers brass was removing Metta World Peace's contract from next season's salary cap:
Sweet a guy as he is, @MettaWorldPeace will be waived via amnesty by Lakers to save about $30 million, barring some late change.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) July 8, 2013
Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times reported that no decision had yet been made, but amnestying World Peace would free up "roughly $19 million," including his $7.7 million salary and L.A.'s luxury tax hit.
Kobe Bryant was less than thrilled to hear the news. He's been a staunch supporter of World Peace, whom he respects for his strong work ethic and resolution to win at all costs.
Bryant appeared to confirm and criticize the move in a single tweet:
He later said that decisions were still being made and pleaded for a chance to see what this Dwight Howard-less core could achieve:
As for Howard, who spurned Bryant's Lakers and opted to sign with the Houston Rockets, Bryant stressed that there was no bad blood—or at least that his decision to unfollow his former teammate wasn't a sign of any hard feelings:
I wish d12 the best honestly. I just find it hard to follow players that wanna kick my teams ass #thatsjustme— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) July 9, 2013
Clearly in a talkative mood, Bryant also offered his thoughts on Howard's replacement, Chris Kaman. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported that Kaman inked a one-year, $3.2 million contract with the Lakers on Monday.
Bryant appeared to sign off on his new center:
Kaman is a great addition. Great skill set and a competitor.— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) July 9, 2013
Bryant ended his night with an inspirational sign-off, perhaps hinting at the grueling season that his teammates have in store:
"My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better." Steve Jobs— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) July 9, 2013
Whether that group of teammates will include World Peace might not yet be settled. What is abundantly clear, however, is the fact that the Mamba appears to be itching to get back on the hardwood.
No matter who's flanking him, it's always a championship-or-bust season for the former MVP.