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Kobe happy for Miami to feel media heat

From Pedro Pinto, CNN
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Kobe Bryant on Miami's media heat
  • Kobe Bryant is in London for the Lakers' preseason match against Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Los Angeles Lakers have won the NBA Championship for the last two seasons
  • Bryant has won five championships so far in his career with the Lakers

London, England (CNN) -- Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant has told CNN he is happy for the media attention to be focused on rivals Miami Heat ahead of the new NBA season.

The Heat have been in the spotlight after making a host of high-profile signings in the off season, including star duo LeBron James and Chris Bosh, while also renegotiating a contract with Dwayne Wade.

Speaking in London to CNN's Pedro Pinto ahead of the Lakers' preseason clash with the Minnesota Timberwolves he said: "The (media) attention means nothing.

"You know for us we kind of sit back and smile, it's like this is fun, this is comfortable.

We can just be with each other and work on that end goal.
--Kobe Bryant

"We don't get bombarded by media requests and the questions and all this other stuff. We can just be with each other and work on that end goal."

The Lakers have won the NBA championship for the last two years, and central to their recent triumphs has been head coach Phil Jackson, whose future at the Staples Center had been in doubt after he experienced health problems.

It was confirmed in August that Jackson would coach the team for the forthcoming season, and Bryant believes maintaining continuity is important to the California franchise.

"We have such a good rhythm going and to alter that or to change that at this moment, it would have been tougher for us to overcome," the 32-year-old said.

"We have him here now so everything just remains the same. We just pick right up where we left off and just continue our growth with him as the skipper."

The Lakers are bidding to complete a "three-peat", winning the championship for a third successive year, for the second time in Kobe's career with the team.

Bryant already has five titles with the Lakers, and he admitted he finds it hard to comprehend all he has accomplished in his glittering career.

"It's surreal because this will be my 15th year in the NBA and seemingly everything's gone by so fast.

"I really feel fortunate because there have been a lot of players who weren't fortunate enough to get to that championship.

"I'm very, very lucky and blessed to have five. To get a sixth one, that's what we play for, to win and I'll be very, very lucky (to win the championship) again."

While in the British capital, the shooting guard also took a moment to look forward to the Olympics in 2012, where he hopes to add to the gold medal he won at the 2008 games in Beijing.

"It is a good build up for the Olympics; this is going to be a great experience, to have all the best athletes in the world in London to perform and to give it their all.

"I'm excited to hopefully be one of them."