Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss: Anyone afraid to play with Kobe ‘is probably a loser’

Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss is fighting back against criticism of Kobe Bryant.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Jeanie Buss is standing by her star player.

In a SportsCenter interview, the president of the Los Angeles Lakers said that she doesn’t agree with reports that players don’t want to work with Kobe Bryant.

And if that’s actually the reason keeping some free agents away from L.A., Buss doesn’t want them anyway.

"Any free agent that would be afraid to play with Kobe Bryant is probably a loser, and I’m glad they wouldn’t come to the team," Buss said.

Over the last two summers, the Lakers have seen Dwight Howard bolt to Houston and the team has been unable to attract high-profile free agents like Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony.

"We made a very good case for (Carmelo) coming to Los Angeles," Buss said. "But he’s from New York, he sees a mission. I understand why he chose to stay with New York. I don’t think any of that has to do with Kobe Bryant."

Buss also wanted to make it clear that Kobe will bounce back just fine.

"I have no doubt that Kobe will make people regret ever saying (those comments)," she said.

LATEST FROM NESN

Bryant certainly hasn’t had trouble proving people wrong in the past, but at the age of 36 and coming off a major injuries to his Achilles heel and knee, it’s going to be a little more difficult.

More from NESN:

NBA Replay Center Debuts To Help Referees Make Tough Calls (Videos)

Seahawks, Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen Commits $100M To ‘Tackle Ebola’