Updated: April 23, 2003, 12:21 PM ET
Los Angeles Lakers: Will Kobe Bryant opt out of his contract in 2004? An L.A. Daily News piece on Monday said yes. An L.A. Times story on Tuesday said no. Now, on Wednesday, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak tried to clear up the mess. "What's been passed on to me is there's been no decision at this point to opt out, and that it's something he'll address at a later date," Kupchak told the LA Daily News. But Bryant's camp also gave no assurance Bryant would fulfill the final year of his deal, in 2004-05. "Nobody came up to me and said, 'We're not going to opt out,' " Kupchak said. "That option continues to be there." Now that that's cleared up . . . New Jersey Nets: David Stern isn't so concerned about the state of the Nets as he is about the state they're in. "My understanding is that there is going to be a new situation for this team one way or the other in the next several years and hopefully, it will be an arena in Newark," Stern said to the NY Times. "It strikes me that this franchise has a number of decisions that it has to make and they have to make it at the close of the season and during the course of the summer. I'm not concerned in the short term because I think we're in a situation where this arena is fine in the intermediate term, but not a long-term solution.There is a lot of interest in N.B.A. franchises. These current times, economic downturn or not, are no exception. I would like to focus on the New Jersey Nets staying with the name and the location in the state of New Jersey."
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