Bryant was even more scathing than Johnson when asked about the current state of the Lakers, who at 22-42 (.344) are tied for last place in the Western Conference.
"How can I be satisfied with it? We're like 100 games under .500," Bryant said. "I can't be satisfied with that at all. This is not what we stand for. This is not what we play for. A lot of times it's hard to understand that message if you're not a diehard Laker fan. It's hard to really understand where we're coming from and what we're accustomed to, which is playing for championships and everything else is a complete failure. That's just how it is. That's how it was explained to me by Jerry (West) and all the other great Lakers who have played here and that's how I grew up thinking. So that's just how it is."
In perhaps his most direct criticism of the Lakers' organization since the summer of 2007 when he threatened he would rather "go play on Pluto" than suit up in purple and gold again, Bryant said he has "not one lick" of patience for the Lakers' management team of Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak to rebuild the team into a contender.
"Oh yeah, let's just play next year and let's just suck again," Bryant said, sarcastically. "No. Absolutely not. Absolutely not. It's my job to go out there on the court and perform. No excuses for it. Right? You got to get things done. It's the same thing with the front office. The same expectations they have of me when I perform on the court is the same expectations I have for them up there. You got to be able to figure out a way to do both."
The Lakers have only four players under contract for next season -- Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre and Nick Young (although Young's is a player option) -- and will have upwards of $25 million in cap space to spend on the open market.
Bryant said that he would also like to be looped in more often by the Lakers' powers that be.
"I just want to get a phone call before somebody gets traded," Bryant said, assumingly referring to the Steve Blake deal that he previously spoke out about on Twitter. "Let's start there first."