Mickael Pietrus might think that kissing the ring of the world’s best baller will get him a gig in L.A. but he is sorely mistaken. The rest of the world may think that Kobe Bryant is the man calling the shots in Lakerland but the city of Los Angeles is well aware that Jim Buss is running the show.
If Buss couldn’t be bothered with giving KB24 a call to let him know who his new coach will be then why would he take any of Bryant’s personnel advice into consideration?
Pietrus has made headlines by expressing not only his desire to be a Laker but apparently Kobe’s as well.
“Phoenix did not play me, but that’s their problem. I continued to work. The only thing that interests me now is winning a title. A lot of teams are interested in me, like the Lakers or the Celtics. This came from the best player in the world: Kobe Bryant. He told me two months ago that he would like to see me with the Lakers.”
There are a couple of problems with this scenario. To begin, there is a long line of guys that play Mickael’s position already sporting Purple and Gold. Now after Ron Artest, Pietrus would certainly be a better option than Matt Barnes, Luke Walton and Devin Ebanks. But the term logjam certainly applies here.
Next, Pietrus didn’t seem too happy about being in Phoenix. That’s fine and all but why then did he exercise a $5-million option to remain a Sun?
That’s not the kind of move you make if you know there are better options available. Don’t get me wrong, when you’re given the choice of a guaranteed $5-mil or a spot in the unemployment line then the choice is a Paris Hilton – a no brainer.
However now that Pietrus has a $5-million contract it makes a trade scenario involving the Lakers highly unlikely. As stated previously the Lakers would have to do something with the other small forwards on the roster. There is no way they’re giving up Artest and there is no way the Suns would take Walton who has two years and $11-million left on his deal. Barnes and Ebanks could be involved but the salaries don’t match.
Oh…and there’s this lockout situation that puts any future plans on indefinite hold.
While the Lakers could use the services of Pietrus he’s not going to be the difference between another title or another premature playoff exit. Once hailed as the French Jordan, Pietrus is athletic, can knockdown threes from the Bruce Bowen corner he camps out in and is an effective defender. Problem is he’s 30-years-old and has an expiring contract.
All in all Pietrus did himself no favors by opting to stay put in a situation in which he’s unhappy. From a personal standpoint it was the right move but from a hoops perspective he should have Shannon Brown’d it and just put himself out on the market.
I’m sure Mickael is flattered by Kobe’s sentiments but it just doesn’t seem like being a Laker is in the cards this time around. Even if Kobe went to bat for Pietrus you get the feeling Jim Buss would shoot it down just to remind his star just who runs the team.
Next time Pietrus should just keep a low profile and make moves without alerting the world to his intentions.