May 14, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reacts to action against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half in game one of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

If Kobe Bryant Were Tradable, I’d Have Traded Him Yesterday

Credit: Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The Los Angeles Lakers have a long offseason ahead of them. The questions surrounding the team are plenty, and it seems as if any player on the roster last season is not guaranteed to show up in November donning Purple and Gold next season.

Except one: Kobe Bryant, perhaps the most beloved Laker in the past twenty years, and arguably the greatest Laker of all-time.

His indispensability? It’s a problem. A big problem. A franchise-setback problem, and one that could cripple the Lakers long-term.

You’re pissed right now, because why would anyone lack any sort of emotional tie to Kobe Bryant if they’re a Lakers fan? Why would anyone who claims to love this team have a desire to part ways with Kobe?

You answered your own question: I love this team.

I’m not some ass-wagon who gets paid money to sit in some chair all day and write something controversial to drive web traffic and create a buzz while riling up a fan-base. I don’t intentionally want to make you hit your monitor by being a contrarian. People get paid money to make themselves look like an idiot. I’m not one of them.

But I’m not the narrow-minded jack-off who hits you up on Twitter and tells you “COUNT THE RINGZ” to defend  any and all arguments regarding Kobe Bryant, as if I’m your annoying 7-year old brother who is a passionate basketball fan, but has yet to develop a brain to properly watch the sport at a deeper level.

This is me, being a Laker fan, and telling you that I would like to see Kobe Bryant’s ass shipped out of Los Angeles.

I’m not the only Laker fan who thinks this, either. It seems, though, that the idea of trading a player who has worldwide popularity but is on his way towards a serious decline, all while eating up 33% of the Lakers’ payroll annually is something that no one wants to say explicitly.

Kobe’s an icon, here in L.A. If you’re up at a gym or a park with a hoop or, hell, in your office with a wastebasket, and someone hoists a shot, you’re bound to hear the “KOBE!” tribal yell, as if fading away off one leg from 30 feet out is the coolest-ass thing you can do. And it is, because Kobe made it that way. If there’s a player that has defined the era of basketball watched by people born in the late-80s and early-90s, it’s Kobe Bryant.

But the model of keeping a good team around Bryant versus a good team including Bryant? It’s a flawed model, and one that Laker fans — not Kobe fans — need to realize is horribly stupid.

But even further, the notion that the Lakers need to build for a post-Kobe era is difficult as hell when the player whose departure you’re preparing for is crippling you financially. If you have a player whose shot selection is consistently suspect while not caring that it is, and one that talks a lot about winning another championship but refuses to adjust his game to do so, all while “earning” $28 million a year and forcing out All-Stars left and right? Is it really worth holding off on getting started on rebuilding immediately, and screwing around for the two years left on Kobe Bryant’s contract while we consistently get knocked out of the second round to superior teams because said superstar can’t rein in his ego enough to make a friggin’ entry pass to a player who is likely better than he is (in spurts, admittedly) late in games, in Andrew Bynum? Hell no it isn’t.

Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Because Kobe has become frustrating to watch. Stupid shots and “I don’t play for your approval” (although he plays for our entertainment) mentality makes it blood-boiling to know this guy is dressing in Purple and Gold. His ego has gotten to the point where him making a single, ridiculous shot has led to a flurry of more ridiculous shots that should never go in (and, following the initial success, rarely do anymore). The idea that he can “take over games” is a tired one, and one that has led to him taking those games in the wrong direction.

And this season, statistically, backs up all this rambling. This season, Kobe hoisted up more shots than any point in his career, save for his first season in the playoffs without Shaq (2005-06), and that was when Kobe really had marginal talent surrounding him, with the only worthwhile player of that mini-era being Lamar Odom. And at 23 shots a game, Kobe shot at a 43 percent clip, the lowest since he was 19 years old (he’s 33 now), all while maintaining the highest usage rate of his career at 35.7 percent (again, aside from the ’05-06 season). To add to that, he’s stood pat in the Assist Ratio category too (although this year’s number is insignificantly his worst since 2000-01) In essence, he’s eating up more possessions and wasting them, at the same time.

All while walking around El Segundo as if there is no reason for him to step back and let others dominate, refusing to be relegated to the second option on the team, where he’ll fit gorgeously at this point in his career.

And this is the dilemma we’re facing with Kobe Bryant, because any other player that wants to come here must become the second option. And though most won’t have an issue with this, it’s bad for the basketball in Downtown LA, because it’ll be the same trash we saw in the playoff series with the Oklahoma City Thunder, where Kobe plays absolute hero ball while ignoring his new-found second option.

This worked in 2010, but it barely worked. Save for the Lakers’ demolishment of the Utah Jazz, L.A.’s model of living and dying by Kobe failed, and it was up to his teammates to bail his ass out (ironic how fast things change, don’t they?). From a late-game Pau Gasol tip-in against OKC, to a last-second recovery by Ron Artest, to a godawful 6-for-24 performance in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals, the idea that Kobe Bryant can take over games by himself is an irresponsible one.

Of course, rabid “Laker fans” (let’s call them “Kobe fans” since that’s a more accurate description) will interpret it like an immature child and say, “YEAH, WELL WE DON’T WIN THOSE CHAMPIONSHIPS WITHOUT KOBE” as if I’ve somehow meant that Kobe should’ve been traded in 1999 or some crap like that.

Well, no kidding, we wouldn’t have won those titles without Kobe. The point, though, was that the reliance on Kobe (or, the idea that Kobe has in his head that his team’s success is entirely dependent upon his) needs to stop. As a second option, Kobe gets his sixth ring, or at least as a first option that has no problem playing second fiddle when someone else is having a better night, instead of completely going away from what works late in the fourth quarter to get your name in lights as the team’s savior.

Because this thinking might start impeding the Lakers’ ability to land true No. 1 options (as was the case with Dwight Howard, recently), and as far as I’m concerned, there’s no way in hell Kobe stops with this thinking.

The reality is that Kobe Bryant is not tradable, in any sense of the word. His no-trade clause and the aforementioned $28 million/year contract ensures he’s going to be stay a Laker forever unless this team amnesties him, at which point they get nothing in return except cap space. And though Kobe’s attitude and piss-poor play (considering he’s devouring 1/3 of the Lakers’ payroll) is to the point where he should be traded if he could be, it’s not to the point where he can’t be cashed in for more valuable assets. (We’ll wait until he somehow forces out Mitch Kupchak, which probably won’t ever happen, but may because these are the Lakers, after all.)

But Kobe Bryant’s narcissism won’t allow him to take a step back, the way guys like Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and, hell, Dwyane Wade have, in order to facilitate another players’ dominance, and thereby enhance the team’s shot at success.

Kobe wants to win, but only if he’s the one who’s the causal factor, and if you don’t like it, f*** you. This attitude wouldn’t fly if he wasn’t Kobe Bryant, and since his play isn’t backing up his smack, why should Laker fans give him a pass and ask for the trading of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and the dismissal of Mike Brown, instead of deservedly criticizing Kobe? If the goal is to win championships every freaking year, then why should Kobe’s past five titles stop fellow Laker fans from growing a pair and voicing their displeasure at Kobe Bryant?

It’s a frustrating saga, to be sure, and it’s one that we can’t get out of. But perhaps, and this is wishful thinking, making negative attitudes towards Kobe Bryant from his own fan-base salient might make Kobe reconsider his stance, since we’re stuck with him.

Or Kobe will just continue to be Kobe, but at 33-years old and inefficient as hell.

If that’s how it’s going to go down, we’re screwed.

Should the Lakers trade Kobe Bryant?

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Tags: Andrew Bynum Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Mitch Kupchak Trade Kobe

  • CraZed77

    If you “love” this team then you wouldn’t want to see it ditch outs best player., even with Kobe losing some of his athleticism he is still the best player on the team and arguably in the league. He was the only consistent player in the playoffs in terms of effort and drive. He played sick while his teammates gave lackluster performances. Trading Kobe would be a crime and more of a set back. His production is still high and he is a leader in terms of showing effort.
    Sure he has a habit of taking over control at the end of games but this has gone both ways for us fans. When it was winning games and multiple championships we were all on board. When it doesn’t you all want to cry and call for his head. Fickle.
    That’s what is most great abouit the man as a player, he isn’t afraid to take the criticism along with the praise in his pursuit to being a champion.

  • Mattinfinity

    @CraZed77 The point of what the writer is saying is that Kobe’s done in a few years AND he takes 33% of the payroll which means we cant sign anyone which means no championship for the next 5 years.

  • TommyRoss

    The dumbest article ever written lol!

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @CraZed77 He isn’t afraid to take criticism, and that’s kind of the issue. His mentality of “HEY GUYS, LET ME SHOOT BECAUSE IM STILL THE BEST” hurts us often. 
    He’s not even a top-5 player anymore (LBJ, Durant, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and Dwyane Wade have surpassed him), and he’s getting paid a *huge* percentage of what they are; it’s crippling. 

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @TommyRoss The dumbest comment ever written lol!

  • CraZed77

    @GoJoeBruinUCLA @CraZed77 seriously? D Howard I’d not more valuable or a better player than Kobe. LBJ has only proven he’s not clutch. And we’d have had Chris Paul despite having Kobe’s huge salary. As for Durant and DWade they may better players ATM but Kobe nearly beat Durant for the scoring title this season. When you all seem to think he is now a liability.
    Let’s replace Kobe with Durant or Dwade or CP. Does that make the Lakers champs? Doubtful. The Lakers problems aren’t Kobe it is the streaky inconsistant play of his teammates and that is where the changes need to be made. Even now as Kobe’s career is winding down he is poised to take another championship. If for no other reason He wants it and that will carry the Lakers far. He just needs mates who share that passion and we are right back there in the hunt.

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @CraZed77  @GoJoeBruinUCLA  @CraZed77 All those players won titles; they’re proven champs. Stop acting as if Kobe is still the only reason this team wins titles. 
    Dwight Howard is definitely more valuable than Kobe, and if not Dwight Howard, fine, throw in a guy like Derrick Rose when healthy. Any way you spin it, Kobe’s not a top-5 player. 
    Kobe is thinking the same way you are: That we can lean on him, and he can still be the first option. BS. He can’t be. He either needs to be a second option without being whiny, or he can go elsewhere. The thing is, we’re stuck with him, and it’s in a bad situation. 
    You talk about getting better players as if the NBA doesn’t have a cap. Yeah, OK. How can we have flexibility to do so if KOBE IS EATING UP 1/3 OF THE PAYROLL??

  • tprid13

    “Arguably the greatest Laker of all-time”? I’ll argue it. Ever hear of Jerry West? How about Magic Johnson? Maybe even Elgin Baylor. Kobe may have won a few more titles but he is not even close to being the greatest Laker.
    I do agree though, I would trade him in a heartbeat.

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @tprid13 Kobe’s smashed records and most from all of those guys. I don’t like to include anyone pre-1980s, just because basketball didn’t hit the national scene until then, and post- and pre-80s basketball are totally different eras. So I’ll take the Magic debate.
    I tried trading him on NBA 2k12, not even in a video game is he tradable. 

  • Ballero10

    Kobe is the best player in the NBA right now.
    Durant has Westbrook, 6th man of th year
    Dwade has LeBron, Chris Bosh
    LeBron is not clutch, mentally weak
    Dhoward has no offensive skill
    CP3 scores single-digit points against Tony Parker

    If Kobe Bryant would have a superstar teammate like most of these players do, it would be an instant dynasty. Lakers would win for the next two-to-three years and kobe would retire with 7-8 rings. Easy.

  • carlosatUCLA

     @Ballero10 LOL. I … Wow. This is bad. Really bad. 
    Kobe has the second-best big man in the NBA and a top-6 or top-7 power forward. By your logic, he should have won. The issue is that, even if Kobe does get a superstar, he wants him to be a second option to himself, as if he’s better. Kobe is far from the best player in the NBA, but OK.

  • CraZed77

     @GoJoeBruinUCLA Dwight Howard is definitely NOT more valuable than Kobe. He’s just as immature as Bynum and creates problems for a locker room. His scoring is streaky and he has a bad back. And Derrick Rose is NOT healthy. Why deal in imagination land?
    Any way you spin it Kobe is a top 5 player. He has the stats and the rings to back it up. He doesn’t need to be second option. He needs better second options playing around him.
    I mentioned replacing Kobe for any other player did I not? I also mentioned that we could have had a top teir PG in Chris Paul despite Kobe’s lavish salary. As I said replace Kobe with anyone else and do you Honestly see the Lakers winning it all with the current lineup?
    I don’t think Kobe is irreplaceable but he is still very much relevant and integral to another championship run. Given some more motivated mates and time for the team to actually meld Kobe and company will be back on top in no time.

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @CraZed77 Derrick Rose isn’t healthy because it was a lockout year where playing back-to-back was the norm. It isn’t as if his career is over.
    Kobe is a top-5 player because of his RINGS? Are you kidding me? Are you telling me he has bullied his way to the ranks of LeBron James and Kevin Durant because he has rings. I don’t think so. Kobe is no longer a top-5 player, and his stats, this season and last, back that up. This is not 2008. He can’t be in a top-5 list because of prestige only. 
    Kobe isn’t the only problem, but he’s a major factor. He can’t be a consistent first option, and if he is, he damn well better prefer to defer when his shot isn’t sinking. Watch his games, it’s very stereotyped: Takes a difficult shot, makes it, goes back down for the next three possessions and takes difficult, contested jumpers. All that while the team gets no ball movement so everyone stands around because this isn’t the triangle offense. 
    Kobe is freaking 33. He’s turning 34. He’s not getting any better. Stop it.

  • CraZed77

     @GoJoeBruinUCLA Okay I’ll give you the lock out for as to why D Rose isnt healthy. SO shouldn’t Kobe get the same consideration? Even with that he’s older and was unable to play only a few games. So he at the very least has D Rose beat there. Better conditioning perhaps. Goes a long way.
    Kobe’s stats are just fine this year. You can nly say they are subpar compared to his own production lol. He still produces more than most players in the league.
    PPG : Kobe – 30.0 , Lebron – 29.7
    RPG: Kobe- 6.10 , Lebron – 8.30
    APG: Kobe-5.4 , Lebron – 7.0
    FTP: Kobe 84% , Lebron – 75%
    Turnovers: Kobe- 3.8 , Lebron – 4.1
    So if LeBron is top 5 why is Kobe not? Compareable stats all around. Not to mention Kobe is just waaay more clutch. And he’s OLDER!!!!! Imagine where LeBron’s production will be at that age considering it should decrease. Even with APG: Perhaps you can say LeBron passes more or that his team scores better of the pass than the Lakers do.
    Bullied his way to the ranks of LeBron and Dyrant? lol he was elite before either of those two were even in his league.

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @CraZed77 You just gave me per-game stats, as if that shit matters. Kobe scores more because he takes more shots; he averaged 23 on the season and only made 43 percent, his lowest since he was freaking 19. His usage rate is also abnormally high, meaning he dominates the ball the past two years MORE than what he normally did, and the last time his usage rate was that high, Kwame Brown was one of his best options, and this time around, he has two All-Stars around him. 
    Basically, Kobe’s “per game numbers” look sexy because he keeps shooting, and he shoots poorly. Your “he’s clutch” argument was only true for about three or four games this year, which was way more in year’s past, and that got to his head: He lost us Games 2 and 4, which would’ve swung the series in our favor, because he thought he was going to be a bad-ass and try and win the damn things. 
    So your “production” argument? It’s terrible. That’s like playing darts, and me throwing 12 darts and you throwing 5, and I get on target 5 times and you get on target four times. You have to look at efficiency. You clearly need to check out some advanced stats, too:

  • CraZed77

     @GoJoeBruinUCLAHow does PG stats not matter? Its a measure of how much they produce. lol. If you want percentages here: 
    LBJs fg% is slightly better by what .30% over their careers? Silly. This year it’s about 1%. And shooting poorly is a ridiculous statement. He shoots slightly less efficient that LBJ within the three point line but out does both D Wade and LBJ beyond the arch. FT% Kobe is solidly better. He also commits less TOs overall (this year D wade has him beat). So as for efficiency he is ether right there or surpasses each of them.No one can argue he is older. He is no doubt. But really he IS older and he still produces. So what if his % is down .25%. With better role players he can and will deliver another championship.
    “HE” didn’t lose us anything. How about the other 4 players on the court at any given time? If Kobe is out the rest of the team seems to lose the ability to play. How many leads have been blown when Kobe is sitting?
    Playoff mistakes? Kobe dished to Pau for an easy lay up after Pau set up the play in time out and he commited a last minute TO to kill the Laker’s win. Blake missed an open tre. And many other mistakes commited by the team. But as we know all eyes are on Kobe at the end of a game and he is fine having haters such as yourself place the blame on his shoulders.
    He’ll continue to take the Lakers to the post season despite the lack luster effort of those around him; Sessions, Pau, Bynum (minus one or two good playoff games), Blake (minus one decent game) and the rest of the anemic bench.
    Again much the same as my previous post. Bottom line is if LBJ is top 5 then Kobe has to be mentioned in the group. Period.

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @CraZed77 LOL. 1) Why are you looking at their careers? WE ARE NOT TALKING ALL-TIME. 2) LeBron shot at a 53 percent clip; KOBE SHOT AT FORTY-FREAKING-THREE PERCENT. You’re just spewing stuff out of your butt. Look at the numbers, legit. He went from a career 46 percent to 43 percent this year, while taking waaaay more shots. Shut up, dude, just admit you aren’t a Lakers fan and that you’re an obsessed Kobe fan. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @CraZed77 Also: Blake missed an open three. So? Last I checked, the Lakers held a 7 point lead with two minutes to go. Who missed two crucial three pointers and committed two turnovers which led to four easy points? Tell me, who? Shut up. 
    Pau Gasol’s turnover? We were up 11 with 3 minutes to go. Are you trying to tell me Pau Gasol’s turnover was worth 11 points? Again, sit down and shut up and come back when you turn 15. 

  • CraZed77

     @GoJoeBruinUCLA LOL I am a Kobe fan and A lifelong Laker fan. Ur an obsessed hater who has no idea what ur talking about. I have watched the Lakers my entire life Im 35 btw. I mentioned the recent percentages. Guess you didn’t bother to read the whole thing.
    WTF are you talking about? Pau made a bad pass to Metta which led to a go-ahead three by Durant with like 13 seconds left in the game. You must have been watching a different game. The point is the entire team made mistakes. So what if Kobe made a few as well. So lets fire sale the whole damned roster by your standards. And as you mentioned but continue to gloss over the team made it to second round despite all the drama and changes they had to deal with. It all matters not just the mistakes that Kobe makes.
    You say I’m obsessed with Kobe but you’re obsessed with his every mistake while ignoring those around him. I personally think that the current starting line up could be champs with a whole offseason behind them and some bolstering of the bench. But players need to show up.
    So what if his numbers dropped slightly. But you didn’t read that I acknowledge his drop in my post. They are still BETTER than 90% of the NBA Only LBJ D Wade and Durant had better numbers than Kobe in comparable stats so how is he not top 5? Hell even if he’s just top 10 material they would be unwise to trade him.

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @CraZed77 You mentioned percentages from, like, 1999 or some crap.
    Pau made a bad pass, but in that SAME GAME, the Lakers were up 11 with 2 minutes left. So basic math tells me that a *single* turnover did not lose this game for us. We could’ve done a ton of other things, like, y’know, making sure Kobe doesn’t dominate the ball. 
    I’m not obsessed with his every mistake; I hate it when people deflect criticism from Kobe because he has five rings, as if that matters. If we expect to win a championship every year, then his five championships shouldn’t mean shit to this debate. 
    His numbers did NOT drop slightly. This season was not great statistically, by his standards, and it definitely doesn’t warrant $28 million/year and 33% of our freaking payroll. $16 million? Sure. $28 million? Kiss my ass.

  • mikenike310

    I’m not sure if Kobe is the whole reason the Lakers haven’t won it in the last couple of years but I do understand your hate for him. I honestly don’t think the Lakers need to do anything but get a shooter or two to keep teams from zoneing Bynum and Gasol. With no shooters its almost impossible to go inside to the bigs when teams can surround them befor they even touch the ball. If you can’t go inside theres no options for the lakers to create outside of Bryant.
    I also think Mike Brown is a much better coach than most people think. He didnt have a training camp or any practice time to prepare or get accustomed to his new team so the offense was go down low or give the ball to Kobe. If Bynum and Artest come in camp in shape next year and the Lakers have a full training camp I like their chances.

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @mikenike310 I would agree with you, but Gasol is far too flighty for us to win a title. Plus, we need a point guard since we now run a more traditional offense, and Kobe needs to take a step back and let the offense work. He’ll get his touches. Shooters are a necessity, but we need an upgrade at point guard, and something tells me Sessions just wont get it.
    I agree with Mike Brown. I even wrote that he should be given a proper year, because he did a damn good job of limiting the Thunder’s defense. First and foremost, he needs to rein in the personalities.

  • mikenike310

     @GoJoeBruinUCLA So do you want to trade Gasol or Kobe?
    I don’t think The Lakers really had an offense last year. I remember Gasol saying that they don’t practice offense when asked why the lakers were having such a poor offensive start. So needless to say it lacked flow.
    Kobes offense actually looked great in the last few games tallying 36pts 38pts and 42pts. It all fell apart when Okc started to zone Bynum. Most of Kobes bad shots came late in the shot clock with the offense leaving him no outlets while he was being gaurded  well and physically by OKC. Kobes offense was a big reason they were actually in those games and the lakers sole dependence on it is ultimately what lost them that series.That and there inability to get a defensive stop in the fourth quarter.

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @mikenike310 Yes, I’d want to trade Kobe, but it’s literally impossible. He’s making too much and he has a no-trade clause, meaning he can choose his destination, which kills our leverage. That said, I’d love for him to retire as a Laker if he changes his attitude a little.
    The offense went all-Kobe late in those losses to OKC. Andrew Bynum was getting fronted like hell, sure, but Kobe rarely passed the ball to someone else to find better angles for a 7-foot monster down low. He also settled for way too many jumpers and held the ball too long, which led to costly turnovers.
    If we keep this core, fine. But it better come back with legitimate, 40% career shooters and a consistent point guard. And let’s be real, there’s no way we get that unless we trade Pau

  • mikenike310

     @GoJoeBruinUCLA Gasol is still pretty good when he’s put in a position to succeed but is he worth his $18million salary?.. Can’t say. its hard to put a number on somebody when your on the outside looking in. Same goes for Kobe. (Theres a reason the Lakers gave him that outlandish contract. Maybe they know something that we don’t know?)
    Back to the lakers offense, When kobe gets the ball on the wing the other lakers would literally hide behind their defender. The Lakers have to give him an outlet when he can’t find a good look at the basket. You cant pass when there’s no passing lane. If you watch game 7 of the Denver series players were aggressively moving to open spots on the floor and Kobe consistently found them. For whatever reason that didn’t happen in OKC and left Kobe with one option and the defense knows exactly what that is.
    These are all things that can be fixed with a long hard training camp. Mike Brown and Kobe are workaholics they will figure it out.

  • GoJoeBruinUCLA

     @mikenike310 That reason better be because they knew they could amnesty him. I hope that Kobe can *ask* to be amnestied when he retires or something, and teams let him go through waivers so he can retire officially as a Laker.
    I’m confident in Mike Brown, he just needs to stop believing in Kobe so much.

  • mikenike310

     @GoJoeBruinUCLA Did you watch Meta’s exit interview. It seems The whole Lakers team needs to stop depending on Kobe so much.
    With a whole year of practice running offensive sets you can figure out these things. If you watch any other scoring star in this league they get a lot of easy baskets but kobe has to work for almost all of his points. Lebron will not shoot unless he has a good look and Kobe cant afford to do that once a team decides to take bynum out of the game. Theres no one else to generate an open shot or at least a descent look.
    Championships are extremely hard to come by. To win one in any league you have to have everything clicking at the right time and a lot of luck. I don’t know what Kobe does but hes been an integral part of 5 teams that have won and i wouldn’t consider any of those teams to be great. Next year will be a legit shot at one as opposed to 2011 where he had a bad knee and this year when he had a new coach new system new players and a lockout season.
    If you noticed Every team still in the playoffs this year has had a system in place that they’ve had success with. This is essential for a lockout season because you really cant practice. Give Kobe and Mike Brown at least another year. You should see some good things.

  • Judicator

    I remember watching Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Rambis, Scott and Cooper some 30 years ago, I thought LA had a class organization back then, but things have changed. Buss isn’t concerned about Basketball, its about his bottom line.

    My 30+ years as a Laker fan are now in hibernation as long was Buss is still involved. I’ll spend my money elsewhere.

  • Xenon Madrigal

    The Lakers have been very inconsistent. I can only hope that they can still make the playoffs and can be a much better team by that time.