Kobe Bryant has spent the entire year defending his contract through the media. While many may agree that he earned every penny, including myself, he’s a victim to his worth.
Kobe says he's never had patience for rebuilding. Says there is a plan B if Lakers dont get Melo/LeBron
— janis carr (@janiscarr) July 9, 2014
When Kobe Bryant signed his contract, there was a message made by the Laker organization. They had Kobe signed the money he was worth to show that the Laker organization takes care of its players. Honestly, that is worth something in the NBA. Superstars change teams all the time. Chris Paul, Pau Gasol, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony are not with the same team that drafted them. Only Carmelo Anthony hasn’t reached as much success as his previous teams.
However, the Lakers made that contract, seemingly, without the bottom line goal in mind; to win championships. The best way for the Lakers to open a championship window is through the free agency market. Some teams just need a few tweaks. Sometimes it’s a new head coach. Sometimes it’s a different system. Sometimes it’s developing a few players internally. As we all know, the Lakers need everything they can get.
Admittedly, trying to acquire Carmelo Anthony was a total dream. Trying to get Anthony and LeBron James to come in as Laker players was also a dream. Trying to fit three large contracts seems impossible. No one really realized that it was possible to have Team USA in L.A. as well, just with Bryant instead of Wade. It would have even made sense with Mike D’Antoni as a head coach, considering his experience with Team USA. That would have made sense for a long-term hire over Phil Jackson, right?
How about thinking outside of the box a bit? Why not go after Chris Bosh to a contract as the first priority since Pau Gasol is exploring his options. Yes, Bosh was the third option on the Miami Heat. He also wasn’t utilized in the way that the Raptors used him before as a #1 option. He could at least, get away from the shadows of Wade and LeBron in Miami and make more of a name for himself in a Laker uniform.
While that may not lead to a championship directly, it’s a big step closer compared to where the Lakers were last year. Having Julius Randle and Chris Bosh in the front line splitting between power forward and center is not a terrible thing. That’s a core to build around.
Unfortunately, it seems the best window for the Lakers is in 2016. Maybe Kobe will be playing. Maybe he won’t. Kevin Durant is available, and he would be the #1 target for the Lakers in that offseason. Having a two-year downtime between being a competitive playoff team is actually a short window. It would just be nice to have Randle, Bosh, and Durant all on the same team.
Then the Lakers would have a championship window open again. It would just be without Kobe Bryant and his contract.
We don’t want Plan B. We want Plan A. We could have had Plan A, and it would have started with Kobe’s contract.