Well, it seems as though the Lakers and Kobe Bryant may be parting ways. Bryant told Stephen A. Smith that he wants out of L.A. He’s also finally answering allegations that he forced Shaq out of town. Basically, Kobe is blaming Jerry Bus, who thought Shaq was too old to warrant an $80M deal, and decided to trade him while he could get good value for him.
If this was Bus’ point of view, you have to wonder why he didn’t get any value in return for Shaq, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is, Kobe wants out. Before I go any further, let me start by saying, emphatically, “I DO NOT WANT KOBE IN PHILADELPHIA.” He’s selfish, he’s a ball hog, he’s an alleged rapist and I think bringing him in here will put the Sixers right back where they were at the beginning of last year. One superstar will rule the roost, and the cohesion built last year will be destroyed. Actually, the Sixers would be in worse shape with Kobe than they were with Iverson. Iverson’s problems stemmed from wanting to win too much, and not trusting the players around him (for good reason in a lot of cases), Kobe’s problem is he could care less about winning, he just cares about himself.
If the Sixers decide to get into the hunt, they could probably put together a package of contracts, players and picks to get it done. Salary-wise, Andre Miller and Samuel Dalembert basically equal Kobe’s contract this season. Those two, plus picks #12 and #21 may get it done. Who knows. Who cares, really? Let the Knicks trade for him, he’d fit right in with Isiah and co.
If karma has anything to do with it, the Grizzlies will trade Gasol and the #4 pick to L.A. and Kobe will be forced to play out his career in Tennessee.
Bryant has a no-trade clause, so basically the Lakers are at his mercy. I didn’t think it was possible for a player to cripple a franchise twice, but that’s exactly what Kobe is on the verge of doing. Count yourselves lucky, Lakers fans, because with Bryant your franchise was going nowhere fast. Maybe you’ll be able to get a fresh start with a couple of draft picks and rebuild from the ground up once he’s gone.