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SFGate.com: If the Warriors see the Lakers as a threat to their postseason plans – and there’s no reason to believe otherwise – they have to be loving Kobe Bryant’s presence on the U.S. national team, currently steamrolling through the competition at the FIBA Americas tournament in Las Vegas.

Once this thing is over, Bryant returns to his worst nightmare: playing on a team that did nothing to appease his summertime malaise. While the Warriors assemble another dangerous, exciting product (this is assuming Don Nelson ends his absurd holdout), the Lakers will be stuck with a moody superstar who wants out.

This is Kobe’s season, right now, against the Venezuelas and Brazils of the world. He’s playing with Jason Kidd, a career-long dream. He’s flying down the court with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, and even with all that talent surrounding him, he’s still the man. Those on the scene say Bryant’s dominance has been evident from the first day of U.S. training camp. He’s the best shooter, the best defender, even the hardest worker. He’s living a dream.

Imagine Bryant’s disgust when he returns to the Lakers and sees Andrew Bynum resuming his tedious struggle toward respectability. No Kidd, no Kevin Garnett, no Jermaine O’Neal, just the same sorry cast of characters. Back in February, when the Lakers had a chance to trade for Kidd, general manager Mitch Kupchak balked because he wouldn’t give up Bynum. It’s entirely possible that Bynum, still just 19, will blossom into an elite center. He certainly has the body and the tools. It’s just that “projects” usually don’t work out so well in the NBA. If you can play in that league, chances are you proved it within weeks, not years.

Continue reading ‘Bryant to crash hard when summer’s over?’

  • magicbalala245

    I hope ko e just dosen’t crash

  • MILO

    Now that Kobe get’s to play with Kid, it must be even more frustrating then it was before.Bynum need’s to get to work he better average at least 12 points 9 rebounds 2 blocks per game (let’s keep it realistic) c’mon Bynum show us why the Lakers are so reluctant to let you go. FOR GOD’S SAKE IT’S THE NBA NOT YOUR LOCAL PARK OR GYM!!!

  • D. Imhoff

    I have never seen Kobie do anything less than try his best. The frustration of playing with less talented or less driven teammates once he returns to the Lakers is something all of the players on the USA team will face. I really feel that this preseason and the 1st half of this next season are critical. As anyone who has followed this USA team can tell its been the defense that has triggered its success. The same can be said of the 07/08 Lakers. In that area Kobie will once again do his part. Will the others do theirs?

  • foxxy