Photo courtesy of Emmanuel Dunand, Getty Images

Most Lakers fans have expressed disappointment and frustration towards Lakers management this offseason, primarily towards Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations Jim Buss and Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

This will be the second summer in a row that the Lakers have not acquired a big-name free agent while losing a key asset simultaneously. Last year, the Lakers could not acquire high-quality players like PG Chris Paul, SF Andre Igudola, and PF Paul Millsap while C Dwight Howard left the Lakers to sign with Houston Rockets. This off season, the Lakers could not acquire neither SF LeBron James nor SF Carmelo Anthony, which correlated to C Pau Gasol leaving the Lakers to head to the Chicago Bulls to compete for another NBA championship.

In the past, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant vocally expressed his displeasure with Lakers management–most notably during 2007 when he demanded a trade from the Lakers and in 2011 when the Lakers traded Lamar Odom away for a trade exception. However, Bryant tells ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne that he approves the effort Lakers management made this offseason, despite not coming away with big name free agents.

Bryant seems to understand that despite the long shot, the Lakers did everything they could possibly do to acquire James or Anthony, which included a 2.5 hour presentation towards Anthony to convince him to join Bryant and the rest of the Lakers for this upcoming season.

Furthermore, Bryant approves of the Lakers so-called “Plan B” in response to losing out on free agents and losing their own.

The Lakers have acquired PG Jeremy Lin and two draft picks from the Houston Rockets, PF Ed Davis in free agency, and PF Carlos Boozer after the Chicago Bulls decided to amnesty him. Furthermore, the Lakers re-signed SF Nick Young, C/PF Jordan Hill, and G Xavier Henry, while selecting PF Julius Randle and PG Jordan Clarkson at the 2014 NBA Draft.

If the Lakers can hire a high-quality coach to maximize the ability of the Lakers roster and acquire an impact player during the NBA Trade Deadline, Bryant and the rest of the Lakers can still surprise the rest of the NBA and make some noise to return to the NBA playoffs this upcoming season.

  • Tom Hammond

    I agree with Kobe. I think MDA’s maximum running game last year with guys not in the physical condition needed to runs 30 or so mins per game, so there were a lot of injuries. in Phoenix, guys were conditioned for max output, everyone says his system worked for the Suns, but I look up in the rafters and I don’t see too many World Championship banners.

  • Tyler Katt

    is he REALLY happy? I doubt it. I look at today’s NBA. All I see are teams that want to hit it big in free agency. I didn’t see the Spurs chasing after LeBron or Carmelo. Why? They have a great coach, they have a system and the players have all bought in. The Lakers have Kobe. Will Byron Scott be a difference maker? He has a worse winning percentage in his NBA coaching career than Mike D’Antoni does. He has gone to the finals, with a great Nets team led by Jason Kidd, but when left with a team like this in Cleveland it was dismal at best. I do blame Kupchak for this, he gave Steve Nash a 3 year deal, brought in Dwight Howard and could not keep him and now even Pau Gasol saw the writing on the wall and took less to possibly play for a championship or at very least get to the playoffs with the Bulls. I don’t understand how fans can be happy over paying Jordan Hill, bringing back SwaggyP. Are we trying to win ball games or have cool nicknames? If this team wins 35 games I will be SHOCKED

    • DDub

      Anybody can be a GM from the living room.

  • Tom Legge

    Of course Kobe would be happy. He got a bonanza payment knowing that it would dramatically handicap any free agent acquisitions. Why would he have reason to complain.

    • DDub

      He took what Jeanie offered, and you would do the same at your job.

      • Tom Legge

        Regardless of what you say, you don’t know what I would do. However, as pertains to the Lakers, Kobe receiving that bonanza payment inevitably limited preseason moves. Kobe clearly was aware of this cause-and-effect when agreeing to this payment, so naturally he has to be happy.

        • DDub

          Ambassador for the N.b.a , Global marketing of the N B.A. and the laker Brand, 8 appearances in the Championship Series , 5Championships, Ticket sells in every Arena. jersey sales, and the list goes on, He Mr. Bryant deserve Every Cent,.2or 3billion dollars from Time warner, for the Lakers and the NBA , Again He Deserve Every Cent! If People think he should give back or cut his salary for the good of the team. He had already paid them. And they will ride him for Two more years, Now who are they paying to see, when then the Lakers play.If people think that he should have taken less , he didn’t And he should not And that is their problem.

          • Tom Legge

            First off, I believe Kobe has 7 appearances in the NBA finals…the 5 times he won and losses to the Celtics and Pistons. Please specify the other. Kobe could cure cancer at center court and it wouldn’t offset the consequence of his bonanza payment hampering the Lakers’ ability to make preseason moves. The people who pay to see Kobe play will most likely see him strut his stuff on a team that won’t be a playoff contender. Again, Kobe took the money knowing this likelihood and thus he should be happy.

          • DDub

            Its really arrogant to tell a man or suggest to a man how much money he should take or that he should cut his pay, That’s his business , for his family And the people that are doing it aren’t writing the check, nor have they or will they get one rebound or rake one hit between those basketball lines. Kobe was in line to make as t least 33 million dollars; Yet he took a 6 million dollar pay cut.

          • Tom Legge

            You can debate what Kobe’s entitled to and what he’s worth until you’re blue in the face. One thing I don’t think you can do is contend that Kobe’s bonanza payment hasn’t severely constricted the Lakers’ options in making postseason moves. A corollary to this is that because of those constricted options the team doesn’t shape up as a viable contender this year. In short, things look bleak. Until you make a case that the Lakers competitive position hasn’t been hurt by Kobe’s bonanza payment I’ll tune you out.

          • DDub

            You need to direct your complaint to the Buss family; they offered the deal and write the checks, so I will just be blue in the face.

          • Tom Legge

            What complaint? I’ve only made an observation. Have to admit, though, it might be funny seeing Kobe blow up if the beatdowns start to accumulate.

          • DDub

            The beat downs aren’t going to stop those checks.

          • Tom Legge