Kobe Saved the Lakers

Kobe BryantSpecial thanks to Jeff Lee for writing this take and giving us the privilege to add it to GetGarnett.com. If you have an article that is Lakers related and you know that it will interest our readers, feel free to e-mail us and will add it to the blog. Thanks!

Things just aren’t like they used to be. Gas is at an all time high, Britney Spears has a shaved head, Lindsay Lohan & Jerry Buss can’t find designated drivers, the NHL championship is going through So-Cal, the Lakers haven’t found a way to extend there season into June, and Kobe Bryant is no longer happy being with the Los Angeles Lakers. The only thing positive going for this city is the USC Trojans and they don’t play there first game for another couple of months. What’s next? I am not sure, but I promise the Lakers off-season is going to be an entertaining one.

Memo to: Kobe Bryant

Subject: Thank you for saving the Lakers franchise and this city.

I have questioned the decision making of the Lakers front office for three years myself. They have passed on signing key veterans, they have traded the wrong players, and they gave big contracts to a couple of slugs (Brian Cook & Vladimir Radmanovi?). When the Lakers selected Andrew Bynum in the 2005 NBA draft I thought they made an excellent decision. Bynum had the complete package. ( Youth, height, and size) That was something the Lakers needed immensely. Following the draft the Lakers immediately began working on his development by paring him up with former Lakers player, one of the NBA’s greatest 50 players, a Hall of Famer’, Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

Two years have now passed since we drafted Bynum and his skills have improved slightly (some people will beg to differ). Kobe has noticed it, and so has the Lakers organization. Bynum was supposed to be the next big thing here in Tinsel Town, but as you can see his development is taking longer than expected. Kobe doesn’t have the patience to wait for this kid to come full circle, nor should he have to. None the less, Bynum did have big shoes to fill following Shaquille O’Neal’s departure and many of us set unrealistic expectations, but that’s the way it is when you play for the greatest franchise in sports history. In all fairness to Bynum, he is young, very young, (youngest player in the NBA) and he was taken right out of high school when the Lakers made him there 10 th pick in the draft. However, the timing isn’t right for Andrew Bynum to remain in a Lakers uniform. It’s definitely the right place for him, but unfortunately it comes at the wrong time. A time, when you have the greatest player in history in his prime, who is in search for some teammates that have what it takes to win a championship. Bynum may have that in him, but it won’t be for another few years, and by then Kobe will be too old.

If the Lakers want to build a championship team like they promised Kobe Bryant, they must trade Andrew Bynum, and it must happen now. According to Kobe, Mitch Cupchak has already turned down players such as Carlos Boozer, Ron Artest, and Barron Davis because he labeled Bynum “untouchable” and didn’t want to include him in any package deal.

So you ask; why in the hell would you trade Andrew Bynum? The answer is really simple. Bynum has a lot of potential, he has a big body, he’s young, and teams could develop him into the kind of player that would benefit there select style of play. Outside of Lamar Odom, Bynum has the most interest from other teams mostly due to his size & age and the Lakers could get a big name veteran in return for him.

With the events that have taken place in the last 96hrs; beyond Kobe it now looks as if every player is marketable. Its going to take a Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, and possibly a draft pick to land some key veterans on this Lakers team. The Future of this franchise is hanging on by a thread. Within the last week Jerry Buss has become more than just an owner, he’s now a tailor. He must find a way to stitch this team, this franchise, this city and its fans back together. The Lakers front office must act NOW!! They have sat on there hands and done absolutely nothing to improve this team over the last 3 years. Time is critical, every second, every minute, and every hour are going to be scrutinized. Mitch Kupchak should be on the phone right now trying to make something happen, and he shouldn’t dare hang up the phone until something spectacular takes place. Jerry Buss might want to set aside the booze and young women for a while so he can focus on bringing a blockbuster deal to LA. Everyone is watching; every owner, GM, and coach around the NBA have there eyes glued on this franchise just anticipating for the Buss family to fall on its face. “Do something, and do it now”, but do it very carefully.

Don’t point your finger and try to blame Kobe Bryant for this off-season fallout. Not for a single second should anyone place blame on the guy that stood up, voiced his opinion and saved this franchise. It took two days for Kobe to say what Lakers fans have been saying for 3 years- “CHANGES MUST BE MADE”. Mitch Cupchak should have already resigned or been fired. It’s not fair for the best player in the league to go through a rebuilding phase when they promised him they wouldn’t at the time he re-signed as a free agent. It’s not fair to Kobe when he has to watch his team fail miserably in the playoffs because his teammates lack talent. It’s an insult to Kobe Bryant’s greatness, for him to go through a rebuilding process that is centered on a kid who is barely old enough to vote!!! Kobe is not getting any younger. He has many more miles on his odometer than Jordan did at the same time in his career.

And finally,

A lot of you will criticize, belittle, and nit-pick Kobe Bryant. You will call him selfish, childish, unstable or insane but if I’m Kobe Bryant I don’t want to play for a team that wants to save money and rebuild while I’m in my prime years. Kobe Bryant was the voice of the people. Kobe reiterated to management what all of us have been saying for years. Mr. Bryant did the right thing!!!

Kobe saved himself, a city, and an organization from being the next Atlanta Hawks. Someday all of you will thank him for it. And if you’re a true Lakers fan, you’ve already thanked him.

Jaime is the co-owner and Operating Director for LakerNation.com from Alhambra, CA. He's help create the official websites for Kevin Durant and Goodwin Sports. Currently, he's the Online Producer for FOX Sports Radio and AM570 KLAC.
  • aaron

    AMEN TO THAT BROTHER 3 years and we have not made a single move, we passed on davis, boozer, kid mitch needs to go now! kobe did do the right thing or else he was going to become like garnett.

  • AKKOBEAK

    KOBE IS THE BEST

    THANX KOBE

  • Soysauce43

    wow, i’m in aw. i don’t know what to say bro, but thanks

  • you said it all

    it could not be said any better we the fans deserve better and kobe took one for the fans our voice this site(getgarneet.com)will not be let a stray any longer. we are LAKERS FAN call us spoiled (not our faught we used to winning) the fan in kobe came out and i support him 1000% we are not a franchiase that is used to just making it to the playoff we are the Lakers we are Showtime, Lake show, the dynasty. the purple and gold ballers and that is what KOBE loves that is What SHAQ loves that is why we get great players that history its Magic baby…And we will be put back to where we deserve

  • Jason

    Don’t leave KOBES

  • xipricelessix

    I JUST HOPE THE ORGANIZATION FIGURE IT OUT N LISTEN! THANKS

  • lakers1fan

    wow! THAT’S THE WORD FOR THIS MEMO….”WOW” TO THE PERSON WHO WROTE THIS…CAN WE MAIL THIS OUT TO THE LAKER MANAGEMENT OFFICE. I, ASWELL AS ALL TRUE LAKERS FANS FEEL THE SAME WAY THIS LETTER WAS PUT TOGETHER. I AM OUT OF WORDS BECAUSE THIS MEMO SAYS IT ALL!!!

    *************KOBE, YOU GO BOY!!NO SHAME TO YOUR GAME*****************

  • http://hellbydante.deviantart.com hellbydante

    They should’ve called in darryl dawkins to coach bynum instead of kareem.. bynum needs a lesson or two about breaking fingers off whoever dares block his dunks -__-

  • Ant

    a true voice speaking there…thx bro!!

  • punkjones

    Not to nitpick but there are a lot of typos in this article. I’m feeling the sentiment though.

  • Christian Llanes

    PREACH ON! PREACH ON! LAKER FANS HAVENT CELEBRATED ON A CHAMPIONSHIP IN SO LONG AND WE DONT DESERVE TO STOP WATCHIN LAKER BASKETBALL AT THE BEGINNING OF MAY! EVERY TRUE LAKER FAN DOES THANK KOBE FOR VOICING OUT WE WANT!

  • http://www.myspace.com/lickrickstick RiCo

    good stuff!

  • Ouch

    Jeff, I’m not sure that you understand how much harm that Kobe has done to the organization. Because Kobe went public with his demands, every GM in the NBA knows how desperate the Lakers are to make a trade… and now they are FORCED to make a trade. Every GM is quietly laughing and waiting for their phone to ring to hear a potential offer from the Lakers. The Lakers will have to give up more NOW to get a veteran player. If they trade away their best prospects – Odum, Bynum, they are back where they stated. To make it worse, Bynum might just flourish in 2-3 years. I definitely do not see the Lakers having a better year than last year under just about any circumstances other than Buss completely opening up his wallet.

  • Joy

    Excellent Memo,

    For those who continue to say that Kobe has harmed the organization, that is such crap. The organization harmed itself with it’s bad trades, lack of vision, employing the favorite son as a basketball personnel guy which continues to make bad decisions because he’s has no business making basketball personnel decisions in the first place. Bottom line the Lakers were already looked at as foolish since the Shaq trade. The only reason they are or were still talked about or feared is/was Kobe.

    We as an organization will never get better as long as we have Jim Buss in charge because he doesn’t have a clue. You can bring up Bynum as a good move, but it wasn’t a good enough move to help the Lakers succeed. It’s now only in trade value that Bynum really matters and if there was a way to improve the by trading him it should have been done already. Bad decision making has the Laker organization in the posiition it’s in now not Kobe Bryant.

  • Kobe_Rizvanolli

    jeff lee ur great buddy. the first time i heard kobe i thanked him :)

  • http://google Joas

    KOBE say what u know iz rite and u got it dude u are the best in the league right now and they gotta do somthin about it

    KOBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!iz DA MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • kristian

    AMEN BROTHER!!!

  • http://yahoo.com lakerKb_Kgfan

    thank you kobe

  • Skim.

    Wow. Now thats what I call an article.

  • LakerFan4Life

    Ditto, Kobe spoke and thats what counts. He said what all of the true Laker Fans were thinking. Love him or hate him, Kobe was right.

  • lakers1fan

    This is for that “OUCH” person….

    Look, you and all the haters (including the idots from the media) who say KOBE is selfish, his a baby, and now the most ridiculous of all, a repoter from FOX Sports put out today online…something about KOBE should learn from Lebron in making his team better. First of all I think if Lebron was in KOBE shoes at age 30, already won 3 titles and with a team that sucks….believe me Lebron would have already asked to be traded or gone as a free agent somewhere else. Lebron is just starting and I give the CAVS props for making it to the finals..and by the way I hope they win the championship. But let’s wait 5 yrs from now. Let’s say the CAVS win 2 or 3 titles straight and all of a sudden they can’t win a 4th nor a 5th, 6th and so forth. I want to see Lebron being patient waiting hitting his 30ish and no championship anymore. I want to see if Lebron retires a CAV or simply moves on. Secondly, we are talking about THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS NOT the Clippers or some other team….L.A.L is were it all happens!!! Look at the Pistons they them selfs are crumbling down, next will be the Spurs soon to crumble down. Remember all you LAKERS/KOBE HATERS…NOTHING LASTS FOR EVER!!! But don’t hate on KOBE and us die hard LAKERS for not trying and supporting KOBE!