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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.
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.