HOOPSWORLD.COM: The Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant have found themselves suddenly painted into a corner.
Bryant has demanded the return of Jerry West to help guide the team back to a championship. The Laker star has clearly lost faith in those currently running the team (General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Vice President of Player Personnel Jim Buss). Though Bryant denies (or has backed off from) actually requesting a trade if West does not return, the message is clear . . . Bryant is unhappy he wants immediate change.
The Lakers are stuck. West is moving to West Virginia. Though he may be open to being a consultant (at a high salary), he’s not about to displace Kupchak from his current position.
Laker owner Jerry Buss has begun the succession process giving his son Jim increased authority over the team’s basketball decisions. To bring back West would be an affront to the owner’s son . . . one a father is unlikely to make.
Can and will West return in some capacity? Certainly.