My job here at Laker Nation is to be the voice of the fans, thinking, debating, and dreaming of the best scenario for the Los Angeles Lakers. Explaining how we could get KG, how we could still go far in the playoffs, or how we can still acquire a big name. But now it’s time to be real and look at the facts and arrive at an educated guess of what will happen to the Lakers.
As hard as it is for me to say, a DIEHARD Kobe Bryant and Laker Fan. KOBE BRYANT will NOT finish his career as a Los Angeles Laker.
It all starts when talks first surfaced that someone from the front office said the Shaq trade was Kobe’s fault. After hearing this I first thought, “Here we go again, can Kobe or the Lakers ever shake the Shaq story?” After hearing Kobe’s trade demands, having him rescind those demands, demanding a trade again, talking to Buss in Spain, coming to training camp, and now Buss’s latest statements the answer to that question is No.
Kobe Bryant will never be able to stay in Los Angeles without having the “Shaq Shadow” haunt him until he wins another championship. Regardless if Shaq is on his last leg, or that Shaq’s Heat got swept by a young Chicago Bull team. Kobe and Shaq will always be linked together.
Kobe has always been blamed, and the front office especially Buss, never stepped up to the plate and said,” Yes, I traded Shaq because I wanted too, and I felt it was the right decision in the long run for this franchise, and NO Kobe Bryant had nothing to do with my decision nor did he say anything to me regarding O’Neal’s future!”
Buss never fully had Kobe’s back, and he let the media eat up the story that Kobe forced Shaq out because he wanted his own team. That frustration accumulated over the years for Kobe. However, he always brushed it off because it was from other meaningless sources.
However, when word got out this summer that someone officially from the precious Laker front office backed those vicious rumors, it made Kobe lose all faith in the Laker organization. The people he felt was on his side, now turned against him.
After all this it seemed that Phil Jackson, Buss, and other Laker management talked to Kobe and he was ready to put everything behind him and lead his troops back to the postseason. But once again we were all fooled.
The talk in Spain come to find out was unsuccessful. Buss talked till he was blue in the face why Kobe should stay and at the end Kobe basically said, “I feel you but umm, I still want out!”
The damage was already done and especially after realizing all the big time players that desperately wanted to become Lakers didn’t. The likes of Baron Davis, Jermaine O’neal, Ron Artest, and recently Jason Kidd all would have loved to play in LA with Kobe. But, the Lakers failed at that miserably.
It seems for the first time in the Buss regime that he is ready to rebuild and doesn’t really mind if they don’t win now!
After seeing all the facts this summer and following this story religiously. The recent Buss statements filled all Laker diehards into desperation of what will happen to this team we love so much. Looking at the entire situation, at this time in Kobe’s career and how much he wants to be a winner, there’s no doubt that if we were all in Kobe’s shoes we would want out too. The Laker purple and Gold is beautiful and the fans are indeed “sweethearts”, but sometimes the bad outweighs the good and you have to do what is best for you as an individual player, your family, and your legacy.
So from now until doomsday, Kobe will remain quiet so the Lakers can get a decent offer without other owners looking at the Lakers as a charity case much like what happened with Allen Iverson in Philadelphia.
It might not be in the near future, it might not happen until the February deadline, heck it might not be until this summer but as a diehard Laker fan it now seems that it is the inevitable.
The only plausible reason that I can see Kobe staying is if somehow we get an unbelievable trade that makes us an instant contender and leaving would just not be in his best interest. However, with Mitch Kupchack saying “He likes this team”, and grading the Lakers in the past it doesn’t seem like they’re even capable of pulling the trigger. That gun left when Jerry West did.
So for the Los Angeles Lakers, if this indeed happens, you have traded the most dominant center in NBA history, and arguably the closest thing to the best ever in Kobe Bryant all in a matter of 4 years.
Dr.Buss you’re not winning this hand of poker. Because you just folded pocket aces!