In case you were living under a rock yesterday, Wilt Chamberlain and Chick Hearn began rolling over in their graves due to wanna-be Jack Bauer's nonstop drama. Kobe Bryant opened the morning on ESPN Radio asking for a trade from the Lakers. He came back on the radio twice, each time further backing off his comments after speaking with Phil Jackson and Magic Johnson. A lot of analysis can and has been done on this subject, but let us make it clear that Kobe is NOT going to be traded.
Kobe simply is trying to orchestrate a Jerry West return to run the "mess" of an organization that is the Lakers, or force the current front office of Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss to make some type of trade to bring the team back to a contending status. Ironically enough, the great Seattle Sonic Ray Allen predicted this three years ago:
"He's going to be very selfish," Allen said of Bryant. "And he feels like he needs to show this league and the people in this country that he is better without Shaq. He can win championships without Shaq. So offensively, he's going to jump out and say, 'I can average 30 points. I can still carry the load on this team.'
"I think the point production is not going to be so much what people are going to look at because (Tracy) McGrady did it in Orlando, Allen (Iverson) did it in Philly. Can you win a championship? I think that's the question. Carrying guys on your back and making everybody better."
Allen was right about that, as it turns out, but get a load of Allen's crystal ball on this one.
"If Kobe doesn't see he needs two and a half good players to be a legitimate playoff contender or win a championship, in about a year or two he'll be calling out to Jerry Buss that 'We need some help in here,' or 'Trade me,' " Allen said. "And we'll all be saying, 'I told you so,' when he says that."
Man alive, that is some good stuff. He was almost exactly right. It took three seasons instead of two, but Kobe finally did exactly what Ray said he was going to do. Unbelievable.
- Frank Hughes, The News Tribune
Furthermore, Kobe is now claiming that he was not responsible for the departure of Shaq. While he may have never verbally asked the Lakers to rid of Shaq, let us not forget what Kobe has said before, leaving owner Jerry Buss no choice but to choose the younger attraction over the aging winner. The Big Fella has agreed, but this is after legends such as Bill Russell have adviced him to put the whole dramatic situation behind him.
Finally, another blog points out how it seems that Kobe is the type of person that strives to outshine everything else and be the main headline:
- January 22, 2006: Kobe scores 81 points against Toronto on the same day that the Steelers defeated the Broncos and the Seahawks defeated the Panthers in the NFL Conference Championships.
- December 29, 2006 and December 31, 2006: Kobe scores 58 and 35 (only 2 free throw attempts)..The final weekend of the NFL season.
- March 16, 2007 through April 3, 2007: Kobe scores 65, 50, 60, 50, 43, 23(7-26), 53, 19(6-14), and 39. The NCAA tournament started on March 15 and ended April 2nd, and MLB had it’s opening days April 1-3.
- April 6, 2007 and April 8, 2007: 24 drops 46 and 34 on The Masters which took place April 5-8. Kobe didn’t break 40 on the 8th for lack of trying. He was 14-25 from the field, but 1-5 from 3 and only got to the line 5 times.
- May 26, 2007-May 30, 2007: Kobe starts the trade demands and calls them off. Then starts them again then calls them off all while the NBA Conference Finals, Indy 500, and Stanley Cup Finals are taking place.