Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kobe Bryant is Still a Malcontent. And Leaves Change Color in Autumn.

There's very little that annoys me more than the continuing saga of Kobe Bryant. Billion Dollar talent, ten-cent head. The guy's never ponied up to any blame, not once taken responsibility, and I can't remember the last time he made a decision to assist another at his own detriment.
This situation is just another example of the exasperating nature of Kobe. The man is a blessing and a curse in the greatest sense of the word.
Supposedly, he's going to either Chicago, Dallas, or Phoenix. I'm here to tell you that he's not going anywhere.
It's another bit of acting by Bryant, another performance by Lakers' management-an attempt to prelude the inevitable trade. But don't confuse inevitable with impending.
Kobe's got two seasons to go before he can opt out and leave LA with nothing to show for their superstar. While they have him, there's no reason for Jerry Buss and co. to sell low on one of the 3 best players in the NBA. They'll milk his talent for all It's worth, and next offseason the highest approved bidder will claim Bryant.
What would Dallas give up to get Bryant? Howard and Terry seem to be the common factors in every suggested deal. They'd need to throw in either DJ Mbenga and Mo Ager, or alternatively DeSagana Diop; probably draft picks as well. That's one borderline all-star and a one-dimensional shooting guard, as well as two extremely raw youngsters and a late first rounder. Does that make LA better?
Chicago: Tyrus Thomas, Ben Gordon, and Tyson Chandler. Deal or no deal? If LA does this, it would be for potential. I really can't find fault with that way of thinking. But look at it this way; there is nothing remotely approaching a sure thing involved in this deal. Gordon is best used as a backup, and in LA he'd be the second best player on the team. Chandler is a good young center, but the Lakers are trying to develop their own. And Thomas could become Chris Bosh or Tyrus Thomas.
Phoenix: Marion+Diaw? I'm not convinced that Phoenix would do that, although it would give them the scariest threesome in history. Stoudemire straight up? I'm not sure that either club would pull the trigger; Phoenix because of his ability to dominate and his youth, LA because of his injury history.
To conclude: I simply don't see it. It may be me being overly skeptical, but this looks like showboating, overdramatization, making a mountain out of a molehill. Kobe Bryant will not be a Maverick on opening day, and he probably won't be a Bull or a Sun either.
But next offseason, I'll be watching.

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