Posted by Dragon , 21 June 2007 · 875 views
A few weeks ago the NBA Finals hadn't even started yet. Lebron and the Cavs were trying to make a comeback against the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals and the Spurs were trying to relax themselves as they awaited the winner in the Finals. However, the main news wasn't about the impending matchup of the Cleveland Lebrons and the San Antonio Spurs. It was about Kobe Bryant demanding to be traded and then taking his statement back and then demanding to be traded again. I guess it was for good reason since the finals provided nothing more exciting and news worthy than Eva Longoria running onto the court after the sweep to hug her fiance, Tony Parker. I am one of the many who are wondering what the Lakers will do with Kobe. Ever since the first basketball game I ever watched, (Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals when Michael Jordan's Bulls defeated Magic Johnson's Lakers) I have never lost love for either team or organization... until now. I call myself a Bulls/Lakers fan but my love of the Lakers is wavering as I watch and hear about the (for lack of a better term) bullshit that the Lakers Front Office pulled regarding Shaquille O'Neal after the loss to the Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals. It's no secret that Kobe and Shaq weren't the greatest friends and that Kobe wanted to be the one to carry a team to a Championship. I can understand that. A player of Kobe's caliber will always want to be the center of a championship team. However, his lack of a buddy-buddy relationship with Shaq didn't mean that Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchick along with the rest of the Lakers FO could make it out to be all Kobe's fault that the team traded Shaq. Kupchick came out and said to the media that if he had to make a choice between Kobe and Shaq that he'd always choose Kobe. Kinda messed up to hear this coming from someone in the front office. Jerry Buss said that there was "no way in hell" that he would pay Shaq the kind of money that he wanted and then he and the rest of the FO proceeded to feed the media a bunch of garbage saying that Kobe was the cause. I blame Kobe for not making it known that he wasn't responsible at that time, but I understand his reasoning. At the time that the Shaq trade happened, Kobe was trying to decide on his future. He was a free agent and was being courted by the Clippers and the Bulls among a host of other teams. He wasn't sure if he wanted to stay a Laker or not and if he stayed he didn't want to have an issue with the FO. Problem is... now he has one. The other issue was the promise that Buss and Kupchick made to Bryant at the time that has yet to be fulfilled. Buss and Kupchick promised that they would rebuild the team as fast as possible and have Kobe back in the Championship picture in a few years. Three years later, the Lakers still haven't won a playoff series and Kobe feels betrayed by the organization. As much as I would love for this to be resolved, I want Kobe to get into a better situation. Kobe is one of my favorite players and he deserves better than what he is getting. Unfortunately the Lakers are going to ask for a King's Ransom in return for Bryant. The first offer I've heard so far has been to my Bulls and the Lakers were asking for Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Ben Wallace and the 9th pick in the draft. Now as much as I would like to see The Black Mamba in a Bulls uniform, I'd personally travel to Chicago and kick Paxson in the nuts if he makes that trade. After that I heard something about a three team deal involving the Lakers, Bulls and Wizards, but I haven't heard any specifics aside from it sending Kobe to Chicago. Again, Kobe deserves to be a part of an organization that actually wants to put a team on the court that's capable of winning, or at least competing for, a championship. As much as I'd love for him to stay in Purple and Gold and have all of the fences mended, unless the Lakers Front Office is truly committed to putting a great team out on the court I believe that Kobe needs to be moved to another team.