UPDATE: ESPN’s Ric Bucher reported that Kobe said “bring back Jerry West or I want to be traded,” but what #24 told the LA Times for Monday is different:
Bryant said he did not link his future with the Lakers to the hiring of West, as ESPN.com reported Sunday. He has not asked for a trade and did not foresee seeking one if West was not hired.
“I would love for him to be a part of this,” Bryant said. “But it’s not something where I demand he comes here. All I can do is offer my thoughts. I love being a Laker. I want to retire a Laker. I want to fix this thing, or at least help any way I can.”
My gut reaction: Kobe rattles some cages, this is part of his “keep the pressure on” campaign. He wants to see some aggressive moves, and he hopes bringing up the specter of West will do that.
Does anyone have a different take?
â€¢ Kwame Brown undergoes ankle surgery this week, and for his sake I hope itâ€™s not on the bad end of the scales (doctors will decide how much they have to do once they get in there). His going under the knife shouldnâ€™t be a surprise â€” he basically said this during the season. And his already limited movement was even more limited at the end of the season.
â€¢ The surgery has led to the question: How does this impact the ability to trade Kwame? And what about Odom and his surgery?
Iâ€™ve said this before about Kwame but let me say it again â€” there was no demand for Kwame around the league BEFORE the surgery. There was no GM in the league saying, â€œYou know who would make my team better? Kwame Brown.â€ Laker fans seem to seriously overestimate his trade value. He was the Lakers best center last season by default, but he was a â€œC-â€œ player this year on the whole and his reputation around the league is worse. He was only going to be part of any deal as salary filler, nothing more. The surgery will make it even harder to move him even as filler â€” remember the days of teams just taking on expiring contracts are fading. The surgery makes it more likely that if he gets moved it will be next season at the trading deadline. A summer trade is not impossible, but again Kwame would be an afterthought.
As for Odom, he still has trade value, but teams are going to want him to see play a little first. Again, a summer trade becomes less likely, if they do move him a training camp or trading deadline move is more likely.
â€¢ Kobe Bryant told the LA Times heâ€™s still frustrated and wants the team to make move. Not that heâ€™ll say what those moves are (at least publicly). And thanks to the two surgeries mentioned above, Laker management has few options.
â€¢ If there was one class Iâ€™d like to see high school and college kids take, it would be something titled â€œBeing media savvy.â€ The way information is distributed today and the ways the â€œmediaâ€ handle things often has ulterior motives (usually making money and/or gaining notoriety) and if you understand that you understand your world a lot better.
I bring that up because Bill Plaschke pulled a William Rhoden in the Sunday LA Times calling for Kobe to be traded. Read this post at True Hoop and just substitute Plaschkeâ€™s name in for Rhoden. Plaschke made Simers the rational columnist today. Enough said.
â€¢ You are all just lucky I donâ€™t turn this into an Americaâ€™s Cup blog for the next month. (And you think Iâ€™m kidding, I love the AC.)