Kobe and the Desperation Samba

Kurt —  June 14, 2007

With draft day nearing plus guys who could be a potential boost to the Lakers on the trading block — say Jermaine O’Neal or even Chris Duhon — fans are waiting for something to happen. Anything to happen.

But making any substantive move is going to be a challenge for Mitch Kupchak, Jerry Buss and the rest of the front office — and Kobe Bryant can take some of the blame for that.

There are some basic rules to follow in getting any deal done. Maybe you’re trying to buy a new car and negotiating with a dealer. Maybe you’re in a bar at 1:10 am trying to convince the blond girl she really doesn’t have to go alone to her apartment for the night.

Either way, right at the top of the list — do not act or sound desperate.

If you come off as desperate to buy the car, the dealer will not budge on the price. And women can smell desperation a mile away and run from it like gazelles on the African plains.

A couple weeks ago, when Kobe went on just about every radio talk show in America to vent his frustrations, he sounded desperate. He got the fan base to feel and sound desperate. He told the front office to act desperate.

And now, part of the Lakers leverage in negotiations is gone. Every GM in the league knows just how much pressure the Laker front office is to make a deal, so why not ask for everything they could possibly want — the pressure is on the Lakers to make the deal. Not Indy, they want to move O’Neal but they will have multiple offers. Not Chicago, they don’t have to give up Duhon. Not on any team the Lakers will talk to about a trade.

Kobe turned up the heat on the front office trying to force a deal, and I think we can all see why. But how he did it means all Laker fans may get burned.