Iâ€™m already sick of it, and as a Laker fan I guess Iâ€™m going to have to get used to a season full of it. Because everytime the Lakers head to a new city for a road game, that story will resurface. Let alone the constant drumbeat this issue is going to get in the local media (talk radio will beat it into the ground alone).
Personally, I think Kobe has been pretty clear about what he wants:
He wants to win. Thatâ€™s it. Heâ€™d prefer to do it as a Laker but if the front office canâ€™t pull it together heâ€™ll look elsewhere.
Where the issue gets complex is how to make that a reality â€” issues of trades for other players to the Lakers or Kobe out of town are fraught with player quality and luxury tax issues. But from where I sit Kobeâ€™s core message has always been very simple.
Iâ€™m not going to blame the coming wave of Kobecentric speculative stores on the â€œmainstream media monsterâ€ because we asked for it.
Not us personally, I could live without it, but the fact of the matter is these Kobe stories draw readers/viewers. To use an example, you and I may mock â€œAround the Hornâ€ but it wouldnâ€™t be on the air if it didnâ€™t get decent ratings. Say what you will about the media, but it is now a corporate-owned beast driven by the bottom line â€” which means if you are not reading or watching something, it goes away. Fast.
In a world where the goal is to generate â€œeyeballsâ€ the â€œwhat does Kobe want/say?â€ stories are going to be a staple of the coming season.
RIP, Eddie Griffin.
Team USA gets going tonight against what-do-you-mean-weâ€™re-not-hosts Venezuela. Iâ€™m going to be watching, although Iâ€™m not sure we learn much about the team from this game.
UPDATE: Quick thoughts on the game last night: It didnâ€™t really tell us much. Yes, Kobe played good pressure defense and as a whole the USA forced 19 turnovers. Yes, Jason Kiddâ€™s passing got players the ball in positions to succeed, something that became infectious. Yes, the USA as a team shot a reasonable 38.5% from three. Yes, the USA also showed some adjustment to the international game is still needed. But to my eyes this game looked a lot like an early game at the Worlds last year â€” this team is just way too talented for the competition it faced. The USA overwhelmed Venezuela. Until they play Brazil or Argentina Iâ€™m not sure how much we can tell. The coming destruction of the Virgin Islands tonight will look a lot like last nightâ€™s game.
My other thought â€” the mascot for this tournament may be the worst I’ve ever seen. One of the more creative bloggers out there needs to go after this one.