Preseason Game 2: Will They Talk About Anything But Kobe?

Kurt —  October 11, 2007

It’s blown up all over — Jerry Buss sat down with reporters in Hawaii and said he’d consider trading Kobe. He doesn’t want to, but he’ll consider it.

There are plenty of people saying this “dumped gasoline on the almost extinguished fire,” but if Buss had come out and said “we will never trade Kobe” that is what would have set #24 off again.

If you read both stories (LA Times and OC Register) I think this is just Buss being honest about what happened this summer. First, Kobe goes Vesuvius. Eventually Kobe sat down with both Mitch and Buss and, as Buss said, they made their pitches and Kobe said he is still frustrated and would like out. Then I think they both told him “if that’s what you want, we’ll keep an open mind, but we’re not going to trade you for Luther Head and an expiring contract or two.” Buss said he’s kept Kobe apprised of the lowball offers that rolled in, so Kobe would understand.

If Buss had played to the fans and taken a hard line in the interview — directly contradicting what he told Kobe to his face — that is what would have destroyed what is left of his relationship with Kobe, it would have hardened Kobe’s heart toward opting out regardless of what the Lakers did. So Buss professed his love of Kobe, said he wants to make moves that would keep him here (“”I wish he felt differently. And if we win, I think he will feel differently. So we’ll just wait and see if we can win.”) and at the same time put other GMs on notice that they will not be taking lowball offers — come for real or don’t come at all.

And I’m not sure any of this is really a big shocker. Kobe knows that his frustrated outburst hurt his chances of being traded (or getting a trade that would help him out) so he will continue to say all the “good soldier” stuff. If Buss had taken any other tack in that interview, things might have been different.

Buss traditionally does one of these camp interviews, and he usually looks big picture. He’s got short-term issues (Kobe, not to mention Phil’s contract) but panicking on these issues is how teams end up with the Knicks roster from last season.

So, we wait and tonight watch game two of the Lakers and Warriors. As was said after the last game, the Warriors are a team that makes many a defense look disjointed. What we want to see is improvement — from players and the team — as the preseason wears on. So that is what I’m looking for.

Kurt

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58 responses to Preseason Game 2: Will They Talk About Anything But Kobe?

  1. Thanks Kurt, voice of reason.

  2. I think Dr. Buss basically said what everyone should have known all along. I still don’t understand those who thought that what went on this summer could just be swept under the rug. Kobe’s radio tour was some pretty heavy stuff. Contrary to what he said it wasn’t just him being frustrated and blowing up. Darko Milic after that loss this summer, going on a profanity laced tirade was blowing up from emotion. Kobe had time to settle down and think out exactly what he was going to say.

    The fact that Buss has basically said he will not take some crappy low ball offer at this time is good for the Lakers. He knows Kobe is contractually obligated for two more years, and at that time he will be squeezed.

    Wait until the Bulls or Suns or Mavericks or someone doesn’t have the year they thought they were going to have and become “desperate” as the year goes on. Offers for Kobe will become better.

  3. What I find interesting about Buss’ comments is he mentions Bynum, LO and Kwame as trade bait by name. Not in those words, exactly, but that’s how I read it.

  4. The fact of the matter is, you have him here.

    okay?

    so why not try to work with what you’ve got and what you’ve got just so happens to be the best NBA player in the game right now.

    the dude is discontent b/c there is seemingly no real motive to win now with the lakers. but the lakers can change that by bringing in better players.

    it really is that simple.

    forget all this “kobe’s not untouchable” “we don’t want to but we will if we have to” and “nobody will love you like LA loves you”… all that’s nonsense. the dude is here. right now. work with him right now.

  5. btw, I forgot to leave my name.

    work with kobe now! – cBuck sez

  6. Kurt, I wish your words could be read by all Laker fans. Complete overreaction will ensue, at least you explained the reality of the interview

  7. 3) I couldn’t agree more. Buss was more “frank” than about 99% of executives around the sporting world. I found the naming names thing very unusual.

    The thing is, their point of leverage in any deal, for Kobe or other players, couldn’t get much worse. I think the fact that he let everyone know we wouldn’t be getting reamed in a deal was a good move. Teams will have to make a good deal with us if they want anything to get done.

  8. I posted this at the end of the last thread, but it is part of the headline for this thread, so…

    Regarding Mike Bresnahan’s article…
    1) You have to consider the source AND his biases. There was one sentence that jumped out at me, “His unhappiness had steadily grown from the time the Lakers were eliminated by Phoenix…”. This is simply not true. Kobe got progressively more angry between April and June. Since then we have heard NOTHING from him. He may be getting more and more angry, but we currently know nothing about his feelings since those June outbursts. Mike makes the implication that Kobe’s anger has continued to rise throughout the summer. Sounds like a reporter starting a fire to me.
    2) Buss talked like a businessman who owns a piece of property he dearly loves. Sorry fellow fans, this is the real world and the best we can hope is that the owner loves his team – at least the now deceased Bidwell doesn’t own the Lakers.
    3) The article illustrates that Buss and Kobe do have an ongoing relationship, but they also have areas of disagreement – gee! that’s a real suprise.

    I really don’t see where this article adds more fuel to our current fire, but then again I am not a ‘news’ reporter and I don’t expect the Lakers to do anything that would compromise the liquidity of the franchise long term.

    The Lakers and Kobe have been quiet all summer about this. It is the press and us fans that just won’t let go. We want resolution and we want resolution now. None of us are going to get what we want right now – not the Lakers, not Kobe, and not us. We expect a Perry Mason script or a football game where everything is neatly tied up in an hour, but the real world doesn’t work like that.

    Thanks somewhat for the calming stuff Kurt, but I don’t think most of us really want to hear anything if it isn’t a complete resolution of this matter.

  9. the other Stephen October 11, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    shut the hell up, buss. what the heck is his problem.

  10. If we want to talk about this like a business, then you have to identify why Kobe is so valuable to the team. Its because he sells tickets and TV advertising. No player has been as exciting to watch as Kobe since MJ. Tim Duncan would make the team better but Kobe sells the tickets. I do not see any trade out there that would be viable in Jerry’s eyes unless it would provide an instant champion. Everything else would be a step backwards. Because of this, I do not think a trade will happen. Not unless Kobe really forced it.

  11. Wow! The Lakers know drama.

    This may be one of the most important seasons in Laker history. The Lakers are either going to come through the adversity and ball… or they are going to flounder and self destruct. Either way, the direction of the franchise for the next few years depends on what happens this season.

    I hope the Lakers win enough games for this to go away. I do not want to see Kobe in another uniform. But if it comes down to it, I am a Laker fan 1st and a Kobe fan 2nd.

    Lakers for life no matter who is wearing the purple and gold.

  12. Oherewego…

    I advise a media blackout for FB&G regulares,
    or rather, a pundit blather alert

    No sports talk radio, no SportsCenter
    through the next week and a half
    as the team returns from Hawaii.

    You know what will happen–
    the heads will reinterpret what has been printed
    three different ways without ever having talked
    to the parties of the first part,

    the notorious “Laker Insider” will rear its ugly head,
    and even if they have an interview with anybody
    on the team ( probably Mihm or Karl under pretense
    talking of post injury or newcomer feedback )
    they’ll wait till the dude hangs up and then refute
    any positive comments as spin, repeat their own
    tarot card findings and take callers who agree.

    Joy. Rapture.

    – 5 -

  13. skigi,
    Well said!

  14. News about tonight’s game (that you will not be watching live because you are not in Hawaii, nor am I): Luke Walton is expected to play but Mo Evans will sit out this and a few days of practice after a mild hamstring pull.

  15. From Hawaii: Javaris Crittenton
    ===================

    http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/071005_postcards_javariscrittenton.html

    -great grasp of the game.. Real steal for the lakers.

  16. Javaris Crittenton….I like this kid…

    as far as the drama….some one needed a story desperately and rehased the same old same old….you know…that is how I am seeing this…let it alone.

    Kobe need not respond to this…he should do like TO and post a Note in his locker (which I thought hilarious) to say something like

    Dear Media,

    Here is my comment about the “new” trade talks and my over all state of well being and happiness with the Lakers

    “blah blah blah”

    and you can quote me on that!

    Love Kobe

  17. FInally, some sense in this story…

    This is a business and the Lakers are more important than Kobe. This is a professional sport where there’s no love for the shirt the player wears.

    Buss is doing the right thing, IMO. If someone wants Kobe, they’ll have to pay for him, as it should be…

  18. i thought Buss said all the right stuff to actually appease Kobe. He basically stroked his ego saying ‘it’s hard to get a reasonable offer’ while also stating that he ‘loves kobe’ and that he will actually listen to Kobe’s trade demands.

    perfect.

    scary thing for KB and LA fan like me is that all of it sounds too true. You trade KB if you get equal value, and they part ways. simple as that. however, that’s the LAST thing i want to see, especially with boston looking good.

    i want talent AROUND kobe, and go for LA-BO part II.

    Kobe, Odom, Marion or Kirilenko vs. Allen, Pierce and KG, perhaps?

    PGs and Cs cancel out, and we see three stars against another three :)

  19. Kurt, I agree that there was nothing wrong wtih what Buss said. The problem is that the MSM sites will spin it another way. Almost like Buss is actively trying to trade Kobe. Which obviously is not the case.

    It just brings attention toward this team that they don’t really need. If anything, he should just refrain from interviews at this time. Because the media is hungry for Kobe/Lakers drama to spin a certain way. That’s just my opinion.

    P.S. Poor John Black. It never ends for that guy.

  20. I’ll be at the game tonite (I’m a Clipper fan living in Honolulu, and this is the only live NBA fix I get without jaunting to the mainland), and will have my thoughts on said proceedings (no guarantees provided as to worthwhileness of referenced inner ponderances) up on my glob tomorrow (knock on wood, assuming I don’t suddenly break out with dengue fever)….

    http://adognamedclipper.blogspot.com/

    by the way, hate (ok, don’t HATE, but dislike) the lakers, but love this blog; keep up the great werk…

  21. JONESONTHENBA,
    Buss could have said nothing, but he took the time, early in the year, to really make his star feel important. We have to remember it is an art to avoid painting the tiger into a corner and forcing him to fight. Buss is going the extra mile, exposing himself to tremendous criticism and media pressure, and removing said pressure from Kobe at the same time. Kobe is not stupid and, having complained about being lied to, I suspect he is appreciative that ‘the boss’ took a bullet for him in the media.

  22. P.S.
    Oh! And it doesn’t help that Kobe knows the Lakers are capable of trading him. We must remember that does hold a veto card on any trade. Wouldn’t it be unique if he decided he wanted to stay and vetoed any proposed trade. Hmmm!

    If Kobe goes anywhere and the Lakers become competitive within the next 2-3 years, then he will be forever labeled as a talented guy who doesn’t make playoff teams better. It is something I sure wouldn’t want on my legacy.

  23. Again, I don’t think there was anything wrong with what Buss said. I just think that anything that draws media attention to that issue right now is bad, because the media is going to overplay it and spin it in all kinds of directions. I wish that this was not the case, but we all know how the MSM’s operate. But again, everything Buss said was on point. And it’s refreshing to see an owner be so open with a fan base.

  24. If you ask me, Buss confirms the decisions made as if he as the one who actually made them. He actually is.

    I agree, any light to the Kobe tirade issue is not good for LA. It does not help publicity nor trade leverage.

    Off-topic controversy:

    You should visit fan forums like RealGM. Its Hilarious. Could you believe that the going rate for Kobe is Ben Gordon, Ty Thomas and fillers? Is that even fair? Yet they make it sound like its what the Lakers can get at best.

    They make it sound like Deng is untouchable and that he is larger than Kobe. Then they make those silly comments like Kobe is not KG. Perhaps the Bulls should really think about trading for Kobe… those haters will suddenly turn out die-hards in a milisecond.

    Anyways, I still maintain that the worst thing that could happen is that we let Kobe walk in 09. By then, that won’t be such a bad idea anymore – if he still thinks he is better off elsewhere.

    May I ask this forum what offer you think is FAIR as for the Bulls package?

  25. Buss said what he had to say at the best possible time… nearly a month before the games actually count. Kobe is not going anywhere. He knows it and Buss knows it. But leaving the door open takes pressure off of everyone. Yes, in reality, the door opens up to a brick wall. But at least Kobe feels that his request is being nominally honored (a big deal for someone as stubborn and sensitive as he appears to be), and everyone can focus on basketball for the time being… except for Ric Bucher who is blabbing away about this non-story on ESPN as we speak. .

  26. the other Stephen October 12, 2007 at 4:08 am

    Ric Bucher is a dum dum.

  27. The Lakers are trying to trade Kobe but they wont give him up for crap. The end result is Kobe will be complaining for the next 2 years and then opts out with maybe a sign and trade. Lets hope the Lakers can develop some young talent or make some kind of deal that either keeps Kobe in LA or makes it easier to trade him. Kobe is a jackass and it seems to get worse as he gets older. If Kobe does not want to be here, I dont want him here. I pull for the Lakers and hate guys who are on the Lakers who are malcontents. I dont care how good you are, playing for the Lakers should be an honor and something you want to do. I personally think Buss wants him gone just like he did Shaq and I cant say I blame him, its just the difference will be that he wont give him away.

  28. Kurt,

    You make good points. But you fail to mention the terrible timing of this interview. For better or worse the Lakers are trying to build unity in the preseason and the statements from Buss basically tell the world Kobe is still on the trading block and oh by the way so is Lamar, Brown, and Bynum. And oh yeah, everyone else on our team is basically untradeable because they have no value–talent or otherwise. That’s why people are upset. How does this help the current team grow together. It doesn’t. It is just silly and poor timing. You also failed to mention how inconsistent his comments were RE Mitch, i.e., great manager has not made any mistake, oh yeah but we don’t have any tradeable assets because everybody sucks and is injury prone. So while I appreciater your reasonable take on the article to me you failed to discuss the most important issue-timing.

    One specific example, Lamar has openly stated he is willing to look past the trade rumors from the summer but he doesn’t want to keep hearing them. Thanks Buss for letting him know publicly that he is still trade bait. That should do wonders for his productivety this season.

  29. And by the way, the Lakers look terrible through 2 preseason games, including Kobe, but with Kobe it has more to do with him just going through the motions. I know, I know, still early, blah blah blah, but it is still early for the Celtics and they look great, playing with lots of unity and intensity on both ends of the floor. The Lakers, well, still injured, still giving up points like crazy, turning the ball over every other play, shooting poorly, and not demonstrating any real team unity. Of course, all that can change, but those are the facts as I currently see them.

    Anyone that thinks this team can win 50 wins is crazy. And sure, they may get lucky and sneak out of the first round after a 45 win season but if it happens it will be an anomoly and nothing meaningfull. We won’t have any real hope that they can contend.

    I love the Lakers and I hate to be so pessimistic, but lets face it, this team as currently assemble is garbage.

  30. OK, one last point, on a more positive note, I really like this blog so please keep up the good work!

  31. In watching the Lakers over the first 2 preseason games, I have come to the conclusion that this is a talented team. Does this team as configured have some
    holes? Yes they do, but I would submit that almost every team in the NBA does. But the Lakers have at least
    two things going for them: #1 a Hall of Fame coach in Phil Jackson and # 2 a future Hall of Famer in Kobe Bryant. The key to the Lakers succes is these two stepping up and accepting their respective challenges.
    For Phil, it is being more flexible and playing into the strengths of this team – the backcourt! We should see a lot of three guard sets this season i.e. Kobe, D-Fish and Sasha/Coby Karl /Crittendon; Kobe/ Farmer/Sasha/Crittendon etc.. For Kobe, it is having a MVP season – 30 +ppg, 7.0 apg, 7+rpg and setting the tone on defense with focus & intensity. In short, he has to be Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen! If he faces this seasons challenge with focus & maturity, the Lakers can contend this year.

  32. Wow, now Buss opening his big mouth is a good thing? Nothing positive can be achieved, only the attention from the media to a matter that’s no longer a public issue. Phil said Kobe certainly was distracted by the Buss comments, not as what many here assumed that Kobe welcomed this public “honoring” his trade demand. However, Kobe takes the high road and will do his best to fight for the team with his teammates.

    Stupid Buss to bring this demand stuff to the surface up again, bad timing. All the talks about Kobe’s outburst hurt the team’s chance to make deals, Buss’s public trade considerations lowers his star player’s trade value too.

    Big ups for Kobe. Big downs for Buss.

  33. I believe that the Bulls’ reticence to trade for Kobe is genuine because they operate under the concept that they don’t need a ‘superstar.’ Also, although it’s not disputed that Kobe’s the best player in the planet right now, it remains to be seen whether he can win on a team that is stripped of talent in the process of trading for him.

  34. I support Buss. Kobe is basically the Derek Bell of the NBA when it comes to his team and teammates. If he does not get what he wants, he makes demands, throws tantrums, and when criticized, goes into “Operation Shutdown”. He did it years ago by refusing to shoot the ball because he was criticised for shooting too much. Now he makes trade demands, goes to the media and just whines all while throwing teammates under the bus like he did Shaq when Kobe was accused of rape. Personalities can be ignored and dealt with when they want to be on the team, but when you make trade demands, the personality is no longer tolerable. Not trading Kobe is going to cause more long term damage to this team then not trading him. If you can get a good deal for him, then do it. If not, then let him walk in 2 years and just start again. Buss didnt say anything Kobe was not told to his face so do make a big deal out of it. If Kobe can go into Operation Shutdown, then so can Buss. If no deal is made, I would just let Kobe walk with no fanfare. No player is bigger then the club when he does not even want to be here.

  35. Should a player have loyalty to a team, that by all calculations, is better off n a dollar and cents sense, not contending for a championship? I don’t even know if Buss is to blame. The current way that the cap and trade laws are written inspire a complicated web of unintended incentives on the parts of players and owners alike.
    On another note, has the Laker’s defense been that abysmal in the preseason against Golden State, because it’s that difficult to defend their style in an exhibition game without unnecessary risk of injury, or is there something deeply wrong with the Lakers’ defensive scheme?
    Lastly, Kobe’s pasing has not been crisp. He is essentially being asked to play the 1 on offense. His passing skills are very good for a 2 guard. Is he being asked to step his passing game up to be on par with the better 1 guards in the league?

  36. Jeremy, “Buss didnt say anything Kobe was not told to his face so do not make a big deal out of it.” Don’t you understand that has nothing to do with why people are upset? Buss comments were unecessary and untimely, that is the point. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The team is trying to get ready for the season and they have their owner saying publicly, for the first time, that Kobe is on the trading block, along with some of his teammates. He also said the rest of the team has no value. You seriouly don’t understand why that might not sit well with the team as they try to move on from the off-season’s turmoil? Please don’t let your Kobe haterness blind you. And although I do not condone Kobe’s tirade this summer the dude never spoke out publicly UNTIL JIM BUSS publicly attacked his character and leaked blatant lies to the media. But you can continue to ignore that fact. Finally, dude, get over the whole Shaq crap, eveybody knows professional athletes cheat on their spouses regularly, including the self-proclaimed MDE. Hard to throw someone under the bus when it is already public knowledge.

    If the Lakers want to part ways with Kobe or honor his trade request, then fine, but can’t we all agree that Jerry Buss needs to shut up until he has something relevant to say–such as actually announcing a trade.

  37. Preseason games mean next to nothing… especially the really early ones. Jackson is giving significant minutes to guys who might not even make the team and keeping guys with the sniffles out entirely. Nobody wants to get hurt, so nobody is going to step in and take a charge from Baron Davis or any ot the other Warrior slashers. Their bodies will get plenty banged up from 82 real games. Right now they are just trying to get some rythem and figure out where they are suppose to be on the court. It’s not even a dress rehearsal yet. The Warriors are a decent team, and probably more prepared at the moment, but only because their offense is looser and easier to run than the Lakers’.

  38. Joe, Buss does two or three sitdowns a year with reporters, almost always one before the season starts. If he had skipped it, Plaschke would be writing a column in a week or two about how Buss skipped talking to the media and that is a bad sign. The timing may not have been ideal, but outside of some media trying to make this a big deal, who really cares? Nobody in the front office. Not Kobe, based on what he said today. It’s a tempest in a teapot, nothing more, and it will blow over because people are growing sick of the story but it is the columnists and talking heads who won’t let it go.

  39. 38.
    “who really cares? Nobody in the front office. Not Kobe, based on what he said today.”
    Oh but if you listen to Ric Bucher (I know its sensationalism because thats what sells) he says that Kobe’s camp is in shock!!

  40. Has anyone else noticed that the Lakers look awkward playing together? Yes this is the preseason, and they are still getting the kinks worked out, but there is an obvious problem that I can see.

    These guys are thinking too much out there, and not just playing basketball.

    Hesitant to take shots, guys not knowing where they should be on the floor, errant passing, etc etc.

    The triangle is great in concept. It is perfect when executed correctly. But the problem is, it requires these guys to think too much. The game needs to be simplified for the players. No offense, but their IQ is not quite on the par of Phil Jackson’s.

    If you look at Phoenix, their game looks fluid and natural. They run the floor and passes look crisp, shots are within the flow of the offense, and they work together like a basketball team should.

    I just don’t see that on this team. I can be proven wrong, but I would love to see the game simplified for these guys.

  41. Do you people really thing the Lakers (FO and players) really take you into account when they are trying to make their points? The seats are sold, the TV contract made, the road games sold out. The Lakers do not have to impress anybody.

    This was the perfect time and situation for Buss to make his statement – from the Lakers and players point-of-view. As the season goes along management and the players can get locked into statements and positions. Buss has opened up his communication line with Kobe and supported the FO at the same time.

    And you want him to consider the hophead reporters and you fans before saying anything???

  42. Warriors down Lakers again in preseason battle
    Kelanna Azubuike scored 22 points to the lead the Warriors past the Los Angeles Lakers, 119-106, on Thursday night, for their second win over their cross-state rivals in three nights.

    After sneaking into the playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, Golden State knocked off the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in six games before losing to the Utah Jazz in the conference semifinals.

    Azubuike, who scored 27 points during Tuesday’s 111-110 victory, led the way again for the Warriors, making 7-of-14 shots from the field and 3-of-4 from behind the 3-point arc.

    Kobe Bryant scored just 11 points in over 25 minutes, but showed that he could share the ball with his teammates, dishing out eight assists.

    Derek Fisher and Vladimir Radmonovic each scored 12 points to lead the Lakers scoring. After playing the first eight years of his career in Los Angeles, Fisher joined the Lakers during the offseason after spending the 2006-07 campaign with the Jazz.

    The Warriors, meanwhile, had no trouble scoring, as six players finished in double-digits – including rookie Marco Belinelli, who scored 18 points.

    Belinelli has chosen to try his luck in the NBA after spending the first five years of his professional career with Bologna of the Itaia Serie A league in Italy. The 21-year-old guard averaged 16.4 points for Bologna in 2006-07 while making almost 34 percent of his 3-pointers.

  43. I think it was either Michael Smith or JA Adande on Around the Horn that called Kobe the basketball equivalent of Alex Rodriguez…ouch. Does anyone think that is a fair comparison?

  44. @43: In a sense he is. In the media’s/fan’s eyes, across the board not just their particular fans, these can guys can do no right. They are the two most gifted athletes in their respective sports and no one really comes close in my opinion. This is why such lofty expectations are placed upon them and anything less than total domination is unacceptable. They seemingly get no credit when things are going good and are blamed when their team’s lose. That is the way it is right now for both guys.

  45. Let’s see now…
    Kobe is great in the regular season, but chokes in the post season.

    Is that a fair comparison? Do I really have to answer that question? Look at the statistics. Kobe closes in the regular season, Kobe closes in the post season. However, both baseball and basketball were still team games – last I checked.

  46. Remember those 10 rules to follow when watching/commenting about exhibition season games. Perhaps we should post those on the right side of the blog – at least until the regular season starts.

  47. @Craig (45): I was speaking in terms on the media/fans feelings about Kobe and A-Rod. I don’t think A-Rod necessarily chokes in post-season either. He had great years with the Mariners, was great in 2004 except the last 3 games against the Red Sox, and has only had 12 games since then to compares to. Granted, he hasn’t been great, but he’s got up a lot with no guys on base, or has gotten on base and no one else did anything after him. Plus he walks a lot.

    That’s neither here nor there though. Both him and Kobe are exceptional players and I know history has shown Kobe takes it up a notch in the playoffs.

  48. We fans – and ESPN – always seem to concentrate on individuals, however, it isn’t individuals who win championships; in any team sport. When we have to think through how a team won we actually have do a lot of thinking.

    This is terrible when we only have a 30sec spot to cover all the news, but it also encourages ADD (attention deficit disorder) in fans – a natural occurrence for many of us.

    The Lakers were led by Shaq and Kobe, but they won because of the contributions of Fox, Horry, Fisher and the other Laker teammates. We just don’t seem to be able to keep this thought in our collective heads for longer than 5 minutes. We acknowledge it and then proceed down the road praising only the leading scorers.

    Incidentally, the San Antonio Spurs are NOT a boring team. They just keep doing the correct thing over and over. That is really tough on 30sec spots, therefore the ‘hophead’ analysts don’t have much to report on and no highlight dunks to show – therefore they claim the team is boring and we, the public, come to believe them. This is the Stalin ‘big lie’ concept of repeating untruths until they are belived.

  49. what i don’t understand is the fact that Kobe is tradable and Bynum is not?

  50. Kobe wants out and Bynum is the future.

  51. Why does Craig W. get to post fifty times in one day and when I try to toss up post numer 4 I get some smart ass statement from this blog that says “calm down cowboy” or some crap along those lines? If you are going to sensor comment posters then at least give an explaination and not just assy statement.

  52. 51. Anonymus, the slow-down cowboy note is only if someone tries to post more than once within a certain amount of time (I think it’s two posts in 30 seconds). However, some people have gotten it when not doing that, and I’m not sure what the cause of that is.

    I’m not censoring comments for content, save for a couple that had trade speculation in them (the Lakers should trade Kobe for…). Right now I’m being pretty strict about the trade speculation thing because I’m not going to let this site to become about “what if” for Kobe. There are other, very good and quality message boards out there (Lakersground.com) where there are sections set up for that.

  53. @52: My bad about the Kobe/Dallas comment. I had just heard that it was ESPN News and I just wanted to see what people though. LIke I said in the post, not trying to speculate for the sake of speculating, but just wondering if anyone saw that and what they thought it they did.

  54. Sorry for the spelling in that last one as well…spellcheck was be off…

  55. Kurt,

    I hadn’t posted in a couple hours and when I tried to respond to a comment I got dinged and called a cowboy….lol. I guess it was a mix-up.

    No worries…..

  56. Kurt,
    I respectfully disagree w/your assessment of Dr. Buss’ comments. While it is very refreshing to have an owner share his real thoughts w/fans thru reporters,this was the one season he should have massaged the truth and made a general statement along the lines of ‘We’re all disappointed and frustrated. Injuries have hampered us,players haven’t developed as expected. But we are committed to getting back to Championship level and Kobe is a key ingredient in doing so. When we reach the mountaintop again I fully expect Kobe to holding up the Trophy w/me.”
    It looks like the owner has decided blood is thicker than Blue and Gold. I believe Dr. Buss has severed his emotional ties to Kobe and will now start basing his decisions on relative value and cost. My opinion,but does anyone think Dr. Buss would ever have suggested he’d consider offers for Magic?

  57. The mindset is made up – Buss WILL trade Kobe IF the right offer comes along. By then Kobe would have no choice but to ride the wave, wherever it takes him. Surely, only a contender can offer a package we could be interested at.

    The Lakers are now about a business run by fools rather than a team first, business second. Perhaps trading Kobe is the ONLY way a resolution can be held. I cannot begin to grasp the various offers teams will be willing to field for Kobe, I just hope its not the Knicks. That team does not have anything of value.

    On my mind, I am reluctant to start a season with a sour note, worse than ending one with one. Therefore, there’s 2 paths the Lakers can do to make this go away – make that promised Big Bang or make the Big Bang by trading Kobe.

  58. Wow,the sharks circled fast. A Houston Chronicle columnist this morning suggested everyone on the Rockets except Yao would be tradeable to get Kobe.