Shaq/Kobe vs. Kobe/Bynum

Kurt —  October 27, 2007

I have bumped up this great comment from JonesontheNBA (he of Fanhouse and his own blog):

The irony of Kobe and Bynum is that it kind of reminds me of Shaq and Kobe. Shaq not liking the young brash kid with tons of potential that the organization seemed to love more than him seems a lot like Kobe telling the organization to choose between him and Bynum. What Kobe doesn’t understand is that if he embraced Bynum and worked with him, he might be a lot closer to having a winning team in Los Angeles than he thinks. Kobe should be taking Bynum under his wing. Showing him how hard he works. Encouraging him to be the best big man he could be. Kobe says he needs to win now, but players can go from potential to being good within one season. Look at Steve Nash, Josh Howard, Tony Parker, Leandro Barbosa, Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki’s rookie year was terrible. Nash was below average his first three to four years in the league. Josh Howard broke out out of know where during his third year. Barbosa was seen as a bust until he really started to break loose during the 2006 season. Tony Parker was a starter that couldn’t finish games because of his lack of focus and dislike for contact his first three seasons in the league. I mean, TP is the reason Speedy Claxton currently is making the kind of dough he is. My point is that sometimes all you need is a little bit of patience. I know it sounds idealistic, but I think it’s still possible. Young guys need time to develop. Bynum, Farmar, Critt, and even Sasha are showing great signs of improvement. Barbosa didn’t break lose and show what he had to offer until his third season. The Suns had patience. The Lakers, Kobe and the fans need to learn how to do the same thing.

Kurt

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37 responses to Shaq/Kobe vs. Kobe/Bynum

  1. I don’t think too much more needs to be said – except perhaps to show Kobe this column.

  2. But the difference between Kobe and Bynum is that Kobe was soring 15 points per game in his second year, and close 20 in his third, logging 37 minutes a game. If Bynum were doing this, we could start to talk about tension between the franchise player and the rising star as in the case of Shaq/Kobe. I think Kobe would be very happy with this tension, because if Bynum were logging those stats, we’d definitely be past the first round of the playoffs.

  3. ..and maybe asking him how he would react if Shaq asked him to be traded after those airballs in overtime against Utah

  4. I could be making this up but as I recall wasn’t Shaq pushing to have Kobe traded for Jason Kidd when he was on the Suns?

  5. 4. Not sure, but Phil sure did.

    Wasn’t Kobe working out with Bynum when he was first drafted, during that offseason?

    He’ll probably warm back up to the kid now that he’s back to working hard.

  6. Bynum has the potential to become a force but is clearly not there. Yes he has a solid game against Watkins, Thomas, and Abdur-Rahim last night but until he does that one in every three games against actual bigs than Kobe is right. He should have the talent today playing alongside him, not the talent that may arrive tomorrow or against 6’8 power forwards. I hope he comes around before it is too late because if Kobe is gone best of luck to Bynum becoming as great as Kobe or finding another once in a lifetime player to play with Andrew if he reaches his potential.

  7. Interesting conversation and great post. The bottom line is that the media is forcing too much drama. It seems like the media is getting Kobe angrier and angrier and pushing for this trade to take place, its ridiculous, just let him play the damn game!!

  8. DVJS, I think JONES’ point was that the third season has been the year that a good amount of players that are heralded as true gamers broke out of their shell. Kobe has talent around him, granted it is not heralded league wide as “All Star” talent, but the point is that patience ought to be instilled to see if the current situation could pan out a bit, and begin to click.

    For instance, if we trade Bynum, for instance, for an older player that perhaps has a history of more credibility, but the Lakers still fall short of the championship (which is really what it is all about). Meanwhile, if Bynum is putting up solid numbers for the next few years in a different uniform, I gurantee no one in LA would be happy with the move.

    If there are ever players to be patient with, young 7 footers are the typecast. Nobody wants to cast aside a stone to find someone else pick it up and discover the diamond inside. Perhaps we will all applaud our FO for not doing just that.

  9. Sorry to go back to back, but while the Lakers’ insistence to not trade Bynum may shock some, perhaps it is not too surprising when one remembers that the Lakers have always been about the big man.

  10. Daniel,
    Your comment about the media is ‘spot on’. This includes all us fans. I am really curious how fans think the Lakers could become contenders this year. We keep going back to the KG trade and the Shaq trade and conveniently forget some of the circumstances around each of these trades. Other then these situations, I would say there are no trades that would return the Lakers to championship contention this year.

    This being the case, even us fans should clam up and let the play go forward.

    If we are going to apply pressure anywhere at this time, we should apply it to Phil Jackson’s hesitation to play young players in a ‘win now’ situation – since we clearly are not going to win this year without some miracles taking place.

  11. The Kobe comparison isn’t a fair one. Kobe really broke out during his third year (Bynum hasn’t even started HIS 3rd year yet). And Kobe was playing at a position where quickness, athleticism and creativity can cover a whole host of sins. Big men simply take more time to develop. Today is Bynum’s 20th birthday. Joakim Noah, who could have been the #1 pick, a year and
    1/2 ago, will undoubtedly spend his first couple of seasons getting knocked around… and he’s older than Bynum. Greg Oden won’t even have the opportunity to get knocked around until he’s Bynum’s age.

    Meanwhile, Bynum himself is just starting to realize how good he can become… and he’s hungry to get there ASAP. I liked Goo’s point about Kobe’s airballs against Utah. To expect a teenage center to put up double-doubles every night is just silly.

  12. Well said #50, 53, and 54 (from previous post). I too find the dichotomy of Kobe-Shaq (Guard-center) and Bynum-Kobe (Center-Guard) very ironic. And it brings up an interesting philosophical discussion: Is the art of sport truly about “competition” or is it about “winning”? Truly, one competes to win……however, at what cost? Win to the detriment of the “greater good” of the team?

    I rather win playing basketball the way it is meant to be played. Passing, sharing, defense and team ball. In fact, even to lose competitively as a TEAM has honor in it as well (sometimes you got to tip you hat to the other team).

    I bring this up becomes I feel that Kobe’s desire to win is predicated on him winning only if he is glorified at the same time. There is neither humility nor any respect for the team concept. He doesn’t see victory as true if he is not the focal point of the team. He doesn’t see victory as true if his skills are limited for the sake of the team. You only have to remember the two games he decided not to play and pout as proof (Sac game and Game 7 PHX playoff – games that I will always question his professionalism). My point is that Kobe is extremely selfish. He is more worried about his legacy than the Lakers.

    I truly believe that the Lakers are 2-3 years away (including this season, so basically next year 2008-2009) from competing for the championship. I say that because of the smart draft picks we have made over the years which will translate into our young players getting better for years to come (at a cheap price), and the more important fact that we will rid ourselves of the deadweight players whose contract expires (roughly $15 mil to play with this summer including Kwame’s notable $9 mil). With the upcoming deepest free agent crop in years occurring this summer (i.e. Baron Davis, Arenas, Brand, Maggette, Artest, etc.), I have know doubt that we will be able to acquire some quality players (and maybe even a superstar). However, Kobe’s impatience is mind-boggling. Never mind that any team he gets traded to will still take a minimum of two years to gel and TRULY compete. Never mind the fact that this team (not presently constructed) will still be his best bet to win a championship and compete for many years thereafter. Now, I know it’s a stretch to assume that everything will work out and we will get the right pieces via trade or free agency. And its sheer optimism, health of our players, and pure faith in the FO to make the right decision that will ultimately determine if we are a championship team. However, if it does work out…….we will be financially sound from a salary perspective and young enough to compete for years! That is truly all you can ask for as a fan. And the icing on the cake would be to win with home-grown talent (ala Magic, Worthy, Kobe, Fisher).

    Yet, it is sad and disappointing to me that Kobe has no care for this plan. I truly believe that he doesn’t care to be patient with the franchise and show his allegiance and loyalty (especially after their support during his court case). After all, what did you expect after trading one of the best centers in the history of the game? It is ridiculous to think you can get back to the promise land in just 3 years after trading Shaq! It is the price you pay for being selfish and wanting to be the MAN. The irony is that with this Lakers plan (assuming all goes right) he can still win championships at age 31-34 just like Jordan did. But he rather win scoring 35-45 points a playoff game when his athleticism is at this peak versus scoring 20-25 points a game when his age and athleticism is not at his peak (and maybe at the expense of someone else on the team getting the glory). Now I hate to jump to this conclusion, but I only have to look at history to see that I’m right about Kobe.
    It is blatantly obvious that Kobe did not enjoy winning with Shaq, especially since Shaq got all the glory (and deservedly so). His ambition to be “the man” is fueled by his desire to win without Shaq, so that he can prove to the world how great of a player he is (ala the Jordan path to success). Not realizing how unique of an opportunity there is of having the two best players in the league on the same team and the subsequent result of having a perennial contending championship team would result in more wins and “glory” for him and the team (the Magic path to success). He ignored the obvious tide already turning in his favor when Shaq was starting his descent as being the “best” on his own team. One only needs to see the 2006 Miami championship to know that (although still a dominant force as a center in his own right) this was true as Shaq played second fiddle to the brilliance of Dwayne Wade. Instead, Kobe chose his free agency as the perfect manipulative trump card to force Dr. Buss to make a decision between him and Shaq. Of course, blinded himself by Kobe’s immense talent, work ethic, skills, and flair… Dr. Buss chose correctly at that time (given the scenario and the fact a choice HAD to be made). Of course, we can say in hindsight he might have chosen incorrectly if Kobe does indeed get traded. It is funny how Shaq was berated for coming into camp overweight, uninspired during the regular season and injury prone due to his weight. But the facts show that he was still extremely productive when it came to the playoffs. Did he live up to his enormous potential as dominant force? Probably not. One could argue that if he had the stronger work ethic, he could have had 6-7 rings by now. But you cannot argue that he was good enough to put a team in the position to win a title year after year especially with a player like Kobe or Wade’s ability to close out games. In any case, the past is the past and I merely bring this up to show Kobe’s history of selfishness.

    Now, to his defense….the FO has made some poor decisions in constructing a competitive, championship team. He is right that something has to be done to change the makeup of this team. A few FO mistakes to note are the Kwame-Caron debacle, re-signing Cook and Sasha, Shammond and McKie signings, and of course not pulling the trigger on some trades (although we will never know the true story of some of the alleged potential trades). This excludes the preposterous idea that the media constantly brings up is the Bynum for Kidd trade. It’s amazing how convenient the people forget that the salaries don’t match. It would either have to include Odom or Kwame and some fillers. Google-ing some of the trade talks last year, it seems like the sticking point was Bynum, with Kwame and some fillers added to the deal. But if we can just recall, the Lakers were just coming off a Game 7 playoff thriller with the Suns the year before, we started out 26-13 before a rash of injuries. In fact, during the deadline last year, Kwame was hurt, Mihm was out, and we were all enamored by Bynum’s potential. By trading Bynum and Kwame…….we would’ve been left with no center and an albatross of a contract for the next 2 years with Kidd at $20/mil per. That would make 3 players that would account for $53 million of our salary cap! Of course, we would have easily competed in the playoffs with Odom, Kobe, and Kidd. But we wouldn’t have won a championship. So, I think we did the right thing. But the tide is now turning……..contracts are expiring, free agents are available. And if we can just stay the course (I can’t believe I’m borrowing a quote from Bush—arrgh!), I think we can build a team that stays true to the essence of what this divine sport is really about…….basketball is a team game.

    It is sad in today’s society to see from kids’ soccer fields to high school football that people only care about winning rather than giving your all and just competing. That the integrity of the game is lost when individuals forgo the concept of team building and working together for the sake of winning at all cost. The beauty of the game of baskeball lies in the integrity of playing it the right way.

    To play with honor, passion, and heart.

    To compete by sacrificing the individual game.

    To win for each other.

    I hope I’m wrong about Kobe. I hope he will believe in his teammates. I hope he will have a change of heart and realize that he is better off with the Lakers and that the Lakers are better off with him. Kobe holds the ultimate cards……..he can change his attitude and become the teammate we all want him to be. In any case, I hope we can stay healthy and continue to play the game the right way………regardless of whether Kobe is there or not.

  13. sorry for the super long post…….I won’t do it again. Just got crazy frustrated and started typing. Didn’ t realize it was that long! My bad…..

  14. I’m glad that there are a few fans that are not overreacting. This is a team that is designed to beat PHX and SA in a series. Both teams depend on just one legitimate big man. One cna easily see even a great player like Duncan being worn down by a tag team of big, young, strong players.

    I think the Lakers can become an effective deep rotation, high energy team. They relly do not need to have anyone “break out” to do it. They just need reasonably good health and very modest improvement by three of four players.

    My guess is that we will see this improvement, but it will take about 25 games for it to really show.

    my $0.02.

    mca

  15. ESPN NEWS
    =======
    The Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls have been having daily discussions about Kobe Bryant trade possibilities for at least the past week, with Bryant’s no-trade clause throwing a unique wrench into the situation, according to sources.

    The Lakers are asking for a package built around Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah, which is more than Chicago is willing to surrender. Also, Bryant would not want to play in Chicago if the Bulls surrendered all four of those players, believing there would not be enough talent left to compete for a championship, and he would veto that trade even if the Bulls and Lakers were both in favor of it.

  16. No 9. The Lakers have defiinitely always been about the big man.

    Sincerely,
    Shaq

  17. “If we are going to apply pressure anywhere at this time, we should apply it to Phil Jackson’s hesitation to play young players in a ‘win now’ situation – since we clearly are not going to win this year without some miracles taking place. ”

    The humor here being that it was Lakerfan who very publicly demanded Phil be brought back, when anyone who knows anything knew that would be exactly what he would do.

    Look within, Lakerfan. Look within.

  18. John R.,
    It was I, not Lakerfan, who penned the missive asking for more attention toward Phil Jackson and not giving him a free pass. This is a position I have held since before Shaq was traded.

    adb,
    That was a long post and contained several things – much of which I agree with. However, you start by lamenting Kobe’s selfishness and end by hoping he will be a better teammate. I too hope he will be a better teammate this year, but I don’t lay all the problems over the last 3+ years at Kobe’s feet. MJ was famous – but not with the press – for being a somewhat unreasonable bast**d. Most topflight superstars are – we, the public, train them that way. However…

    …Kobe is not a stupid individual, but he is an emotional one.

    He must realize by now that his legacy is tied to the Lakers – win or lose. If he leaves now he will forever be thought of as the guy who could only help in the good times and his greatness will not last. Interestingly enough, the person I think of when this comes up is someone I really respect as a basketball icon – Wilt Chamberlain, perhaps the most dominant basketball player ever to lace on a set of shoes. He go pi**ed off and moved on twice. Now we remember him as second fiddle to Bill Russell and many of his accomplishments are noted, but he is not given full credit. This is the territory Kobe is heading into if he leaves the Lakers – only he doesn’t have the bonifides Wilt did.

    As much as it must gall him, I bet Kobe has mulled over this conundrum more than once.

  19. I really can’t discuss Kobe’s situation anymore… The soap opera is getting really boring…

    If we could trade him to Chicago, or wherever, for a couple of good young players (with potential, like Deng and Hinrich) and a high draft pick (or maybe a Tyrus Thomas/Noah) we would be fine. Specially because we probably wouldn’t squeeze into the playoffs this year and would have a high pick on next year’s draft.

    We go into a full rebuilding mode, with a lot of young players and a solid frontcourt rotation already established.

    We all know it will take us a couple of years to contend again around Kobe, why aren’t Lakers fans willing to wait 3 years to contend again against Durant’s Seattle, Oden’s Blazers and Gasol’s Grizzlies (just wait and see)?

    Now, the questions are… would Phil be willing to take on such a project and build this team? Would LA see a team develop as it should?

    I would…

  20. Allthough long, the truth does hurt, and feel good at the same time… great post #12

  21. Renato, what happened to our league? Its gone… did it not make the minimum?

  22. Are you sure adb does not stand for Andrew D. Bynum? LOL.

    Talking about Kobe…

    Kobe’s image, which is about far more important than money (for him) will take a huge hit (Craig always says this) if he leaves LA. The best recourse of action he can do is fight this off and say “I will not leave LA” – the Lakers cannot trade him anyway… even if now they would trade him to Chi Town.

    I think it would require more than Kobe’s silence to silence BSPN and the rest of the world that the best action is to actually be in a Laker uniform – regardless of what number. Perhaps he would want to wear #88 just for kicks.

    As for all other issues, Kobe will struggle with this one emotionally, but after plenty of meaningful games, all this will die down. Kobe needs to speak up – or else he is up for more controversy. In 2009 when he wants to leave, he may do so without fear of damaging his image once more.

  23. The league didn’t have enough players… Maybe we can make it next season…

  24. Renato, please join mine. We need 5 more players…

    league: ForumBlueandGold
    password: lakers

    site: NBA.com Ultimate Fantasy Commissioner

    Please Hurry. Kurt? Thanks and are you joining?

  25. Truthfully I am so sick of hearing about all this Kobe trade drama that I would almost welcome a trade. At least then the FO would be choosing a path to take.

    One more thing. I don’t understand, myself included, why everyone thought that the Lakers would be back at a championship level 2-3 years after trading away Shaq. I don’t really think that was a realistic goal.

  26. ADB, that was a great post, but it illustrates clearly and definitively the difference of two kinds of people in the world. You are of one type; you believe that in any competition there is something worthwhile to be gleaned from it, whether you (and your team) win or lose. Something intrinsic can be gained from losing, that there is always something in that and it should be accepted as a course of action. All of that may be true; maybe Michael had to lose to the Pistons so many times to become the player he was; maybe Bird had to lose to Magic in the NCAA tournament to solidify his killer instinct. Maybe Kobe had to miss the playoffs his first year without Shaq to realize what he needed to do to get back there.

    Myself, I hate losing. I think it sucks, and I never want to do it – ever. Not in an online game, not in a pickup game on the street, not when I play 4 on 4 with the older Chinese guys at the gym on 44th. Everytime I lose it makes me never want to do it again, and I think Kobe is this type of personality. Nothing is positive about losing for me – there’s a hole in the pit of your stomach and nothing but questions come up in your mind about what you could have done, if you had given just one more ounce of effort, if you had just practiced another half an hour on that fadeaway from the top of the key.

    You say there is such a thing as “winning to the detriment of the team,” and I say unless you are talking about tanking for a better draft pick that’s a load of horse manure. There is nothing good for a team in losing – during any game there are mistakes made that can be learned from, things that can be corrected; but you can never correct a losing atmosphere (see: Clippers) with hopes and dreams. It takes a winning attitude and a hard-edged mentality to win games, combined with an endless desire of self-improvement and an abhoration of losing. You can hear this in Kobe’s mind –

    “People say KG is better than me. People say LeBron, Dwade are better than me. But then they say the West is so much harder to win in and I took my team to the playoffs two years in a row. We nearly beat title contenders when everyone counted us out. KG better than me? You put me in the East and I’ll be in the championship every year for the past three years, who is going to stop me? Lebron, Wade better than me? They couldn’t even get out of the bottom half with this team and we did it with injuries!”

    Then comes…

    “If only I had some help, where could I take this team? How far could we have gone?”

    This is why it’s a bitter pill for Kobe to swallow, considering he was told when being resigned that they would do everything they can to contend for a championship every year.

    I don’t know what kind of hopes you have for a free agent, but I don’t see it. The Lakers got rid of Shaq because he wanted to get PAID – how quick we forget his infamous “Are you going to pay me now?” to Buss and blame Kobe for pushing Shaq out of town again. Yes, a lot of things went wrong in that locker room and it’s far too late to do anything more about it now but it’s mighty convenient of people to be blind and forget that every story has two or more sides to it.

    Do you think that Shaq would have just pulled a complete 180 if Buss had paid him? Are you that naive to think if Kobe and Shaq made amends, somehow worked all their problems out, and BUss gave Shaq his 20 a year do you honestly think that Shaq would have gotten in the shape he did for the 2006 season? If you do, I have a huge mansion at the bottom of a lake to sell you, because that year was clearly a statement to Buss, the Lakers, and Kobe. He got into shape and say “look, I can still do this” – and he came out of the East. You think if they had to pass through two of Dallas, the Suns, and the Spurs that they would have made it?

    Bynum is a raw project. Maybe he’ll be a dominant center for years to come when Kobe hits his 31-34 phase. But chances are we are seeing what other people saw before the Lakers drafted him – limitless potential but a very wishy-washy work ethic that doesn’t seem to bring his A game every night, doesn’t have another gear and isn’t interested in finding one. The Lakers thought maybe they could mold the next Shaq, but that dominant attitude in a big man can’t be taught by anyone – you just have it in your, innately, from your own desire. There was another 7 foot kid picked out of highschool with all the talent in the world to dominate the defensive paint for years to come but seemed to lack motivation, desire, and heart – causing the best player of his generation to go off on him and destroy his confidence. Now in a new situation he is finding a comfort zone in defense but doesn’t seem to be able to live up to the potential that he showed when he pushed around kids in highschool.

    And we already have one Kwame Brown, why do we need another?

    The Lakers have a decent team with some decent pieces, a decent defensive center with cement hands and a center who can put the ball in the basket but can’t shuffle his feet in the paint without falling over. At PF we have a white and black version of the same damn player with the same skillset – 3 Pointers, no post game, poor defense and we also have hustle, hustle, hustle. With have two guys at the 3 who are rare – one who maybe lacks speed and athleticism and defensive tenacity but makes up for it with a high IQ, 3PT, and hands of god and another with all the physical gifts in the world but doesn’t have the personality to win, somehow Kobe not rubbing off on him. We have what could be called “serviceable” people backing up World’s Greatest at the 2, and two young players and one really old guy at point.

    What does this team need? A low post scoring threat that doesn’t foul out in the 2nd quarter, a defensive stopper or two to compliment Kobe on the perimeter and not take away too much offensively. We’ve all be over this time and time again on the site so it isn’t likely to break any new ground or start any new discussion. But what free agent is going to come here that the Buss’s will PAY. What can we do with a bunch of guys who just seem to excel at one thing and are absolutely atrocious on other ends of the floor?

  27. With the quality of Kobe’s play during the preseason it seems likely that Kobe will be traded sooner or later. If he picks it up during the season then this has a chance to blow over. I an not optimistic.

    Kobe hasn’t denied his trade request, until he makes a public statement the trade request is still in effect.

    On the bright side Bynum looks to be the real deal, but he maybe a year away. Farmar has really stepped his game up. He will be a good PG or better. Turaif has been improving in every preseason game. The PF position isn’t as weak as I thought. Odom is a better wing player than a post up player, this could be a great move by Phil to return him to the wing. This has the potential of being the second scorer that the Lakers need.

    On the down side. While Vujacic has looked good in some games but for the most part he can’t handle the pressure of the NBA, while he does defend SGs better than PGs. Karl except for the Sac game appears to be suffering from the same thing. Is it just me? Cook looks like a player trying to be traded. Please grant him his request. Radmanovic has shot better but is it enough improvement to help? Maybe if he was paired with Odom it would be better. Having him on the court with Cook is a disaster. (No lead is safe with these two.) Crittenton got torched repeatedly in the Sac game. Letting his man get an open 3 pt shot at the end of the game was horrible. Mihm isn’t NBA ready yet. It will take time for him to regain his stregth.

  28. Not accurate comparision. There was much difference.

  29. I grew up a Laker fan and was frenzied when I heard Kobe say: “Trade me.” I looked for good news the whole summer, to no avail. At this point, I don’t care who plays where. I just want the season to begin and I want to watch some great basketball. I’ll always follow Kobe’s career and cheer for him; regardless of his temperament and moodiness, he’s really the most singular and entertaining player in basketball. Take Kobe out of the league and it’s just not the same. And I’ll always rout for my Lakers…even when they suck. That”s what being a fan is about: appreciating the good times by weathering the bad ones. Go Kobe! Go Lakers!

  30. the other Stephen October 29, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    i really appreciated this post, but i’m going to reserve judgement till the lake show proves itself. no more words, please.

  31. The issue is really not one of patience. It is one of honor and trust.

    Kobe was promised that a contender would be built around him NOW when he resigned. He got Smush Parker and 19 year old rookies drafted to help him.

    When opportunities came along to get proven vet talent to assist him, the Lakers would not pull the trigger in order to hold on to potential. That is something Kobe did not agree to.

    So even though the Lakers may have INTENDED to create a winner, everything they have done has shown the opposite. Including passing on Jason Kidd.

    For the hardest working guy in the league to essentially be lied to about building a winner, he has reacted in kind. He wants them to either put up or move him. This Summer? Nothing but Fisher. And as much as Kobe likes DFish, it isn’t enough.

    I don’t see it working itself out. And I’m ok with it. Move him on to a contender, take some young talent and expiring K’s, and build with the young core you’ve been trying to surround him with and pass off as a competitive team. Maybe in a few years……

  32. I for one do not believe Kobe will be traded. Any team that trades for him will have to gut itself placing kb24 in exactly the same position he is in now. Before the draft, he believed he could compete with a less than stellar roster in the Eastern conference. With Lewis, Randolf, Allen, Garnett, and the other players that moved from the Western conference to the East, I think Kb24 realizes that the path to the championship is no longer a cakewalk with him in the Eastern conference. regardless of what the Lakers decide its Kobe who holds the cards, he has to like the deal and the team he is traded too and frankly other than the Suns, there is no team out there that can meet the salary of Kobe and Kwame in a trade and not completely gut their roster. The suns have their own chemistry issues with Marion and Stoudamire, a combination of either one plus raja bell and boris diaw is makeable and gives both teams some of what they need. For Kobe he goes to a team that will contend with a style and all star caliber talent he would agree too. for the Lakers they get an all star back a former 6th man of the year and a defensive stopper. The suns get a defensive presence in kobe a big man to combat Duncan. Even this is unrealistic if the truth be known. Fact is the landscape of the league has changed. No matter who wants to make a deal for KB24 the cost is prohibitive. Kobe will not waive his no trade and so right now the Buss’s and bryant both need to realize this isnt going to happen, stop talking about it (Buss’s) let it fade for now and play the damn game.

  33. First of all ,why is Bynum being so idolized? Look at the rop tier teams and they don’t have potential playing center,is he that good that we risk losing the best player in the world ?Who puts fan on Staples Kobe or Bynum? The only reqason last game was televised nationally wasn’t Mitch,Buss or any of the front office…give Kobe help now!

  34. It’s a bit early to bring up this comparison. This is like asking about Magic Kareem vs Shaq Kobe when Kobe was 20. Not enough data at that point to really know. I like his development, but let’s not get carried away.

  35. I think this whole debate just got some fresh air. We might just be seeing Shaq in the playoffs, and hopefully Bynum will be ready for the challenge.

  36. I found this after the game against Phoenix the other day. Shaq still has his old tricks to fall back on, and no one matches his size, but Bynum is definitely on his way to replacing him as the top center in the NBA.

  37. No doubt. Bynum didn’t look so good in that particular game, but I see him eventually progressing beyond where he was last year for sure and taking over as top dog league wide.