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KOBE BRYANT LEAVING LOS ANGELES?

Posted by HG on May 13, 2007

kobe-frustrated.jpg

I was watching NBA Shootaround on Friday night while waiting for the Warriors/Jazz game to get started. Stephen A. Smith dropped some interesting information:

I’ve spoke to several people in the league, believe it or not Kobe does have an abundance of friends in this league contrary to popular belief and they all said to me, you know what, he is completely disgusted and you can’t even measure the level of hostility he’s feeling towards the Lakers organization right now.

Go on…..

Listen to this.. Kobe Bryant, ever since he resigned with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to everything that I’ve heard he wanted Baron Davis before he got traded to Golden State. They didn’t get him. He had an opportunity to, they didn’t get him. He wanted Carlos Boozer because Larry Miller, the owner of the Utah Jazz, was on the outs with Carlos Boozer, they wanted to move him, the Lakers didn’t get him. He wanted Ron Artest, they didn’t get him. And then even when Kwaaameee Broooown was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for his best friend on the team at the time, Caron Butler, he didn’t learn about it until after the trade was consumated. Having spoken to Mitch Kupchak, the general manager for the Los Angeles Lakers in fairness to him, couldn’t reach Kobe earlier in the day, but I’m telling you everything that I’ve been hearing, if you think for one second that he is in love with Los Angeles, he loves winning more than he loves Southern California. He almost went to Chicago in a sign and trade, tried to force a sign and trade before he signed. You understand? He has absolutely no problem leaving if the Los Angeles Lakers, specifically owner Jerry Buss doesn’t get his act together. Do not be surprised at all if this stuff continues if Kobe Bryant some time around next year is asking to be traded.

 Now let’s be real.. Kobe’s not leaving the Lakers. Mitch Kupchak won’t let that happen. Not that he couldn’t let it happen, he has turned the Lakers  from contenders to first round whipping boys of the West elite, but he’s not gonna let Kobe get away. This has all the makings of a well timed leak of information from the Kobe camp. Like Stephen A. said, Kobe did talk about going to Chicago, and there were also the Suns and Clippers rumors when Kobe was a free agent. He didn’t leave then and he’s not leaving now.

The heir apparent to the Laker ownership throne, Jim Buss (son of Jerry) was on AM570 in Los Angeles this week and said not so fast on the Kobe trade talk:

Bryant needs to be aware that any trade involving him would require the other team to surrender its best player. For example, trading Bryant to Cleveland would cost the Cavaliers LeBron James. Any trade would markedly weaken Bryant’s new team, giving him no greater guarantee of a championship than he has with the Lakers.

Well.. That seems to take a little steam out of the Kobe trade talks, but KB can opt out of his deal in two years. He was asked about that in this exit interview and had this to say:

I’ve been a Laker fan my whole life. I hate to even think about me going someplace else.”

Notice he didn’t say “I won’t go someplace else”, he said he would hate to think about it. If the Lakers front office sits on their hands this offseason, I’m sure Kobe won’t mind entertaining the idea of bouncing.

I would bet the house that L.A. is gonna go out this summer and make a huge deal. Jerry West is no longer with Memphis so maybe he can do some consulting.. Teach Mitch how to pull off some of those miracle deals. I don’t know if it’ll be K.G., Jermaine O’neal, Jason Kidd, or any other name we’ve heard over the past few years but something is gonna happen. I would try to hold on to Lamar and Luke Walton (free agent), but I would trade anybody, ANYBODY, anybody else on the roster to become an elite team. Yes even Andrew Bynum. The young fella has shown some flashes but by the time he’s fulfiling his potential (if ever) Kobe will have some serious miles on his body. Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers don’t have that kind of time.

**YBB Kobe Update 5-29-07**

Meet the new Buss. Courtesy of the LA Times

Report Card/Exit Interview: Kobe Bryant. Courtesy of the LA Times

Listen to Kobe’s Exit Interview here.

DIGG IT  *  DEL.ICIO.US  *  REDDIT  *  BALL HYPE

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Posted in AM570, BARON DAVIS, CARLOS BOOZER, CARON BUTLER, CHICAGO BULLS, JERRY BUSS, JIM BUSS, KOBE BRYANT, KWAME BROWN, LOS ANGELES LAKERS, MITCH KUPCHAK, NBA SHOOTAROUND, RON ARTEST, SPORTS, STEPHEN A. SMITH, TRADE | 14 Comments »