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All quiet on the Western front ... a little too quiet for some

Derek Fisher officially met the media Friday afternoon, once again a Laker.  But given how things have gone this summer, Kobe Bryant again dominated conversation across the hoops universe (you know, aside from the allegations that a referee had helped fix games, calling into question the integrity of an entire professional sport).  Kobe took no steps Friday to clear up the whole Lakers-or-no-Lakers question when he met the media as a member of USA Basketball.  He admitted his Grand Radio Tour sent mixed signals, but feels this isn't the time to clarify his position, even when given a few cracks at it by an old friend.  Still, he said lots of nice things ... just not the nice thing. 

 

We've all spent a lot of time trying to decode the tea leaves on this one, and even Fish said people shouldn't read too much into his return to the Lakers, at least as it relates to Kobe.  At this point, unless the answer is, "I'm committed to staying in L.A. and trust management to do the right things," he's probably better staying mum on the subject.  By doing so, it'll continue to fuel speculation that he wants out, but that can't be avoided, especially if Kobe's still harboring some issues with the folks in El Segundo.  He is right that to turn the USA Basketball season into a Laker Circus isn't fair.  And even if Kobe does say he wants to stay, there's an element of distraction, too.  "Are you happy with Mitch?  Can this group win a championship?  Do you still want Jerry West?"  And so on and so forth. 

All of this is a consequence of how things went down this summer.  That Kobe repeatedly said he wished things had gone down differently is sticking to the plan of keeping things in-house is a positive sign.  It might cause the rest of us to wonder out loud, but clearly it's better than the media-frenzied alternative.  The more public this spat becomes, the worse it is for everyone. 

But since all that's left is for us to speculate ... let's do it.  I wonder if Kobe really knows what he wants.  I doubt he's gained a lot more trust of management, specifically that a championship-caliber team can be assembled around him quickly.  On the other hand, he clearly understands the fallout from everything that went down didn't make him look good, and he is trying to repair the damage.  And I think Kobe understands the team isn't going to move him.  So that leaves a holdout come training camp, and to start talking about that with the media in mid-July is a horrible idea.

Personally, I think he'll be there.  With bells on?  I have no idea.  That he hasn't come out and said he'll be a Laker in October certainly makes you wonder what he wants.  Or if he knows.

-- BK

 
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Michael A

If you read Simmons article you know he mentioned that it's pathetic that no fan is surprised. Fans only wondered which ref, which games. I think this blog is representative of that. Summer bloggers are hard core and wouldn't let a little thing like a ref or 2 and some players fixing the outcome of games. It's all about whether or not Kobe is whatever they say he is.

This will demand everyone's attention very soon. Stern makes his statement tomorrow and it's off to the races.

You mention Phoenix / SA. Now that we know game 3 at least was beyond questionable, is Phoenix blanketed with makeup calls next year? Does SA get another asterisk in the record book? There's no end to this.

Meanwhile, it was nice to see players playing for the good of the game and country yesterday. Except for Kobe of course ... or not.

Jman449

"Kobe - Worst game-winning shot EVER! Hopefully, Coach K comes to his senses and cuts this stiff."


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.... damn, you crack me up man.... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA... "worst game-winning shot EVER"... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

LEBRON JAMES...trashing his teammates?

He's great," James said of Kidd. "I've just got to run. I just go baseline to baseline and he's going to find me.

"I don't have that luxury back on my team in Cleveland, but it's a treat here. I'm going to be sad when it's over and I have to go back without him. I've said it many times, he's the best point guard in the NBA."

JUST IMAGINE IF THOSE WORDS COME FROM KOBE MOUTH.....ABOUTH HIS LAKERS TEAMMATES.

Mitchell:

"C-Kwame (aside from his buttery hands and pea sized brain, I still think Kwame can be a solid role player if he learns to hustle and just play nasty."

I'm not sure I agree with starting Kwame, but I do agree on your implied point: "Butterpeas" is a great nickname for Kwame Brown.

KL,

You said: first off, i recall you said in our last conversation that you're rehabbing a bad knee (meniscus). hopefully all is well......now for the gibberish.


"In previous conversations you've indicated doubts about Kobe's leadership in conjunction with being able to win. Others, myself included, have argued that Kobe's teammates did not do their part."

i will give credit where credit is due. kobe looked very good out there. Kobe and Melo were both ballhogs, but I'm not going to take anything away from kobe's clutch J over Prince. I will qualify my statement by saying that Team USA is meaningless. i want kobe to lead the lakers. is that a fair statement?

-----------------------------------------

The knee surgery is in early august. Right now I'm just hobbling. Thanks for asking/good thoughts!

re: leading the Lakers. That is a fair statement. I would like that also. In your degredation of the ability and character of Kobe, you
have failed to look at the talent he has surrounding him. I am asking you to honest in your evaluation of Kobe's teammates vs.
players on other teams. It seems to me that if Kobe is capable of winning with other players besides his Laker teammates then
you must address his teammates not him. Is that fair & logical?

How are you?

hal9000,
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.... damn, you crack me up man.... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA... "worst game-winning shot EVER"... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH"


I echo those sentiments HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.... damn, you crack me up man.... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA... "worst game-winning shot EVER"... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

"DIDN'T MIAMI WIN A TITLE IN 2006 WITH AN ALLSTAR STARTING FIVE?

THANK YOU"

And didn't the Lakers win titles in 2000, 2001, and 2002? I guess DWade isn't good enough to carry the wide load through
3 consecutive years, like Kobe was.

You're welcome.

"KOBIATCH 4-9 FROM THE 3 POINT LINE!!!!
SOUNDS LIKE A TYPICAL BALL HOG"

44% on 3-pointers? One of the reasons team USA lost in the world championships last year was that despite having
all these "make their teammates better" guys, they didn't have enough outside shooters. That's one of Kobe's roles on
team USA - provide more outside shooting. And 44% on 3's will get it done.

I think what you meant to say was "Sounds like a gold medal next year."

btw, I'm not knocking Durant - he looked very very good and I expect him to make the team. But I wouldn't be giving
him the ball with seconds left on the clock and my team down by 1. There are several people on Team USA who would
be better choices to give it to at this point - probably Kobe, Melo, LeBron, in that order.

"but the can't give Kwame courage, or Cook heart, or Smush a brain."


HAHAHAHA.

Awesome line.

Kobe didn't bash his teammate(s). The haters don't bother getting the facts straight though.

Haters are over-sensitive with anything positive about Kobe. Never give Kobe his due credits.

hey guys,

I saw this on firemitchkupcake.com and thought of sharing with my laker fans

it says that kevin garnett might be coming to LA on August 3rd... read it here

http://www.firemitchkupcake.com/?p=211

Kobe didn't bash his teammate(s). The haters don't bother getting the facts straight though.

Haters are over-sensitive with anything positive about Kobe. Never give Kobe his due credits.

I'm astounded there were so many Team USA comments on here. Who cares, really? It's a scrimmage. It's not even the games. And frankly, it's way less important to the Lakers than this ref scandal, or any news about player movement. heck, even the fact that Kobe is obviously still unhappy with the team is much bigger news.

Y'all are getting distracted by inconsequential things. That explains a lot.

hobbit,

what's up dude, i just saw your post.

"I am asking you to honest in your evaluation of Kobe's teammates vs. players on other teams. It seems to me that if Kobe is capable of winning with other players besides his Laker teammates then you must address his teammates not him. Is that fair & logical?"

i hate to be the person who says that anybody sucks who's in a professional sport because the worst guy in the D league is 100x better than me. Having said that, the talent level with the lakers could be better, but then so can 50-75% of the other teams in the league. It doesn't take talent to play as a unit and good team defense, it takes unity and respect for one another. i firmly believe that if the guys don't respect one another, all they will do is play one-on-one defense. in the NBA, any top tier player can get past any defender, so defensive unity is important. i also don't think kobe has helped himself by not being more vocal about retaining shaq (assuming kobe didn't want shaq out) which could have resolved some personnel problems. kobe also has compounded the problem by not being more proactive in player recruitment. some guys need convining that kobe isn't an a$$hole. kobe's gotta first acknowlege that he may have a bad reputation with the shaq/kobe fallout. Anyhow, sorry for the long post. take care of that knee. i made the mistake of messing round with rehab, so try and stick to it. it'll pay off.

It's time to trade Kobe. In L.A., you either like him or hate him and believe me, I know a lot of laker fans who hate Kobe. He's selfish, ruins relationships with the organization, has a me-first attitude about scoring, and is not a good role model for young children. What the hell has the Lakers done since Shaq left? Kobe has his moments but he is still a big crybaby. I'd rather get some young players and build around Andrew Bynum. Get some value now while you can. Go Purple and Gold.

It's funny to hear how some of you guys say that Kobe sounds more dedicated this year because he wants to focus more of his time on defense. This guy's always been focused, so for some of you to think that he is going to be improved is just wishful thinking. The Lakers are still the Lakers and since there hasn't been any changes in the offseason (DFish, please.....) look for one in the near future:

Kobe in New York

VMan, I understand how hard core some people on here are, but it's all this time looking at something that is, in the big picture, completely unimportant. Maybe I'll pop back in a few days...this kind of thinking is the source of a lot of problems.

Why do you guys criticize Kobe so much for not leading the Lakers to a championship? Championships are not handed out on a platter. Outside of Miami, Detroit and San Antonio players, no one has a ring. Steve Nash, Lebron, Carmelo, AI, T-Mac, J-Kidd, Vince Carter, Arenas, etc. That is always the goal, but most don't make it every year. Kobe is not in that category alone. Why do you use that argument to say he's not a good player? It amazes me that the public wants to hold athletes to a perfect standard because of the money they make and let our teachers, priests, and public servants get away with murder. They are all human. This is not the last mistake Kobe is going to make. Get it over it.

The Lakers are the same team as last year except the addition of Fisher who is not the answer in LA. I love the guy but other than the locker room, he's not going to help us much. Yes, we get Mimm back but were still one or two injuries away from being horrible. I can't think Kobe is happy. On the other hand, the Lakers front office hands are pretty tied. No cap space and know one wants K. Brown. I think its going to be another tuff year on the Lakers.

Here's a link to a funny Kobe Trade video on youtube!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMkCFszK29o

 
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