A win so easy, it wasn't even worth Kobe's time
Which could explain his urge to take off early. Maybe catch the tail end of the Oscars, see how his pool picks were holding up (word is he picked upset Best Actress Marion Cottilard, which provides one's ballot a major boost), dish via text with friends over the fashion do's and don't's and who looked good while pregnant.
Or he was just pissed about the over the back's going unwhistled and figured, "My team's gonna smoke these chumps as it is, so this would be the perfect game to inform an officiating crew what a lousy job they're doing."
Probably one or the other.
In any event, this 111-91 win over the Sonics featured a quick Laker lead that was never relinquished or in jeopardy, with and without Bryant on the court. And frankly, Kobe didn't need a ton of time on the hardwood to put together a pretty good stat line (21/4/10, 8-13 shooting), work that help create the foundation for a cruise control victory in his absence. Plus, his teammates weren't exactly slouches with their two cents. Yet another double-double from Lamar Odom, 22 from Pau Gasol, and a baker's dozen off the bench from Sasha "I'm a Machine at any time of day" Vujacic were just the highlights of a roster greasing a box score from top to bottom. That action illustrates why your Los Angeles Lakers have leapfrogged past the recently embarassed Suns and currently sit atop the entire Western Conference (which ain't the only poll they're topping, FYI). When oats are being felt in such fashion, a team can even overcome refereeing botches that fester at a hereditary level.
Is it premature to start thinking about "34?"
The Lakers are a cohesive unit with everyone on the same page and enjoying each other's company. Which pretty much makes the Knicks the "Bizarro-Lakers."
Despite the positive impact of Cleveland's newest Cavs, if Danny Ferry is really serious about keeping LeBron James, it might be worth his time to spread a rumor about The King and Beyonce.
Ex Clipper Wang Zhi-Zhi may have been soft on the court, but he'll clock dudes on the street like nobody's business.