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Kobe Bryant, Mitch Kupchak, Phil Jackson and Pau Gasol discuss Bryant's three-year extension

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson

Lakers forward Pau Gasol

--Mark Medina

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90 million for 3 years, how do you spell dayum? That's alot of paper but I guess if anybody is worth it, Kobe Bryant is that guy. Guess Vanessa must be shopping right now. If they sign Phil too in the next couple of weeks and they don't win the whole thing this year, you'll see puke up and down figueroa. Buss is like the biggest sugar daddy of all time. 90 mil? Wow I choose the wrong profession.

I haven't been on the blog much since new management took over and the format shifted, but I must speak my piece today.

As much as I love Kobe, he is ruining the Lakers and his re-signing, while necessary, only encourages him more on the wrong path.

He is the fiercest competitor in the NBA today - maybe ever with the exception of MJ - but his competitiveness is hurting the team. Since his finger injury he is NOT anywhere near the player he once was. Look at last night - 20% from the field ), 0% from 3-point range, and almost as many turnovers as assists. Plus teams attack him more now since he can't hold on to the ball as well with that covering on the finger.

Kobe should have SAT OUT in January til the finger healed and it'd be 100% by now like Shaq's is gonna be come playoff time. Plus I just read on Yahoo that Kobe is committed to playing in the worlds this summer. The guy does NOT KNOW when to rest himself and heal. Even the younger LeBron and Wade sit out games and are skipping the worlds.

Look, Kobe at 100% is the best player in the game - LeBron included. But he's a liability in his condition. And his warrior heart, which makes him Mr Clutch, is being driven by his ego and also makes him think he never needs to rest. Mark my words (and I soooo hope I'm wrong) we will not win the championship this year because Kobe is at about 75% and that's good enough to beat Utah or Denver but not Cleveland or Orlando.

Maybe the guy will learn - just like he learned post moves from Olajuwon - that he's not immortal and needs to rest - especially when injured. But I'm afraid he's gonna learn that the hard way this year.

M2,

The early morning thread on the rewards of the Lakers' Thursday practice session was, IMHO, the most insightful and best written thread since you took over the blog. Well done, sir. Kudos!

Look, plain and simple the Lakers are the defacto top dog organization in the NBA. Jerry Buss understood from day one! this is a star driven market. Kobe is worth it.

Sure, the Buss family would love to have a sleeper team that wins it all, that works hard, and that costs a fraction of this team. But this is LA, not a small market. The Buss family goes for broke. Pays their star player who is one of the hardest working demons in the league.

The only other option was LeBron. And that happens only if Kobe wanted out.
As for the post-season? We may lose. Only because some of the team will have to suffer defeat (again) to understand. There may be a reason Jordan took a year off. The pressure to be champion and to repeat is not an easy one!
Then again, the postseason may bring surprises and momentum. Lakers in 5 over Cavs. Game 1(w by 3) Game 2 (w OT), game 3 (L by 15) game 4,5 (W).

I think of all that Kobe has sacrificed and accomplished and what he is still capable of doing deserves this contract.

The bench has been hit hard with all the hand injuries and I saw Kobe's hand and said dayum he is playing with those fingers. See what I'm talking about and laugh at Barkley's finger.

http://nba.fanhouse.com/2010/04/02/charles-barkley-gives-tnt-host-the-finger/?utm_source=bleacherreport.com

Rick - Hey thanks a lot for the feedback. I definitely appreciate it and hope to get even better.

MM

So much has been written about Kobe's finger and I'm curious as to how fixable it is at this point. Obviously surgery would be on order and maybe some kind of bone grafting? Anybody have any medical expertise on this?

Dave M - Kobe partly addressed that question in the video above when he talked about whether he'll sit out this summer. Phil has advised he do so because Kobe has played so much over the past few years and he's dinged up. At this point, Kobe doesn't know definitively if his finger requires surgery but he's going to look into that once the season is over. Right now it's sustainable with the splint and just usual ice treatment, but he doesn't want to do anything now with it being the season since it might cause him to miss games.

MM

Hey Mark, thanks so much for the reply. For some reason I wasn't able to get the clip to play (probably my balky old laptop!). I've had some personal experience with avulsion fractures and there isn't always a simple solution - especially when the injury has been continually stressed during a normal healing process. With his other finger injury (the pinky), he basically took too long to address it and reports seemed to indicate that particular finger is now pretty much beyond corrective surgery. It will be interesting to see what the longterm prognosis is on the index finger.

Locking up Kobe is a good move. I bet Cleveland wishes they could sign LeBron for another 3 years, but as the off-season approaches, the circus will get bigger and bigger.

I just watched the Phil Jackson video.

I love listening to him speak because he is such an intelligent and nuanced individual.

I read people. It's what I do.

From the interview, I got the impression that Phil wants to coach one more year and that's it, but he does want to coach one more year. He also thinks this team needs new talent (note the "six men are coming back, but that's far from a twelve man squad" comment) and he is tired because of conflicts between him and the Buss family. He loves the Lakers, but he's a bit tired of not having the full support of the organization.

I pretty much think that sums up it all.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!


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