As he enters his 15th season, one of the longest tenured pro athletes with one team, Kobe Bryant, finds himself without his best buddy and without his girl.
His team is getting a divorce and so is his wife. The mighty Los Angeles Lakers are in transition and so is Kobe Bryant’s personal life. A change of scenery and sidekick could be just what he needs.
The Lakers could be supplanted by the Los Angeles Clippers this season for best team in Hollywood. Out of every possible insult for the Lakers, this one would hurt the most.
The Lakers’ owner is in failing health and it looks like his sons and daughter are most interested in balancing the family’s books. So, what’s the solution for the rebuilding Lakers?
Give Kobe his out, then play out the season and plan for next year.
The Lakers admitted they can’t make a profit this season when they tried to trade away Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom and then ended up giving away Odom to the Mavs for draft picks.
It’s a sin to give away a player as good as Odom.
He was Robin to Kobe’s Batman. He did everything, from Sixth Man of the Year to enforcer and clutch shooter to beautiful left-handed moves and drives to the bucket.
Odom was always the Lakers’ insurance. Every time Andrew Bynum went down with an injury, it was always Odom that was there to make things right.
Bynum will be hurt again and the Lakers are getting old.
This year, in more than it’s been in a long while, the West in the NBA is wide open. The winner of the Western Conference will more than likely be a new version NBA Finalist, a team on the rise with both youth and experience, like Oklahoma City.
Kobe’s legendary status as a player has limited years left, maybe 2 to 3 more seasons, tops. He’s not able to turn the switch on and off like he used to. He can still win titles, but he needs more help than he ever needed before.
Kobe won before with Superman, starring Shaquille O’Neal. Once again, Kobe can win with Superman, but this time, Superman is Dwight Howard.
Doesn’t matter if this tandem hooks up in L.A. or Orlando, but the league needs it to happen. These two were meant for each other at these stages of their careers.
Kobe and Dwight together easily trumps LeBron-DWade and Bosh.
If it can’t happen in Los Angeles, than make it happen in Orlando. Maybe this is meant to be a one-time, one-year run for them. Maybe Orlando goes for it this year to win a championship and lets Howard go to free-agency for next year.
If the vision was to have Chris Paul, Kobe, and Dwight together and the money wasn’t going to be right, then surely Jameer Nelson can do his best Paul impersonation and make it work.
Kobe could be traded the following year, too. Heck, in the wheeling-dealing NBA, anything can get done, if the players put up enough of a stink. Nobody wants whiny players.
If Kobe’s gonna whine, let him go. If Dwight wants Kobe, let him have him…at least for one year.
Can anyone say Kobe for Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu?
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com.