Training camp begins as Bryant returns for perhaps his last season as a Laker
You didn’t have to be at Lakers media day to realize how much Kobe Bryant wants to be the center of attention and how much he relishes the roles of being KOBE in the spotlight.
Move over Michael Vick and OJ Simpson and even Phil Spector, and tell the NFL and Major League Baseball playoffs to move to the back of the limo because heeere’s Kobe!
Despite one radio tirade after another this summer demanding the Lakers to trade him and after solidifying the United States Olympic team for a gold medal in 2008, Bryant was the latest of arrivals at the Lakers began what probably will be his last in a Lakers uniform.
“I’m ready to go. I’m happy to see Fish and Chris back,” said the twisted superstar, joining his new and old teammates 34 minutes after the start of media day.
Referring to former starting point guard Derek Fisher, who came back after a season with the Warriors and another with Utah, and center Chris Mihm, who missed all of last season with an injury, Bryant declared, “I’m all smiles.”
And why wouldn’t he be, since there were plenty of flash photographers and television news cameras there to record his every move.
This is Kobe and what he does is make sure that he never embarrasses Kobe Bryant. Always looking good, saying the right things and playing like the animal that he is when the buzzer goes off.
If you are surprised that Bryant was at media day then it’s only because you really wanted the Lakers to get rid of the most gifted player in the game because of how he acts, certainly not because of how he plays the game of basketball.
The Lakers franchise know this, they could not give away enough tickets to fill Staples Center if No. 24 is not in a Lakers uniform.
Kobe knows this and he expects that Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, Kwame Brown and the rest of the Lakers who he subliminally bashed as not being good enough to understand to let bygones be bygones or else they will be gone.
Make no mistake about it Lakers fans, your favorite player has the Lakers front office by the proverbial jock strap and he can squeeze it as tight as he wants, when he wants and all they can do is wince.
What Dr. Jerry Buss and his son, Jim Buss, are saying is “please don’t leave us Kobe. Can’t we all just get along as Rodney King said?”
Chances are the Lakers will burst out of the gate, they will beat the Miami Heat, the Spurs, the Warriors, probably the Suns and Mavericks and then when spring comes, they will flutter like a dying quail and sneak into the playoffs with falsified hopes that they can beat those great teams again.
They will not, of course, and soon there after the star child will opt out of his multi-million dollar contract and sign with the team that offers him the most lucrative market (Chicago or New York) and the best chance to win an NBA title (Chicago), and the Lakers brass will look stupid for not trading him when they could have.
Of course, the die hards will say, the Lakers will make a trade before the season and contend for this title this year. Problem is, if you think that Shawn Marion will give the Lakers a better chance of winning than Lamar Odom then I have some land to sell you. Pick it out any land, in Lakers land.