SportsNation Blog Archives Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant missed all but six games in 2013-14 due to injury. This forced him to watch as the Los Angeles Lakers set a franchise record for most losses since the team moved to Southern California (55, with one game left). Surprise: He wasn't happy, something he reiterated Wednesday on Twitter, while making a bold proclamation about next season:
Do you agree with Kobe's prediction?
Lakers' front office a problem?
On the day it was confirmed that Kobe Bryant would miss the rest of the 2013-14 season, the Los Angeles Lakers star spoke in not-so-glowing terms about his team's front office. "I think we have to start at the top in terms of the culture of our team," Bryant said, referring to Jim and Jeanie Buss. Another Lakers legend, Magic Johnson, also hit out at the Lakers for not hiring the New York Knicks-bound Phil Jackson. Is the Lakers' front office to blame for the team's sorry state of affairs? Will they turn it around?
ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton gave the Los Angeles Lakers an A for trading Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for MarShon Brooks, Kent Bazemore and, most importantly, money savings and lottery positioning. Lakers star Kobe Bryant, meanwhile, likely would not be so generous if forced to attach a letter to the move. A day after the trade, Bryant tweeted his displeasure, labeling the deal "not cool." A source told ESPN.com that this was meant to show support for Blake, not tweak the organization, but it's hard not to read a little anger into the missive.
Now, this is far from likely to create a rift between Bryant and the team that gave him a two-year, $48.5 million extension in November. But was Bryant still a little out of line?
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Together no more
Bryant and Blake are done teaming up.
Have Lakers lost their allure?
It's conventional wisdom in NBA circles that a free agent, any free agent, would want to play for the prestigious Los Angeles Lakers. The weather. The history. The celebs. Kobe, for at least a little while longer. Then again, things aren't looking so good for the team that once earned the nickname "Showtime."
A win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday got overshadowed by its bizarre finish, in which a little-known rule allowed Lakers center Robert Sacre to remain on the court despite having fouled out (the team had no other healthy players; it was assessed a technical foul). This bumped the Lakers all the way "up" to 17-32 on the year as they await word on Kobe Bryant's health ... and the possible relocation of free-agent-to-be Pau Gasol. Meanwhile, Magic Johnson says he'll happily make calls on his old team's behalf to lure prospective free agents. But shouldn't the team's reputation speak for itself?