Saturday, June 02, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For...

Since 2002, Kobe Bryant's reputation has taken a 180 turn. Back then the Lakers and him just finished sweeping the New Jersey Nets in the Finals for the Lakers' third consecutive title. Shaq and him formed some of the most incredible teams in NBA history during that era.

Now look at him...

He's dealt with rape allegations. Sure the case was dropped but the damage was done.
And then there was the Shaq feud that ended with the big man leaving for the Miami Heat.
And now the possibly of Mr. Bryant wanting to be traded from the very team he wanted for himself.

Kobe, if you have any sense about your reputation you will stay put in LA. Without a doubt, when Bryant is on no one can touch him in the NBA. As much as I dislike the Lakers I have to hand it to Kobe and Co. for all the years they took down tough teams like Portland, San Antonio, and Sacramento. And heck, did I mention Kobe is surely one of the 50 greatest NBA players ever?

But that all goes out the window if the Lower Merion H.S. grad darts LA.

Every person with any remote knowledge about the sport of basketball realizes Shaq's departure was Kobe's doing because he wanted the team to himself.

Now Kobe wants to leave the mess he created? Say he does get traded to some other team and wins another championship or two. When his career is over, and people look back at his statistically, amazing career they will not help but say, "Yeah he was a great player, but..."

Just look at Wilt Chamberlin. A mythological creature who forever changed the way basketball was played. He is always talked about but people continue to mention how he was a poor teammate and how he did have various off court problems.

In the long run leaving LA would be an unwise decision. Bryant is a Laker. He's been one since he was traded from Charlotte to LA during the 1996 NBA Draft. Again, if he is traded his reputation will be similar to the Big Dipper's.

"Yeah he was great player, but..."

Just be careful what you wish for Kobe.

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