By Craig Kwasniewski
No this ain't no headline grabber... the Los Angeles Lakers front office truly believes that Andrew Bynum is better than Kobe Bryant.
(I'll explain while that statement sinks in.)
Local sportstalk radio here in LA is running amok with Kobe trade talk. With news of Kobe missing practice the past few days, the local screamers are claiming that the Kobe era is essentially over. Normally I'd write this off as attention grabbing radio fodder on a slow sports day, but it's who is saying this that really signifies the impending Kobe trade.
Mychal Thompson, (possibly the worst ever) Laker radio color commentator and incredible homer/company man has dropped his "Kobe's a Laker for life" and "all is well" stance and has accepted a Kobe trade. He's even claiming that a trade to Dallas for Josh Howard, Jason Terry and a bag of doughnuts is a done deal (which is even worse than the Shaq deal back in 2004... basically par for the course in the Mitch Kupchak era).
ANYWAY, for a Laker homer to start writing off the Kobe era... well it signifies the company line. Add in Laker pregame host (and 1/2 of one of my favorite shows PMS on 570 KLAC) Matt Money Smith, who is predicting a trade by this year's All Star break and you have a few Laker employees with a public personas talking about Kobe's impending departure from LA.
Like I've been saying, Kobe is a goner this year...
That bring me back to my original statement: the Los Angeles Lakers front office truly believes that Andrew Bynum is better than Kobe Bryant.
Rather than appease the wishes (and adhere to a promise made in 2004) of Kobe Bryant and improve their talent, the Lakers stood pat this summer believing that they have a roster prime for championship contention. So instead of trading Bynum for Jason Kidd or Jermaine O'Neal (both very real offers in the past 8 months) and instead of trading for Baron Davis or Carlos Boozer (both legit offers for even less than Bynum) the Lakers decided to keep Andrew Bynum and ship off Kobe Bryant.
I repeat: The Lakers chose NOT to trade Bynum for a established NBA All-Star, but they choose to trade away Kobe Bryant. Bynum whose on-court consistency reminds me of Benoit Benjamin over the best clutch player since Michael Jordan in 1998. Andrew Bynum, who has not proven to have the ability and desire to become an All-Star over one of the top 5 players in the NBA since 1997.
The Lakers choose Bynum over Bryant! (I'll keep repeating myself until you realize just how asinine this really is!)
Bynum over Bryant!!!! COME ON!!!!!