LA LAKERS “INSIDER” (AND KOBE OUSTER?) EASY TO SOLVE: Kobe Bryant went on Stephen A. Smith’s radio show on ESPN 1050 in New York today and said exactly the same stuff he said during two radio interviews in his home market yesterday … except that he now wants to be traded.
Yesterday Bryant told KLAC-AM and KSPN-AM in L.A. that he didn’t want to be traded and that he thought he could still mend fences with team Owner Jerry Buss.
Prediction #1 (and what will really happen): Bryant isn’t going anywhere. Picture the scene from Scarface, with Kobe as Tony Montana and Jerry Buss as Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia) - when Lopez walks on his knees to Montana begging for his life.
Minus the life-threatening element, that’ll be the scene when Buss next crosses paths with #24.
Prediction #2: If Buss loses Bryant, he loses everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING. The only card he’d have left to play is pleading to Jerry West to return - to restore the organization’s credibility with league players.
Prediction #3: If Buss can’t convince West to come back, I’d like to introduce you to the next Lakers Owner:
Billionaire Anschutz owns Staples Center and the Los Angeles Kings, and 30% of the Lakers. Buss will resist selling the team to the bitter end, mainly because his son Jim would migrate a few blocks from Staples Center to Skid Row if that happened. But if Bryant leaves and West won’t return, Buss won’t have a choice.
And in case you’re not well-versed in the Lakers organization, here’s your “Laker Insider”:
Who is the only member of the organization with a known track record as a Laker locker room snitch (read the book), and is on-the-record about his longtime displeasure with Bryant?