Appearing on SportsCenter, Smith said “I predicted that Kobe Bryant will demand a trade, and I am not budging from that. He’s livid. I’ve known Kobe too long. He is ticked off.
“It’s not just because [the Clippers] got Chris Paul, which is a guy that he expected to have. It’s because Jim Buss seems to be doing the inexplicable,” Smith said. “It makes no sense. It’s one thing for the team not to have improved [after losing to the Mavericks], it’s another thing entirely for them to regress. If you know anything about Kobe, that is the last thing that he wants to do.
“It will not be pleasant at all.”
Reporter Ric Bucher said he would not be surprised if Kobe demands a trade. He added that a GM figured Kobe would demand a trade within a month.
Anyone who finds this report to be shocking doesn’t know Kobe very well. In June 2007, Kobe wanted a trade because he was upset with the front office. He wanted the Lakers to trade Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd and was disappointed it didn’t happen. He stuck with the Lakers and they pulled off a trade for Pau Gasol to make him happy. They reached the Finals three years in a row and won two titles with Pau.
After losing to the Mavs in the playoffs, some people felt it was time for changes. It looked like the Lakers were going to tweak the roster by acquiring Chris Paul from the Hornets, but the NBA canceled the deal. Then the front office traded Lamar Odom to rival Dallas for a pick and trade exception, leaving Kobe upset. And now we may be back to 2007 again.
It’s sad Kobe is being forced to play with some of the league’s top big men such as Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. How dare the Lakers force that upon him. And if Kobe really does want a trade, the $59+ million he’s set to make over the next two seasons will be unattractive to many teams.
Publicly, Kobe is saying he has faith in the front office. After all, in June 2008 he said he was done playing GM once the team got Pau. You have to figure that privately he is livid and upset that his team is falling behind his competition.Google+