Can It, Kobe

Kobe Bryant clearly needs a hobby. Wednesday he was bored, so he decided to appear on seemingly every radio show in the country, and deliver a new story each time. Was he playing with our infatuation with media, did he just think nobody was listening, or did he somehow change his mind in the course of three hours.

It is a travesty if Kobe does not win this week’s Just Shut Up award on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning. Are we supposed to show pity for a player who chose to sign a new contract with the Lakers last season, who essentially picked the teams $10 million per year coach, broke up their dynasty four years ago, and currently makes over $17 million a year. Sorry, I am not buying it.

If Bryant wants the Lakers to go after a Kevin Garnett, or Jermaine O’Neal, handle it privately. At the very least, think before you talk, and present a unified front. Either request a trade, or keep quiet. I think Wednesday’s actions were to rattle the Lakers cages, and to get some personal attention, making him look like a sympathetic figure.

The other problem with Kobe’s statement is that NBA players of his magnitude can not be traded anywhere because of salary implications. The only reasonable destination is Chicago, since they have the young talent and the salary cap room. But Kobe should realize that whatever team trades for him will probably blow up their current nucleus in the process, and realistically have little chance to compete for a title.

In the end, Kobe wanted to be the man and ran Shaq out of town. Now he realizes big individual stats and personal accolades are not what they are cracked up to be. I hope the Lakers do what’s best for the team (i.e. don’t trade Andrew Bynum for an aging star), not for Kobe Bryant.

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