Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Other Empire: Sign Kobe, Sign!

At the unofficial midway point, the Los Angeles Lakers, at 32-9, have the best record in the NBA. Once again the Lakers are marching to a 63-66 win season, a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, and an excellent shot at defending their NBA championship.

All the core players, with the exception of team captain Kobe Bryant are signed for the next 3-4 years, so the Lakers look pretty good for the next few years.

The question is: What is Kobe waiting for to sign an extension?

In his own words, "I'm set up to have a good run here. I've been very fortunate. I went through seven years of hell. Management decided that it was time to spend the money to bring in the players here."

Well, I don't know about the 7 years of hell. That sounds like selfishness on Kobe's part. Most players would love to have those "7 years of hell" in their careers. In those 7 years, the Lakers made the playoffs 6 times, went to the NBA Finals 3 times and won 1 championship. Of course I'm assuming Kobe is referring to the 7 years after the Lakers won 3 consecutive championships from 2000-2002.

And in those 7 seasons the Lakers had only 1 losing season (2004-05) and that was the year the Phil Jackson-Shaquille O'Neal-Kobe Bryant experiment was disbanded in large part to satisfy Kobe.

But anyway--

Here are my 5 reasons why Kobe needs to sign an extension with the Lakers sooner rather than later:

  • The Lakers have done everything Kobe has asked them to do, starting with shipping Shaq out of town and making the Lakers, "Kobe's team".
  • Through smart drafting (i.e. Andrew Bynum #10 overall in 2005, Jordan Farmar #26 in 2006, Sasa Vujacic #27 in 2004); smart trades (for Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol); key free agents (Ron Artest), the Lakers have built a winner around Kobe. Ok, it took 4 years and a lot of hollering from Kobe, but I think it was done pretty quickly.
  • Kobe finally got his first post-Shaq ring. He no longer has to hear the "you can't win one without Shaq" chant which in his own words was becoming "annoying".
  • No other NBA team is going to accommodate Kobe the way the Lakers have. At this point in his career it makes no sense to start from scratch elsewhere.
  • And last but not least, Ron Artest needs a ring. C'mon Kobe, do it for Ron. You heard him at his press conference when he came on board, "I need a ring, man! I need a ring." Just keep an eye on him and make sure he's not boozing during half-time and you should be able to win a few rings with Ron by your side.

Anyway, the Lakers look mighty good for years to come. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before Kobe signs at least a 4-year extension with the team I like to refer to as, "The Other Empire".

Photos courtesy of Getty Images
Stats courtesy of Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. He's going to stay a Laker, Kobe is competitive and in most people's opinion here in LA Magic is still the greatest Laker ever. Kobe has a lot of ego and pride, he won't retire until he has majority of the Laker records and is considered #1. I will tell you something though, I'm fortunate enough to get to watch every Laker game on TV and the some of the shots he makes seem impossible.