This has really reached the point of silliness.
And who is to blame? Everyone.
Jim Buss, Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Jerry Buss, Mitch Kupchak, Shaquille O'Neal. I blame all of you. Four years of nonsense, and apparently this will never be over. Movies will be written. Day time soaps are scribbling ideas for the future as I type.
Kobe doesn't trust the organization, and frankly I can't say I completely blame him for that. After all, they promised him that they'd be competitive and then they wasted all of their cap space on Vladimir Radmanovic and re-signed Brian Cook inexplicably. The Lakers are a playoff team whose ceiling is reaching the second round of the playoffs. That's not going to be good enough for KB24.
However, from my point of view as fan, that doesn't mean you should go whining about it in the media. See, I'm torn when it comes to Kobe. The Lakers stood by him throughout his whole Colorado deal. That was some sideshow of a season, and the Lakers were on his side the entire way, from the same day flights to make tip time, to turning the other cheek when he shot them out of the Finals series against Detroit.
For me, it doesn't matter who forced Shaq out of town. I understand that Kobe is bent that a "Laker insider" threw him under the bus in the L.A. Times, but whether Jerry Buss was going to bring Shaq back isn't completely the point. Bryant and O'Neal couldn't find a way to co-exist, and as a fan for years, I believe that Bryant would have bailed on the Lakers if O'Neal had stayed. I might be wrong. That's how I see it from where I sit. He may not have asked for it directly, but he was asking for it for years indirectly.
So, Kobe wants to win. He wants to win NOW. He wants to be the guy. He wants to be in the Finals. That's great. I'd like the Lakers to win now too, but the fact of the matter is that they're not in a position to win NOW. Bryant makes a ton of money. The front office has made a ton of bad moves that are biting them right now (Caron Butler for Kwame Brown is the obvious one). Again, sucks for everyone.
The way Bryant has handled his media tour rubs me the wrong way as a Lakers fan. I would understand if he was adamant about the organization getting better, I'm with him when he says he'd like Jerry West back, I even agree with him that the Lakers have wronged him a bit over the last three days. However, to ask for a trade on the radio and then backpedal on another radio show all in the same day feels like someone who just wants some attention. There has to be a better way to handle this situation, and I won't be surprised if he flips back and forth a few more times before it's all over. Take a step back, be quiet, and talk to the organization that is on the hook to pay you $147 million.
After he talks to everyone in El Segundo, Bryant can ask for a trade if he wants. Hell, I'd even argue that the Lakers should consider moving him. It might work out for the best for all parties involved. I just don't want to hear about this every day. It's petty, it's silly, and it's quite frankly tiresome. Kobe made his bed one way or the other in Los Angeles, and now that he's not sleeping so well, he wants out. NOW. If only it was that easy. Who knows where this goes from here? Nothing will surprise me.