Wednesday, June 20, 2007
It's nervous time
I'm officially scared.
A few days from now I might be waking up in a cold sweat from a nightmare that goes something along the lines of: The Los Angeles Lakers trade Kobe Bryant to the Chicago Bulls for Ben Gordon, Luol Deng and insert long European name here.
I'm the last person to think Kobe will actually be traded.
A. Jerry Buss might not know basketball, but he knows entertainment. There is a reason he's riding around with 23 year old girls. There's no way he'll take away Hollywood Kobe from the best place to take advantage of his recently increasing mouth, his superstar status, and his on court dominance.
B. As Bill Simmons would say, the Lakers can't get much more than 60 cents on the dollar for Kobe right now. Other teams know that he wants out and that Mitch Kupchak has been heavily criticized for constantly not pulling the trigger.
C. Most of the Eastern Conference teams just don't have the assets to make the kind of deal LA is looking for. Aside from Lebron (not gonna happen) D. Wade (ditto), and Gilbert Arenas (intriguing but unlikely). Paul Pierce is past his prime, so I won't include him in the discussion.
But here's what got me thinking. Stephen A. Smith was on SportsCenter and was asked if it would be better for the Lakers to trade Kobe before or after the draft.
Either before or during, he said.
Since the NBA draft is one of my favorite, if not favorite, days of the year, I can only imagine David Stern walking up to the podium, and announcing with that sly grin he always wears on his face: "There has been a trade..."
Then he waits the obligatory five seconds for the New York crowd to gasp, hoot, and holler, after which Stern leans back from the mike, leans back in, and goes, the Los Angeles Lakers trade...
At that point, I'll be either knocked unconscious from leaping up and hitting the ceiling on my garage, pissing in my pants, or reaching for the knife.
What if Bill Plaschke is right? (He's just not that into you)
What if Kobe doesn't love us anymore? What if he's tired of LA, tired of the losing, tired of having to carry a team on his shoulders as he once wanted to do?
What if he's just gone off the edge like some of the other stars in this city?
What if he does actually get traded. We will miss him. We've known him since he was a teenager, watched him grow up in front of our eyes. We watched him airball key shots against the Jazz in the playoffs, then grow up and drop 28 on the Pacers in the Finals with an injured ankle, score 81 against the Raptors, and do things no other player in the NBA could do.
The thought of seeing Kobe in another uniform is flat out scary.
Let's just hope that when Stern says the Lakers have made a trade, the first words out of his mouth will be Andrew Bynum and Kwame Brown.