Kobe Bryant is not a child. His condition is more problematic than that. He's a child star.
Having been famous since adolescence, his emotional development appears to have ceased there as well.
Still, what do you do with a kid, famous or otherwise, who continues to act up? Do you trade him? No. You ground him. You give him a time out.
Though Bryant will turn 29 this summer, it's plain to see that he's never been in time out. The Kobe Rules — that seemingly eternal cycle of complaint and indulgence — might be an amusing curiosity for those of us who didn't grow up with the Lakers, but out here in L.A., they are the unwritten law. What Kobe wants, Kobe gets. And now that he has reiterated his want to be traded, there is considerable support for the Lakers to grant him his wish.
One argument, a bit misguided, says the Lakers should be done with him and get what they can. But there's a more prevalent sentiment in the City of Angels: people give in to Kobe because he's Kobe. They really don't want him to be unhappy, even for a moment.
Now I enjoy (as I suspect Kobe does) the attention that is lavished on him. But I don't really get it, this outsized concern for a spoiled kid. Then again, I'm not from L.A. This is a strange sports town. They like stars. But stars are in perilously short supply. In fact, outside of Kobe, the most talked-about athletes in Los Angeles play for the Arizona Cardinals and the New Orleans Saints.
Oh, no? Quick, who's the best-known player on the Dodgers' roster?
An over-the-hill shortstop with a single home run in 252 at-bats.
Now consider Vladimir Guerrero, the spectacular right fielder who toils for the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles. Guerrero is hitting almost 50 points higher than Nomar Garciaparra, but his fame is a perishable commodity. It doesn't travel up the interstate from Orange County.
Then there are the Stanley Cup champions. They also play in Anaheim, though that would be news to many Angelenos, too.
And this is supposed to be Hollywood? Please. The hottest team in Southern California is the UC-Irvine Anteaters, who were just eliminated from the College World Series.
So think before you start bashing the Kobe-lovers. It's tough for a fan out here. Pro football doesn't start until September 1, when Southern Cal entertains Idaho at the Los Angeles Coliseum, an event that promises to be less competitive than the Christians entertaining the lions at the Roman Coliseum. It is said that Pete Carroll has a great recruiting class. I sure hope so, because people here haven't yet dealt with the loss of Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart.
How could they possibly survive the loss of Kobe?
Of course, in an effort to effect a trade (or, more likely, draw attention to his plight), Bryant has tried his best to make the Lakers as miserable as he is. There have been stories, serial radio appearances and web site postings. He's not particularly choosy; he'll whine to just about anybody. He belittled Andrew Bynum, his 19-year-old teammate, for the benefit of somebody on the street with a cellphone video camera.
But do you trade him?
Not now. Not unless you can get Tim Duncan or Steve Nash or LeBron James or Dwyane Wade.
Of course, teams like the Knicks want a trade. But short of Madison Square Garden itself, there's no reasonable deal they could offer. The concept of relative value as it pertains to Bryant — one of the NBA's four best players, and perhaps its biggest star — is a very limited one. Sure, Chicago has some talented players. But Luol Deng isn't going to replace the void left by Bryant, certainly not in Hollywood. And as for the Suns, the Lakers' divisional rival, L.A. should make the deal only if it wants to ensure a Phoenix dynasty.
You don't deal a superstar on his timetable. Everybody has tried reasoning with Bryant: the general manager, his coach, the owner. It's time to ignore him. Let the tantrum, now in its second month, run its course. Kobe needs a time out.
No one, least of all Lakers fans, wants to see Kobe with a sad face. It is feared that his behavior will make Hollywood's favorite team unhappy and dysfunctional. But this neglects the fact that the Lakers are already unhappy and dysfunctional. Bryant was never known to be very popular in his own locker room. As for the management and ownership, remember that these are the Lakers owned by the Buss family.
The patriarch, Dr. Jerry, a Ph.D who made his fortune in real estate, has two pending DUI charges, and a couple of kids on the team payroll. Jimmy is an assistant GM. Jeanie is a vice president. A long time ago she posed for Playboy. Now she runs the business side of the operation and is romantically involved with the coach, who quit and wrote a tell-all book bashing Kobe before returning to the team again. Then there's another son, Johnny, who is 50. He writes about Kobe on his MySpace page.
And only now does it occur what the problem really might be.
Dr. Jerry never put his kids in time out.
Of course we can't trade Kobe Bryant, you can't get anything close to value for him. The Buss' have been killing this team since the Shaq trade, I know he was aging, but look what happened when he got traded, they won the championship. If they had just worked on settling those differences between Shaq-Kobe, then the Lakers would be considered as the dynasty right now instead of the Spurs. Kobe just needs to shut his mouth, even though he should be made because management has done really nothing to help him, and they promised him when he had signed that they would get guys around him. Think of it is you don't just go out and throw everyone under the bus like he did. I think the Buss' need to let Kupchack run this team properly, because that's the reason West left in the first place, the Buss' wouldn't let him do his job
I don't want him to go but the truth is... he's not going anywhere. He's to important to that franchise. Personally I'm with him. They need to get him some help. For someone to score 50+ in a game numerous times and still lose is crazy.
Lakers fans are going to have to face the truth...Kobe Bryant will not be a laker this season, and of course, you wont get anywhere near his full value in a trade...Look at the Iverson deal that the 76ers got, its just the way it is, if a star demands a trade, you wont get full value...Same as Minnesota wont with Kevin Garnett...The best you can hope for is a few nice draft picks, some expiring contracts and maybe a decent player or 2...Its time to rebuild for the lakers...Build around Bynum & Crittendon and which ever young players you get back for Bryant
I really don't care... if he wants to leave, then they should trade him
The only problem is they can't get value for him. I thought for sure they would take the Bulls offer of Gordon, Deng, Wallace and the #9, but the Bulls wouldn't gut there team for another perimeter player. I'm glad he isn't coming out every week saying he wants to be traded, but I know deep down he still wants to be.
the bulls NEVER offered that....theres no way they give up Deng AND Gordon for Kobe...It was Gordon, Thomas, Wallace and the #9...Deng is the future of that team
is not leaving Los Angeles, unless he wins another championship and Phil Jackson leaves
I prefer moving Lebron to New York? Wade to Chicago..
But Gerry will not allow Kobe to move out of the Lakers. I remember that there are some talks about Kobe opting to move out of the Lakers.
I think Kobe is the Lakers. He is definetly one of the best Basket ball players ever. His skills and intelligence on court are surplisly hugh. lets see what happen but this is not a child star problem. Theres only one kobe and the lakers wont give it away like nothing. Think about it,. He costs millions. but I dont know.,
I hope to continue watching him play.
Well you were right Agustin :
On April 2, 2010, the Lakers' signed Kobe to a three-year contract extension worth $87 million, through the 2013-2014 season.
Kobe can hit the big shot...Lebron (except for that one big shot against Orlando last year) has yet to hit the big shot and make it to the NBA Finals.
I think this closes the discussion ... until 2014 of course.
I think Kobe is a Laker for life. Something really terrible would have to happen for him to leave. Maybe when he gets older and is not the same dominate player, they might deal him (like the Chargers did with Ladanian Tomlinson). But in the immediate future, I think he will be a Laker.
A time will come when Lakers Management will get tired of his prima donna attitude and will let him go. I don't think that he will be able to win a championship in another team.