The Lakers could be the Story of the Year
Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, newly acquired Pau Gasol and the rest of the crew give the Los Angeles Lakers a great team and story. It was not long ago Kobe Bryant was trumpeting to be traded but now he looks like the greatest teammate ever. Phil Jackson is sitting comfortably in his role of “genius” once again and all is peachy in LA—for now.
The thing about LA is they can now play up-tempo or a half court game with the best of them. The combo guard play of Bryant, Gasol and Lamar Odom gives the Lakers long, athletic guards who can do everything. Not only is Kobe Bryant the best player in the Western Conference but the Lakers also now have tremendous depth and balance than arguably any team in the NBA.
The best part about the team is they will have a few years to grow and get better together. This year is setting up nicely though for a title run if they can get healthy. Kobe has an injured hand that needs surgery but he’ll gut it out and hopefully stay near 100%.
The acquisition of Pau Gasol was pure genius. First off, they did not give up anything to get him. Had he not been hiding in Memphis he would have been more highly regarded. He also is only 27 years old so he can become a staple for a team who should get used to competing for championships. Before Gasol, the Lakers had an outside shot at the championship. With Gasol, the Lakers are the team to beat. That is a huge difference and a drastic turnaround from earlier in the year.( But there are more than just the obvious advantages to this acquisition).
The Kobe factor is overriding in trying to determine if the Lakers can pull close games out. He gives LA championship experience and the best one-on-one player in the league.
This season goes to show that trade demands at times are a result of impatience and ignorance.
A solid NBA team requires 3-4 good players surrounded by role guys who want to win and play defense. Bryant should have realized this, taken some lumps and kept his mouth shut. As it stands, he took his lumps and now he’s playing on the best team in the NBA. All of the wining could have been avoided but regardless the Lakers management can now just look at Kobe and say, “I told you so, now go win titles.”
It’s true, Jack Nicholson is once again enjoying his cozy front row seat, Boston is the best team in the East and Phil Jackson’s mastermind status in as noticeable as a mustard stain on his ‘stache.
Speaking of the Celtics, the folks in New England may try to claim their stake for Story of the Year but their success in no surprise. Not too many people saw this coming for LA and certainly not their number one player. It is sure to make for a really bad movie but some Lakers fan with too much time on his hands. The only thing that can stop them this year is injuries. The only thing that can stop them moving forward is themselves, a fact that is reflected by their NBA odds. They are young enough and talented enough to win for a long time.