Kobe’s Big Mouth
This is old news to Lakers fans, but early last summer, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was videotaped at a shopping center expressing his disgust over the Lakers decision to not trade third-year center Andrew Bynum for New Jersey Nets point guard Jason Kidd. Kobe demanded that Bynum be traded or that he be traded himself.
Bryant’s comments on Bynum included: "Andrew Bynum? What the (expletive)? Are you kidding me? Andrew Bynum? (Expletive) ship his (butt) out. Are you kidding me? We're talking about Jason Kidd. But they didn't even want to do that. Now we're here in this (expletive)-up position."
Now nearly a third of the way through the 2007-2008 NBA season, Bynum has emerged as one of the best centers in the Western Conference. In his first 28 games, he averaged 12.4 points and 10 rebounds. He's tied for eighth in the NBA in double-doubles with 15 and ranks 13th in rebounding. But he's the only player in the top 15 of both categories who averages fewer than 30 minutes per game. He's also third in field goal percentage (61.7) and 10th in blocks (2.0 per game).
With Bryant’s already tarnished reputation, he now looks even more foolish for ever suggesting the Lakers make that trade.
How could this been avoided? There are hundreds of professional athletes out there that are unhappy with their current situations and their respective teams, yet you don’t hear many of them complaining publicly about it. It’s not the players who call the shots on who gets traded and it shouldn’t be the players who comment to the media on those decisions. When Kobe was approached by media back in May, he should have directed them to the Lakers organization’s spokesperson. Now dubbed “spin doctor” his reactive commentary on how this was all part of his plan to light a fire under Bynum is as translucent as the glass backboard.