Kobe has gone from snitching on Shaq to snitching on Jerry Buss. Please don't ever do your dirt in front of Kobe. This mofo has a penchant for remembering details!
"He met with me at the Four Seasons Hotel here across from Fashion Island, which is now the Island Hotel. I went up to his penthouse suite. [Buss] looks me dead in the face and says: 'Kobe, I am not going to re-sign Shaq. I am not about to pay him $30 million a year or $80 million over three years. No way in hell. I feel like he's getting older. His body is breaking down, and I don't want to pay that money to him when I can get value for him right now rather than wait. This is my decision. It's independent of you. My mind is made up. It doesn't matter to me what you do in free agency because I do not want to pay [Shaq], period.' "
"Dr. Buss said that. And I haven't said anything for years because I've always felt like folks were just looking to create controversy. Now I know. I realize what extent [the Lakers] will go to, to cover themselves."
No love for Jerry Buss, Kobe? Dr. Buss once had an alleged rapist's back. Remember that, Kobe?
Shaquille O'Neal claims he believes Kobe's account of what Dr. Buss said one hundred percent. But Shaq has beef with the Laker organization. I don't doubt he would "support" Kobe to avenge his vendetta.
Actually, I believe Kobe's account of what Dr. Buss said one hundred percent. But did anyone ever believe Kobe's signature was on the trade papers or anything? No matter what Jerry Buss did or didn't say or whatever Kobe is saying years after the fact, I will always believe that Kobe was complicit in the trading of Shaquille O'Neal. Kobe is no victim. He's merely gotten what he wished for. I don't care how much mumbling and using words like "truf" Bryant did all over ESPN today, Kobe is presently suffering through the turmoil he sowed the seeds for.
And, by the way, score one for diverse journalists. It's interesting that Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski slams Kobe, while Stephen A. Smith has bent over backwards all day to convey an empathetic picture of Kobe.
I'm amused that Kobe has promoted himself to owner (by imagining the firing of current GM Mitch Kupchak) from general manger (by effectuating the trade of Shaquille O'Neal). I'm annoyed by Kobe's latest hissy fit when things don't go his way.
Still, Kobe's concerns about ownership are not totally misfounded. Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss was arrested on suspicion of DUI (and with a 23 year old woman in tow). And Mitch Kupchak is no GM Savant.
Kobe is absolutely right on the substance of his argument. But in a predictable Kobe brand of crazy, Kobe keeps changing his mind about exactly what he wants to happen. First, he wants Jerry West to come back. Then he wants a trade. Then he didn't say either of those things. Then he demands a trade. Then he talks to Coach Phil and hopes to remain a Laker for life. Maybe Kobe will share his medication with the rest of us.
Sad. The Lakers couldn't help themselves now if they wanted to. At the beginning of the soap opera, I thought it was pretty magnanimous for Kobe to "suggest" a solution that would allow him to remain a Laker. Obviously, the Lakers couldn't be instant contenders now even if they gave up Bynum and Odom. Kobe craves some long term confidence in the direction in the team. It's reasonable to assume Jerry West would provide that. But, now Kobe is disgruntled and whole world knows it. His value is instantly diminished in the market place. Too bad crazy Kobe didn't think this through.
And lest we forget the real victims in this drama. Vanessa Bryant needs her shopping and red carpet appearances. Kobe might have punched their ticket out of town today. Wherever the Bryants end up, they better sell Blahniks for Vanessa's sake.
BTW, Kobe. Michael Vick thanks you today (Shhhhh! A grand jury may be assembling in relation to the dog fighting thingie). Alex Rodriquez thanks you today. Lebron James hates you though.