You might think the Los Angeles Lakers are pretty bitter these days about the way David Stern and his henchmen turned Dell Demps’ attempt to trade Chris Paul into a debacle of epic proportions.
Kobe’s LA team extended a fair offer in exchange for CP3, and David Stern nixed the deal because he wanted too. Stern and his crew, after commandeering the negotiations, eventually sent Paul to the cross-town Clippers in what some have since described as a shakedown.
Lamar Odom was bent for being offered in that original deal to New Orleans, and he was shipped out of town for essentially nothing as well as a result. Who knows where Pau’s heads at these days too.
All that said, Kobe’s not publicly bashing all things Donald Sterling and the Los Angeles Clippers at the moment. In fact he seems to think the more star power in town the better.
This from Kobe yesterday according to the AP:
Kobe Bryant believes his town has always been big enough for two star-studded NBA teams.
And with Chris Paul moving into the locker room down the hall at Staples Center, Bryant realizes the Lakers finally might get a real rivalry going with the Clippers.
”It’s about damn time,” Bryant said Thursday.
”I’d definitely go watch them,” Bryant said. ”Blake Griffin has, like, a 60-inch vertical. Chris is vastly entertaining. For sure, I’d go check them out. They’re a team with a high motor. They’re young, and they run up and down the floor.”
The Clippers are definitely exciting to be sure, and a starting five of Paul, Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan – with maybe a Mo Williams firing off the bench in that Jamal Crawford-esque role – could be pretty potent. I still think Kobe beats them though, maybe not in terms of buzz and highlights, but in terms of wins. He might be 16 years in, but he’s still Kobe.
To that point, he also lobbed a veiled parting shot in the direction of both the Commissioner as well as those owners who contributed to that first CP3 to LA trade not going through too:
”We always contended as players that the lockout was really more so about the owners fighting amongst themselves, which is what you just saw. You had Chris Paul coming here. The other owners weren’t with that, because you don’t want another great player coming to (the Lakers), and all of a sudden Los Angeles has another player that can carry them on well after I retire. It’s more about the owners bickering amongst themselves.”
I’m the furthest thing from a Lakers fan you’ll ever find, but he’s got a pretty valid point right there I think. Probably right about there being enough room for all that basketball playing star power in LA this season too.