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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Quiet, Maybe Too Quiet For The Lakers

It's been pretty quiet in Laker Land. Kobe Bryant hasn't said much lately. Sure, some think that Kobe will push for a trade after playing with Jason Kidd for the Olympic basketball qualifiers, but that's just talk at this point. Kobe did have a short talk with Rachel Nichols of ESPN though:

"Nichols: You said one day you wanted to be traded, you said you wanted to be a Laker for Life. There were different phone calls back and forth.

Bryant: I think a lot of people misinterpreted it. But that's water under the bridge to me, because going forward, we're handling our situation between ourselves, meaning the Lakers organization and myself. If things, if things were to be different, we both would have handled the situation a little differently.

Nichols: When you look back on that, are you thinking ... Oh God, what was I doing then?

Bryant: Yeah, sure, it was just frustration. Frustration gets the best of everybody."

Also from ESPN, J.A. Adande answered a few Laker questions in a chat session, most of them having to with Kobe:

"Lakeshow, Burbank: Is Bynum really looking "that good" this off season? Does he have the makings of the future of a franchise?

J.A. Adande: We heard Bynum was looking good last summer...from no less than Kobe Bryant. And we saw how that worked out. The thing is, 7-footers picked outside of the top 5 in the draft don't turn into franchise guys. There's a reason they were still available in the double-digit range. A notable exception in recent years was a guy who turned into an all-star...Jermaine O'Neal

CMo Detroit, MI: Do you see Kobe in training camp this year?

J.A. Adande: I think Kobe has to show up for his image's sake. The one thing he's always had going for him is his work ethic. He's always on the court, giving his all. If he's sitting at home in Newport Beach, it gets tough for even his most ardent supporters to have his back

malik (tucson): J.A., we have constantly been brainwashed into thinking Kobe had Shaq shipped out of L.A. Dr. Buss spoke publicly against this and yet the coverage has been the same as before...slighted. When will you and the media give this FACT as much run as you gave for the lies?

J.A. Adande: Here's the thing: I don't think Kobe marched into Buss' office and ordered Shaq shipped out. On the other hand, I think it was obvious that he was intrigued by the idea of doing this on his own. And the main thing is, he didn't exactly try to keep Buss from getting rid of Shaq. If he really wanted to play with Shaq, Buss would have kept him. He would have washed Kobe's cars that summer if it would have kept him in Lakerland

Matt (Reno, Nevada): Can the Lakers Acquire Jermaine O'Neal without having to give up Lamar Odom?

J.A. Adande: I think Odom would have to be a part of the deal to get it done. If for no other reason than for salary match purposes. But also, he's the only one of the tradeable assets (Kwame, Bynum) that has proven he can get it done in the league

Brad(NM): Being from L.A. I would guess you're in tune with the Lakers and the Kobe situation right? How do you think that situation plays out, especially now that they've made no moves other than Fisher? By the way, how does one get into the lounge?

J.A. Adande: I still think Kobe plays at least one more season in L.A. I wouldn't make a comparison to the KG situation because Minnesota was already out of the playoffs and attendance had slipped, so the T-Wolves had nothing to lose. The Lakers at least made the playoffs, and Kobe still pulls folks into Staples Center, so the Lakers can't part with him. And to get on the Lounge List, try e-mailing me."

And Hoopsworld sums up the Kobe summer experience.

As a side note, Team USA has its first game tonight in the Olympic qualifiers at 8 pm Pacific time against Venezuela. It will be interesting to see Kobe playing after the end of the last season.