KobeWelcome to the NBA Roundtable!
All KOBE Edition!

1. If you were the Lakers, would you amnesty Kobe?

David: Let me be upfront, I don’t like Kobe. I can’t stand Kobe. As a CHARLOTTE HORNET FAN (FU Shinn) I hate his whiney guts. But I respect the hell out of him. Had he stayed in Charlotte, I have no doubt I would have a 24 pin-stripe jersey right next to my #2 jersey.

That being said. The Lakers have to cut him if he’s not close to 75% at the start of the season. If Dr Buss was still the man, or his kids weren’t shit, (or if there was less of them) then maybe they keep him- but this is the LAKERS! Name me the last All-Star they drafted and brought up! This franchise shouldn’t even GET draft picks, so they can shit on their stars and be just fine.

Cut him, save the money, and go after the East All-Star roster.

DJ: Yes. I am a huge Lakers fan, but he is going to try and come back ASAP. I’d try and talk to him, say we’re going to Amnesty you. Take the year off and come back in the 20141-15 season. He’ll refuse this, but I’d try. Amnesty him, re-sign Howard and Clark. Trade Gasol to a team that needs a center for some bench pieces and athletic players, start Clark at PF next to Howard and you have an athletic duo at PF-C. Take a look at the free agent SG’s and see what they can do.

The Lakers are rebuilt on the fly.

Bill: Yes, but from a purely business standpoint. Given the future of the franchise and the amounts of money we’re talking, it MUST be discussed even if it sounds heinous. If I were in the drivers’ seat on this, I would have a discussion with Bryant and lay it out to him as a pure business move. Bryant is no fool, so I expect he gets it. Additionally, as a dedicated Laker in his twilight years, he’s got to protect the future of the team and that means being able to get more talent to continue to compete well after he’s gone. The Lakers aren’t going to be able to do so unless they’re not being killed by the cap. So, again, it comes down to the owner (me) and Bryant. We’d have to come to some sort of agreement that would guarantee that after his amnesty and rehab are through he can re-sign for a short term deal and then hang up his kicks for good.

2. Has Kobe played his last game as a Laker?

David: Yes. At best, he’s gone until the All-Star break, and the Lakers need to figure out where to go. If he stays, they lose Pau, and who know where Howard is going to go. If you are a Lakers Fan, would you be happy if all THREE were gone? I would be thrilled to see the Lakers hit the open market with 50 Million to play with. You can bet they do better than Ben Gordan and Charlie V.

DJ: Yes, unfortunately. He’s not going to agree to sit out the year and just collect the 30 million when he gets Amnestied. And he will. Mitch has already said Dwight will have a statue and this is now his team. Kobe’s done in LA, unless he agrees to sit out next year and re-sign. I put the chances of that at 10%. Kobe’s ego will have him wanting to play ASAP.

Bill: No. I’m the odd man out given that I’ve never been a fan of Bryant, but there’s no way I see him letting this get the best of him. I expect a solid recovery followed by a return to the team by the All-Star break. After that season is over, I then see Bryant closing out. The only variable in that will be Bryant himself: will he be able to fully recover and play at the high level he holds himself to or not? If he can, he’s a given to return; however, if he can’t compete as he wants, he’s sadly done.

3. If you were Kobe, you get cut, and you come back at the All-Star break, what team(s) are on your shortlist to join?Lakers

David: Depends. If Rose is CLOSE, I goto the Bulls. Noah makes me look better on D than I have been in years, Rose can get me the ball when and where I want, and we can dump Deng for a better rebounder than Boozer. hey, maybe for wherever Pau is.
If not, how about the CLIPPERS? I make my asking price I get to name the coach, and I get rid of Vinny Del Pitino. I bring in Byron Scott or even Paul Silas, and I got CP3 and Blake to say howdy to Lebron’s Threeway. Welcome to the Finals that NBA (and my other sponsors) will wet their Brooks Brothers PJs over.

DJ: He will not sit out the year like I mentioned before and will try and come back around the All Star break with a team. Most likely, the Bulls. They could use him next to Rose, but he won’t be the same. He’ll be a 16-17 point per game scorer, but an upgrade for Chicago.

Bill: No other team than the Lakers are going to be on my list. He’s always had an ego to be the best Lakers player ever and/or best NBA player ever, so going elsewhere to accomplish those feats are a big no-no. It’s the Lakers or nothing.

— Lets say for the sake of argument, Kobe has played his last game:

4. Where does Kobe rank on the all-time list?

David: It’s kinda hard to say, Is he just as good on offense as Jordan? Yes. Is he the defender? No. Is he the winner? Hard to say. Pippen wanted to win just as much as Jordan did, and Grant, Rodman and the rest were more than willing to do what it took. Let me hide in the corner and give the Great Philbo credit where credit is due. He’s the best coach Kobe has ever had. How many rings did Mitch lose him? Shaq cost him 2, at least. Imagine if Duncan had come to the Lakers instead of Shaq a decade ago- Would they both be closing in on needing to get Toe-rings? Easily the second best SG of all time, and maybe the 5th best player I have ever seen. (Yes, over Magic)

DJ: He’s an excellent SG and the 2nd best behind MJ.

Bill: Despite my dislike of Bryant the person, Bryant the player is easily top 10 all time. While he may personally feel that he’s the greatest SG ever, he’s simply mistaken. Kobe will always be behind Jordan from a personal accomplishments standpoint, championships as a team nonwithstanding.

5. When your grandkids ask you about Kobe, what are you going to tell them?Kobe Bryant

David: You see kids, back the post Jordan days, there was this next guy, who bridged the gap between Jordan and LeBron.The NBA had problems replacing Jordan, and he was the next best thing. He played almost 2 decades, and was amazing. The problem was, the league didn’t want another Jordan, and he was a bit of a prick. But on the court? He was the closest thing we had until LeBron came into the NBA.

DJ: He was the closest SG to MJ and was an amazing player. The game recently where he scored 47 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, blocked 4 shots and had 3 steals was simply amazing. Just when I think I have seen him do it all, he continued to impress and make you say, “WOW!!!”

Bill: Uh, well… that’s a tough one for me. Bryant was one of the fiercest competitors to ever play the game and easily one of the best, if not the best, Lakers to play the game. Bryant is the only player to garner constant talk about “Who’s better? Bryant or Jordan?” as the very best SGs in the game despite the wealth of talent the NBA has ever seen at the position. An unbelievable scorer who once netted 81 points by himself. Able to take over a game at almost any time. The only thing to stop him was Father Time… and a bad Achilles tendon injury.

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