Wednesday , May , 30 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Is Kobe Bryant To Blame For the Current State Of The Los Angeles Lakers?

The rumors continue to swirl around Kobe Bryant … Nobody knows what his future holds … However, some journalists were disgusted by his comments over the weekend … They blame Bryant for the current state of the Lakers. Is this fair? … Click here for this story…

continues to squirm after making a series of controversial statements this past weekend regarding the direction of the .

Nobody knows what the deal is. Does he want to stay? Does he want a trade?

One thing is clear: Bryant is unhappy with things in Laker-land.

Some, like , have little sympathy for Kobe Bean and argue the guard is at fault for the current state of the purple-and-gold.

Ventre, and many others, believe Bryant forced the Lakers into trading and firing Phil Jackson three years ago when he was a free agent.

They reason that Bryant always wanted to be what he is now: The Guy. After all, he’s the first, second, and third option at Staples Center.

They feel Bryant’s made his bed. So he should lie in it.

I don’t think this is totally fair. Years ago, I felt Bryant was at fault for breaking up the Shaq, Kobe, and Zen-master dynasty.

I’ve re-visited this issue over the years. O’Neal and Jackson certainly contributed to the end of the Laker dynasty. O’Neal wasn’t getting a new contract after publicly insulting Laker owner Jerry Buss. And P-Jax is no saint. He stabbed too many people in the back and needed to take a sabbatical.

Both of these factors contributed to the end of Los Angeles’ run at the top of the standings. And Bryant played his part, too.  He had grown tired of being Shaq’s little brother. He had grown even more tired of listening to Jackson’s rants.

Bryant wanted changes, so he exercised his leverage as a free agent, demanding Shaq and Jackson be shown the door. Both were already on their way out anyway.

So do we fault Bryant for using his leverage? I don’t think so. People exercise leverage everyday at their place of work. It’s business.

 In 2004, Bryant had leverage with the Lakers’ organization. And you know what? In 2007, he still has leverage over Jerry Buss and the purple-and-gold’s front office. And once again, he’s just trying to use it.

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