Saturday , Jun , 16 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Kobe Bryant & Los Angeles Lakers Past Point of No Return

There’s no going back for Kobe Bryant & the Los Angeles Lakers-not after the superstar’s Euro-vacation trade demand … Yes, this is his second demand for a trade in three weeks … And now it really does look like #24 and the purple-and-gold will be heading their separate ways …

Apparently, Kobe Bryant was doing a hell of a lot more than hanging with Ronaldinho in Spain.

He was plotting his exit strategy from the Lakers-again. If there was a second trade demand in some exotic Euro-locale, then the Lakers and Bryant have officially passed the point of no return.

Quite simply, there’s no going back. There’s no Kodak-moment reunion in La-La land. No happily ever after Hollywood story.

Two weeks ago, Kobe Bean’s comments could be brushed aside. The man was talking out of frustration. The man was angry. Stephen A. Smith caught him at a weak moment and got him to open up.

But the parties involved had apparently agreed to work things out and find common ground.  Zen-Master Phil even called and suggested that: “they talk things out.”

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it was all a smokescreen-one giant Vegas-style bluff for the ages. This was a cover.

wants out. He always has. The last two weeks since the Stephen A. Smith interview was simply a cooling off period, which all sides involved could use as a time to consider their next move.

Want evidence of my Oly Stone conspiracy theory?

For the last two weeks, Kobe and the Lakers have played both sides of the fence.

Bryant has publicly committed to the Lakers, while also leaving all his options open for the future. I’m sure members of the Kobe camp have used their back channel contacts around the Association to get the word out about Bryant’s desire for a new home.

The Lakers have publicly maintained that Bryant is their franchise guy, while also fielding calls from other teams about a trade.  Other GMs have surely called GM X (I know Mitch Kupchak is officially the GM, but I have no idea what’s actually going on with L.A.’s front office) and thrown out some possibilities for a deal.

So don’t think GM X, again a variable representing the unknown GM of the Lakers, hasn’t considered the possibilities. And he/she should have a plan for trading Kobe.

The last two weeks came to ahead in Spain, when Bryant asked Buss for a second trade.

But how do the Lakers get equal value for Bryant?

Such an idea doesn’t exist. In fact, it’s incomprehensible. There’s no way to do it. Keep in mind Bryant has a no trade clause and can pick his destination. And we haven’t even mentioned balancing salaries under the cap.

So a deal will be complicated. And how does next season play out? Will Kobe report to training camp if he’s still with the Lakers?

These are answers none of us have. But we do know that Bryant and the Lakers are moving towards closing this unresolved issue. And right now, it looks like they will be going their separate ways.

Want more coverage on Kobe Bryant’s second trade demand? Check out these stories:

Kobe Bryant’s Official Statement Confirms Second  Trade Demand.

You Vote: Trade Kobe Bryant Or Trade The Buss Family?

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