Kobe’s Final Years have made the Lakers a joke

The Black Mamba has certainly brought good and bad to the Lakers organization over the years. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch
The Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant has certainly brought good and bad to the Lakers organization over the years. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By Matthew Behrndt

Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of the National Basketball Association. No argument here…

Sometimes though when you’re great, you don’t like to work with other people, you feel like you know best.

Kobe has that kind of mindset. He has had some of the greatest players around him but for some reason he ends up driving them away. It is because he is self-centered? Not personable? Either way he seems to like being alone in his quest for greatness.

Putting fault on an athlete that will do anything to win or get his money is ignorant. If you are the best at your craft, you should be rewarded for the effort you put into it.

However, in his quest for greatness Bryant has isolated teammates, coaches and sometimes the front office staff. Now, after almost 30 years of greatness the Lakers organization is excavating down into a place that will be hard to dig out of.

Is it all Kobe’s fault? Absolutely not, but he does play a major role in the feature film that is the Lakers failing motion picture. He never took a pay cut, again you should get your money after years of dedicated work. He just did it in an arrogant way it seems. He took almost $30 million a year from the franchise while sitting on the bench. He knew he wanted to be the highest paid player and he made the franchise suffer for it because they couldn’t afford free-agents. He made Los Angeles, the best recruiting city in the world, seem undesirable.

Every franchise is going to go through a phase where they aren’t playing so well. The Los Angeles Lakers shouldn’t be a team that is on that list for a long time. The team is playing some of the worst basketball in franchise history. It is not a coincidence that in Kobe’s farewell tour, the team is performing so poorly.

The team is horribly organized, the players simply don’t match together they have only “score first” type of players and there isn’t a lick of defense being played. The roster is full of back-up players because the Lakers couldn’t afford to pay big name players and when they do, they seem to never want to play with Kobe. The way Kobe goes about his business is nonchalant this season and his teammates are following his every step. The organization is more concerned with Kobe’s well-being and his marketability rather than focusing on the future.

The future is looking like its going to take a while to get brighter. Reports of mistrust about certain players take this story to a whole different level. The Lakers took a chance drafting D’Angelo Russell because of his superstar capability. Now that he is being completely blackballed by his teammates for violating a teammate’s trust just adds to a ever growing debacle of a season.

If the story and situation worsens the Lakers are left with two options: One might be moving the second overall pick this summer and setting back the rebuilding process even more. Or, they keep their young talented player and move everybody else around him. Either way, the Lakers are going backwards and the fault lies heavily on the front office with Kobe Bryant as the enforcer behind it.