Hoffa The Great's Blog

Strange as it may seem, all has been eerily quiet with the sideshow that has been the Lakers off-season recently. With reports that it was Charlotte, not Boston as originally reported, that drug their proverbial feet and blocked the chances of KG landing on the left coast, it makes me wonder what MIGHT have been said between Kobe and Jordan. I'm not a **** "insider" like Ric Bucher or anything, but I'd bet large sums of money that they talk, even with Jordan running the show in Bobcat land. I'm not alleging tampering, but I've got to believe that they speak in general terms regarding life and basketball. Maybe I'm being paranoid and reading too far into it, it just seems odd to me that they wouldn't have spoken AT ALL this summer, with all of the crap that's been going on. That, coupled with the fact that Indiana STILL wants far too much in return for O'Neal, it seems as if the roster is set for this season. So what does that mean? Kobe's "no comment" responses, at least to me, indicate that he, along with the rest of us, is still waiting for the Lakers to do something worthwhile. While he (supposedly) liked the moves they HAVE made--signing Derek Fisher and re-signing Mihm and Walton--he also has to be furious at the thought of Garnett going East for a bunch of garbage. You're right, I'm obviously biased, but come on. Al Jefferson is nice, and he's young, but he isn't the player that Lamar Odom is. Andrew Bynum is full of potential and Kwame Brown has an appealing contract. Throw in a few things here and there to make it work, and the deal could get done. So why didn't it? We all know McHale HATES LA, and at the risk of beating a dead horse (don't tell PETA), I think it has as much to do with that as anything else. Yes, Mitch Kupchak is incompetent; and yes, the Buss' DO make it harder for him to do his job, but this is all about McHale helping out Bean Town. What was so great about what Boston gave up? A dunker, an expiring contract, draft picks and a young player with potential. The Lakers were giving up a YOUNGER 7 footer with potential in Andrew Bynum, a player with potential and All Star talent already in Lamar Odom, and an expiring contract in Kwame Brown. I'm sure there was more to the deal, but that was the big part of it. It's a better deal for Wolves, but it wasn't the deal that helped out McHale's Celtics. So we now have a "quiet" Kobe (yes I got off on a tangent there, but I found my way back), speaking volumes with his silence. Of course he still wants out. He wants to win and isn't going to put his faith in a bunch of guys that haven't done anything. I'm sure spending time with Coach K and the rest of the guys with Team USA has done a lot to help curb his mood and attitude, but he still wants to see results, and how can you blame him? I honestly believe that LA has enough talent to contend, and have stated that before, but I'm not the one that matters here. Kobe is the reason that the Lakers won more than 10 games last season, sold the merchandise that they did, and why people pay ungodly amounts of money to sit courtside at Staples. He is the one that matters here. Has he backed off? No. He stated that he was misinterpreted (how, only he knows), and that he is now handling things internally. In the Sunday conversation, when asked how he would describe his attitude towards the Lakers, he said, "it's the team I play for", in a less than enthused tone. Does that mean that LA is shopping him? I hope not, but, as I said, I'm not a league insider. Or does it mean they came to an understanding? A, sort of, "give this season a chance," thing. A, "We think we may have something strong here, and want to prove it to you," point of view. It makes sense, especially after the "we'll see what happens" comment he made to the LA Times. Phil Jackson is getting up there in age and has talked retirement. Maybe the Lakers make another run at Krzyzewski to appease Bryant, which they already tried once. Word is that he has been well received coaching the team in Vegas, and you KNOW Kobe still wants to play for him. And assuming that they can't move Kwame and his contract, they will have a nice chunk of money to deal with after next season. Either way, we aren't far from the Lakers opening training camp and putting an end to the summer of discontent. How it will be looked at down the line, only time will tell. But as far as right now, I'd almost prefer some noise to all of this silence.


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