Kobe Bryant had to question what has been going with the current Los Angeles Lakers‘ hierarchy. At this point, he has the most pull of anyone associated with the Lakers to call out Jim and Jeanie Buss despite knowing he would receive criticism after just garnering a huge extension courtesy of those same individuals.
The fact of the matter is there is some serious divide a the top of the franchise, and at some point the awkwardness has to stop and these individuals need to be thrown into the fire to work out their differences. Bryant was the one to do it, and unfortunately the truth hurts. Hopefully this will force the Buss family along with Mitch Kupchak to start becoming a more harmonious, multilateral organization.
You get the feeling that Kupchak has tried to make multiple transactions over the past few years but Jim Buss has gotten in the way. The smartest move in the book last year was to move Dwight Howard at the trade deadline when there was legitimate risk he was going to walk as a free agent. Again, there are strong indications that Buss wanted to stand pat and try to ride out the season having full confidence Howard wouldn’t leave. Kupchak, having played the game, had to have known Howard wasn’t somebody you want to build a team around, so trading him made the most sense. The risk/reward of not dealing him was not worth it.
Bryant will be seen a spoiled child by some after his recent remarks to the media, but at the end of the day it needed to be done. There aren’t a whole lot of Lakers with clout who remain employed by the franchise — Bryant is one of them. Hopefully the Laker brand can move forward and we can look back on his comments as the starting point for getting the ball rolling in the right direction.