The Credits: "Village of the Damned"

Sometimes, you do something wrong and you get crucified for it, rightly so. Other times, you do everything almost exactly right, but you still get blamed for everything that went wrong. Such has often been the fate of one Kobe Bryant. No one in his/her right mind thinks Kobe is infallible, but he's often taken to task for things that are truly out of his control. It's often a case of "damned if you, damned if you don't". But if anyone can deal with it, Kobe can.

Kobe Bryant can rage with the best of 'em. On a normal day with absolutely nothing having agitated or provoked him, his motivation meter is probably at an 8 or 9. But don't let him pick up a newspaper or read something online or hear somebody on radio or TV say that he's too old, or that the tread on his tire is too worn, or that he's only the seventh-best player in the NBA, or that his wrist is too badly injured for him to be the prolific scorer we've become accustomed to over the last 15 years.

Are the Lakers tired? Probably. Are the Clippers really the new sheriffs in town or have they been crowned too early, a la the Miami Heat in 2010-2011? Possibly. Only time will tell, but they're off to a good, albeit slow, start, having played only 9 games since Christmas Day. The co-tenants of Staples Center have much to be proud of and shall be given their due, but Battle Los Angeles is far from over.

Lamar Odom is feeling some intense heat in the Big D. It's possible he's regretting his decision to ask for a trade, considering he almost walked away from the NBA (however briefly), and had to be talked out of it by his wife, Khloe.

↓ More after the jump ↓

L.A. Times

ESPN

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