Los Angeles Lakers fans just saw a franchise icon not only leave his organization hanging abruptly and without warning, but then hop on ESPN to trash the way the franchise is operating, with Magic Johnson ramping up the unprofessionalism to previously rarely-if-ever-before-seen heights.
Even after all that, and while Kobe Bryant’s own agent is part of the problem with the Lakers, fans can’t quite let go of the idea of Bryant swooping in to fix everything. Just let it go, everyone. The exact line of thinking that gets you to that point got the Lakers to where they are now.
Maybe after interviewing any number of candidates, Bryant appears at the end of that process to be the best man for the job. If that would be the case, cool. But if you’re trying to sell me on the idea of once again hiring the closest former Laker to a position he isn’t qualified for, then please move along and ask someone else what they think of the hypothetical.
The reason for that mini-rant: On today’s “Locked on Lakers” (in which I reopen the mailbag to get to all the questions I wasn’t able to in Monday’s show), someone asked whether Kobe might help the Lakers land Kawhi Leonard. It’s a slightly different question than the topic that ignited that rant above, but it deserves a similar response:
Kobe isn’t interested. He’s distanced himself at every turn from the Lakers. Most recently, there was a fun little quote from Lance Stephenson about Bryant always being at the facility for practices. It immediately earned itself a rebuttal from Bryant himself through Stephen A. Smith of ESPN (h/t: Kyle Newport of Bleacher Report):
“I spoke to [Bryant] yesterday. He says, quote: ‘I have never been to a single practice.’ Those were his exact words. Obviously there’s going to be people who believe he’s lying. I’m going to take him at his word because I don’t have any proof that he’s lying, number one. Number two, it’s pretty easy to disprove.”
Just let it go, everyone. Not every best fit for the Lakers has to come from the Lakers universe.
Other topics covered in this mailbag: The NBA’s sign-and-trade policy, how the Lakers should approach the Pelicans in their pursuit of Davis (especially now that they’re listening to offers) and plenty more.
You can listen to the entire episode below, and make sure to subscribe on iTunes, where you can also leave questions in the form of a five-star review to guarantee your topic makes the show.