Leading up to the 2014-2015 NBA season, ESPN have been bashing Kobe Bryant quite regularly, pointing on the blame on the decline of the franchise in recent years on his personality, playing style, ego, individual decline and his greed for big money when he doesn’t deserve it. It might all be true, but Carmelo Anthony is bucking the trend by speaking in favor of the Black Mamba.
The Los Angeles Lakers were the only team other than the New York Knicks to offer Anthony a max contract. Obviously, re-signing with the Knicks meant a much bigger contract. Anthony keeps citing other reasons like the makeup of the team and Phil Jackson himself as the reason he stayed, but everyone knows it’s about the money.
If I thought that playing for the Lakers was the right situation for me from an overall perspective as far as having a team there, then I would have looked at that situation more in-depth. I just felt more comfortable staying here in New York. But as far as playing with him, I’m here now but I would always love to play with Kobe.
We’re pretty sure ESPN don’t follow what we here at Sportige write down most of the time, but we’ve been riding the ‘It’s all Bryant’s fault’ for quite some time. The reason ESPN have come out with it now because it suits their exposure ideas. Like Bryant himself said, a month from now maybe a big article about how Bryant is good and great for the Lakers will come out. It all depends on what generates a bigger buzz.
Bryant recruited Anthony, but probably not well enough. The same goes for their efforts to sign LeBron James, preferring to go with the Cavs, even if the Lakers option was for the same money, and even more when it comes to his sponsorship options when playing in a huge media market like Los Angeles.
He wasn’t calling me every day and like, ‘Get over here! I want you here! We had conversations about different situations whether it was in New York or in L.A., but it wasn’t to the point where it was non-stop calling or texting or stuff like that.
A big reason why the Lakers were terrible last season were the injuries. But Bryant’s contract eating up so much cap space this season as well (and the next one) has nothing to do with injuries. It’s simply a player who is probably not so great anymore, but making it very difficult to rebuild a squad that is in big need of one.
Steve Nash taking almost $10 million a season and giving the Lakers nothing in return is a huge blow as well. But the Lakers being in this slightly hopeless situation always comes down to using the amnesty clause on the wrong player.
If I know Kobe the way I think I know him he is more of a person that will let me go out there and see how it works out and then throughout the season I am pretty sure he will be reaching out and say, ‘OK, I see this, or I see that.’ I am just trying to deal with him and get my own experience in it and if I need advice from other people and really talk to somebody, I have the right people in my phone to talk to.