Friday, April 27

The Kobe era

There's been lots of talk between the press, the NBA pundits, and most importantly the Laker fans whether this Kobe thing is going to work out for the most storied franchise in Sports history. As a fan it's a bit demeaning to think that our beloved BIG Market team Los Angeles Lakers has been reduced to a bottom dweller. "Ever since the Big Aristotle's unceremonious departure" a lot of fans like to say, as if to suggest a Laker doom. Though one can not deny that his departure led to the Lakers unfortunate decline. If you ask me I'd tell you, why dwell on the past?... Whether the front office floundered or thought they were doing all of us a favor by trading away Shaq it really doesn't matter now. We could debate and or criticize this unfortunate decision until our hearts content but in the end there is only one concern--how do the Lakers get better? We could blame all the the Laker loses and inability to go deep into the playoffs to the Laker front office or to Kobe who was rumored to have ousted Shaq (a ridiculous theory if you ask me) but what is the point? So we could feel better as fans or is it to somehow have some kind of a resolve to the Lakers ever waning W-L record? I swear my head will explode if i hear one more Shaq-Kobe debate...

It has been a bad three seasons since Shaq left, there is no doubt but i think he would had that same effect on any team. He is a dominating presence not only on the hard courts but in the minds and hearts of the fans (good personality...) whereas Kobe is more on the introverted side (if we are comparing). But an Empire in disarray should not should not dwell in the fault of the past but rather rebuild and look into the future (Ya a little Koolgreen wisdom for ya...). The Lakers are very adept (though not in recent times) in rebuilding so we have nothing to worry about-- at least in the long term.

Many so-called and self proclaimed NBA pundits or i guess fickle Laker fans tend to think that the Lakers at any given year shouldn't go through a rebuilding process. I tend to disagree... "These are the LOS ANGELES LAKERS" they proclaim... I guess meaning to suggest that it is immune or should be anyway, to losing. Maybe we have gotten so accustomed to winning that the thought of losing or a mediocre Season is repulsive Especially those who were here in the Lake-Show era of the 80's... Let's just say they were spoiled.... Lest we forget the Lakers not-so recent past, let me remind you... The Lakers of yore did not exactly enjoy the same kind of winning tradition as the Modern day version-- at least not in terms of Championship winning percentage. The old school Laker Team (the Jerry West era) lost 7 Championship Series before finally winning one in the 71-72 Season. I realize losing in the Championship seven times isn't nearly as mediocre in terms of accomplishments (or lack there of...) compared to the Kobe era but you can imagine the frustrations (or the unimaginable frustrations for that matter)-- it's similar. Losing 7 title shots, i mean that has got to be disheartening (One alone is disheartening enough, 7 is borderline suicidal....).

Don't get me wrong I myself do not (or refuse to) concede to the fact that the Lakers have been reduced to what feels like a small-market 1st round hopeful. They are after all the storied Los Angeles Lakers. However, it sure seems like we should be content with making the playoffs alone because we have a team that although not necessarily mediocre on paper sure plays like it... As any astute fan would, i blame the Lakers fall from grace to the front office, to Jerry Bus, to Kobe, to Shaq, hell, maybe even to Jack Nicholson... Yes the Lakers should never limp their way o the playoffs and No we aren't used to losing around here because Jerry Bus is made of money and especially because the Lakers are, well, the LAKERS but what i won't do is start behaving like a loser (aka Clipper fans... just kidding). It's the least we could do for the Team that has given us so much memories... Like that miraculous Robert Horry shot against the Kings (among many)-- that got me through one of the toughest days of my life... I realize that might be hard to comprehend to some because its just sports but sometimes for a sports guy it's all that matters (at least for a few days...).

We aren't sure yet what this Kobe era has instilled in the Lakers future. All we know right now is that Kobe, as great as he is, is taking a lot of bad shots-- many justifiably so and some just perplexing. NBA history has showed us that no Team with a single star player can win a Championship. Unfortunately the Lakers have failed to sign another star since Shaq's untimely departure a few years ago so they're sort of just getting by right now but surely the front office (and Phil Jackson) is well aware of the matter... The Lakers is about a Winning tradition and if you're a true Laker fan you know Jerry Bus and even Kupchak (as much as we dislike him) is doing their best to rectify the Laker woes... hopefully soon (KG anyone?)... I do not think Laker fans will stay content with '60 point games' or holding 'scoring titles' for too long (maybe even the MVP). They're gonna want a Championship...


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