To your left is a photo of one of the famous Kobe cows, and goddamn, that thing looks healthier and happier than anyone I know. Anyways, apologies for the bad pun but I found it irresistible. As Tim notes below, Kobe's beef with LA seems not to be subsiding as expected... yesterday Kobe even reiterated his trade demand on his personal webpage, a douchebag move on a number of levels that's nonetheless completely in keeping with the legendary Mamba. The post is relatively unremarkable save for the fact that he signs off with the phrase "Strength and Honor," which I might have to steal for my own professional correspondence. I mean, "pretentious" doesn't even begin to cover that.
In any event, Chad Ford over at ESPN Insider is predictably atwitter over the renewed seriousness of Kobe's trade demands, and again, apologies that the above link is subscription-only; direct any and all vitriol to ESPN. Anyways, Ford is fairly insistent that the Lakers will never trade Kobe to a Western Conference team, and will instead look to deal him either to Chicago or New York, which are apparently Kobe's top two choices. Why the fuck Kobe--who by all accounts wishes to leave LA because the team is shoddily managed and poorly constructed (both of which are salient points)--has decided that the KNICKS are a better option at this juncture is beyond me, but hey, whatever. Anyways, Chad also notes that the only way the Lakers can remotely justify unloading Kobe to their fanbase is if they get a star player in return, and Chad identifies two players that might fit that bill: Agent Zero and... drum roll... our own Paul Pierce. Take it away, Chad:
"A similar trade could work if the Lakers were willing to substitute Boston and Pierce. While Pierce is almost 30 years old, I'm told the Lakers like him -- and he's from L.A., too.
The Bulls would send Gordon, Thomas and Brown (sign-and-trade) to Boston, and the No. 9 pick to L.A.
The Lakers would send Bryant to Chicago.
The Celtics would send Pierce to L.A.
That deal would make the Celtics even younger than they already are, but it would also give them plenty of assets to continue making deals."Now, this is clearly one of these columns that is entirely in Chad Ford's head... he cites no legitimate sources or buzz, and goes out of his way to note that this is purely hypothetical. Nonetheless, it's kind of interesting. Basically we would end up getting Ben Gordon, Tyrus Thomas and the 37-year-old P.J. Brown for Paul Pierce. I'm not a big fan of Gordon's game; he doesn't do anything well other than score, and while he's slowly getting his FG% up he's still an often unproductive and one-dimensional player. Tyrus Thomas is a beast when he wants to be but is also reportedly something of a head-case and malcontent. P.J. Brown, as mentioned before, is 37. Basically I don't really like this (entirely imaginary) trade from the C's perspective. Introduce Luol Deng to the equation, however, and my ears are burning.
Strength and Honor,