Found October 13, 2013 on
Photo credit: Jeff Gross/NBAE/Getty Images       The Los Angeles Lakers, winners of 16 NBA championships, and arguably the most popular organization in the league, are suddenly on the precipice of a harrowing stretch that they haven’t faced before. There have been brief periods of mediocrity, but that was mostly tempered by the attraction of superstar players in their prime, whether that be Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, or Kobe Bryant. There is no one on this team that is going to help them win its next championship. The jockeying for internal power within the hierarchy of ownership is also something to keep an eye on. Jim Buss has seemingly taken full control of the basketball operations side of the franchise since his legendary father, Jerry Buss passed away. This outcome has been a topic that has kept many a Laker fan up at night.  Jeanie Buss, his sister, still runs the business and marketing side of the organization, but there doesn’t seem to be a united vision in taking this franchise into the future. The only thing that is really going to keep the Lakers relevant these next couple years is that they most likely will be Kobe Bryant’s last seasons in the NBA.             These past few years haven’t been kind to the Lakers, with them only advancing as far as the second round, yet there seemed to be point of optimism, especially with the acquisition of Dwight Howard. We all know how that ended. Howard left for the Rockets in the offseason, in what is a first for the Lakers, a superstar in his prime choosing to leave the organization. We don’t know if Howard will ever be the same after his back injuries, but this had to be crushing to the Lakers brass and fans. Why did Howard leave? Your guess is as good as mine, but here are a few of mine. He doesn’t have to pay state income tax, gets to play with James Harden (who is a top 10 player), but I think the biggest reason is that he didn’t want to play in Bryant’s shadow. Bryant, a brilliant player throughout his career with a legendary work ethic, also has personality that isn’t suited to cozying up to people. His famous feuds with Shaq don’t compare to the Howard situation, but his unwillingness to cede the spotlight his last few years in the league probably gave Howard all the incentive he needed to move on. In other words, Howard was gone, even had Bryant not injured his Achilles.             All that is left of this team are fast fading former superstars (Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Steve Nash) and borderline rotation players (everyone else). Mike D’Antoni, the curious coaching hire of a year ago, still has 2 years left on his contract, with a team option for one more. The odds that he finishes that contract seem to be slim to none. Why he was chosen to coach a team, especially last years version, over the iconic Phil Jackson will always be a mystery to everyone except Jim Buss. The Zen Master could have even persuaded Howard to stay, but that’ll never be known. Despite D’Antoni’s own tremendous credentials, this move will be frowned upon for years to come by Lakers fans. Not even Kobe can solve all these problems…unless he asks for a trade.

Kobe Bryant paid for $12,000 team dinner in Las Vegas

A lot of people think Kobe Bryant is a bad teammate: the following news from ESPN Los Angeles’ Dave McMenamin says different. While the Los Angeles Lakers were in Las Vegas earlier this week – and before the Black Mamba caught up with Floyd Mayweather – Kobe Bryant took the entire team out to dinner at STK steakhouse at the Cosmopolitan, according to McMenamin: Included in...

VIDEO: Kobe Bryant tells Floyd Mayweather that he hopes to play in season opener

After the Lakers’ pre-season game in Las Vegas on Thursday night, world champion boxer Floyd Mayweather caught up with Kobe Bryant. The conversation between the two legends focussed around basketball, with Bryant discussing the Lakers’ trip to China and how the rules differ over there to the United States. The Black Mamba also appeared to tell Mayweather that he hopes to play...

Kobe Bryant says he could play today if it was the playoffs or Finals

If it was the playoffs or NBA Finals today, Kobe Bryant would be playing. At least that’s what he told reporters in Beijing today. According to the Los Angeles Times, Bryant hasn’t felt any pain or soreness in his repaired Achilles and he’s ramping up his rehab daily. However, he has yet to really push himself to the limit. The Black Mamba says that wouldn’t stop him getting...

D’Antoni on whether he thinks Kobe will play in season opener: “No, I don’t think so”

The NBA’s opening night is rapidly approaching and all eyes are on Kobe Bryant. Can the Black Mamba make it back in time for October 29? Bryant did some jogging at Monday’s practice and hasn’t reported any ill effects from the session, yet he still has a way to go before he can play in an NBA game. According to Bleacher Report‘s Kevin Ding, Mike D’Antoni doesn’t think...

Kobe Bryant Could 'Probably' Play Now If It Were Playoffs

Kobe Bryant has made progress in his return from a torn Achillies and intended to test himself in the Los Angeles Lakers' practice in Beijing. Bryant believes he would likely be able to make his return right now if it were the playoffs. "If today was a playoff or NBA Finals, could I play? Probably," Bryant said. "I'd get out there and do something." When...

Kobe Bryant attends Hublot “Black Mamba Watch” event in Beijing, China

With the Los Angeles Lakers overseas in Beijing, China to play the Golden State Warriors, it gave star guard Kobe Bryant a chance to attend a special Hublot watch event in his honor. Check out the below Instagram photo which shows Kobe attending the “Black Mamba Watch” Event and Mr. Bryant holding a Hublot box along with a fan with Chinese characters on it: *** Kobe Bryant image...

Kobe Bryant Says He Could Play Now If This Were The Playoffs

There’s still no set timetable for Kobe Bryant’s regular season return to the Lakers.  The ultra competitive Bryant did tell Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report that “if the Lakers were preparing for a playoff game right now, he probably could play.” “if today was a playoff or NBA Finals [game], could I play? Probably…. “I haven’t had any pain or any soreness whatsoever...

Lakers star Kobe Bryant, “I would be ready if playoffs started today”

If you happen to be a Los Angeles Lakers fan, the below quote from star Kobe Bryant might have you feeling a little bit more optimistic for his return to the Staples Center floor. Recently, Kobe spoke with Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding and mentioned that if the NBA playoffs started today, he would ready to go: In the land where they worship him for his work ethic, Kobe Bryant...

VIDEO: Kobe Bryant and Floyd Mayweather kick it post Lakers game

Kobe Bryant and Floyd Mayweather recently chopped it up after a LA Lakers – Sacramento Kings game in Vegas.  Most of the convo is insignificant and inaudible but who cares, it’s two of the greatest athletes of our time dialoguing, and that makes it awesome. -@itsshanarenee

VIDEO: Lakers vs. Warriors – extended highlights (10/15/13)

GAME RECAPS It may have been a bleary-eyed affair for those back in Los Angeles, but the Lakers were full of life in Beijing. The final score may add another W to the Golden State Warriors’ pre-season record, but it was what came in the first three quarters for the Los Angeles Lakers that really mattered. Once again carrying on without Kobe Bryant – who received loud cheers and...

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Close to Practicing With Team Again

By Keith Allison from Baltimore, USA (RO9A3198) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsLos Angeles Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant is set to begin practicing with the team again, according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. Knowing how Bryant is, it should come to little surprise that he mentioned that if it was the playoffs, he’d be playing...

Kobe Bryant takes photo with Jerry West in Beijing

With Los Angeles Lakers overseas in Beijing, China to do battle against the Golden State Warriors in a preseason affair on Tuesday night, it appears that Lakers star Kobe Bryant got to catch up with the man who drafted him. Former Lakers general manager Jerry West (who is currently a special advisor to the Warriors) took the below Instagram photo with Kobe and both NBA legends look...

Kobe Bryant tweets he lost five pounds in one day

Kobe Bryant, who is still recovering from the Achilles surgery he had in April, said earlier this week that he needed to get his “fat ass in shape.”  He gave a status update via Twitter on Friday. Dropped 5lbs in a day #getinshape #nutrition — Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) October 11, 2013 Bryant addressed the media earlier this week and was asked what the 

Metta says Carmelo has “a killer instinct” that reminds him of Kobe

Metta World Peace may be playing for the New York Knicks now, but he hasn’t forgotten just how good Kobe Bryant is. According to News Day, World Peace recently recalled the winning ways of Bryant, Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher, and says he sees that same kind of “killer instinct” in his new teammate Carmelo Anthony: It’s not just the ability to take over a game offensively....

Game Report: Warriors (2-2) defeat Lakers (2-3) 100 – 95 in Beijing (pre-season)

It may have been a bleary-eyed affair for those back in Los Angeles, but the Lakers were full of life in Beijing. The final score may add another W to the Golden State Warriors’ pre-season record, but it was what came in the first three quarters for the Los Angeles Lakers that really mattered. Once again carrying on without Kobe Bryant – who received loud cheers and screams whenever...
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