Kobe is to Blame. Is not to Blame. You Decide.

It was always believed that Shaq was traded as a result of Kobe’s wishes, but this summer we were lead to believe Kobe had nothing to do with it. We were told Jerry Buss didn’t want to pay Shaq the money he required. Jerry believed he could build a contender around Kobe, without Shaq. I mean, that’s why Kobe went on the Stephen A. Smith show during the summer to request a trade. The Lakers organization was blaming him for the Shaq trade, and that made Kobe very upset, because it just wasn’t true (at least that’s what Kobe and now Jerry Buss are saying).


Did you watch halftime of the Spurs vs Blazers game on TNT?? I wonder how Kobe feels now, after watching Magic Johnson, Lakers Vice President, say it was Kobe’s fault. Read the transcript below:

Kenny Smith

“The Lakers thought it would be easy… when you allow the Shaquille O’Neal trade and other things to happen, you’re under the assumption that your going to get back. You don’t get back. It’s not written in stone that teams get there. There are great players in the league that have never played at a high level and there’s a reason for that, because it’s a difficult league and a talent driven league and when you have talent you cannot let that just go and walk away.”

Magic Johnson

“Kobe didn’t understand that. See, if Kobe had been smart, he would have mended those fences with Shaquille. Let Shaquille be the man and we wouldn’t be in this position. And Kobe now after four years later understands he can’t do it by himself so now he’s blaming the organization. Part of that blame should be on him, as well as the organization.”

I’ll give Magic credit, because in mid sentence he realized what he was doing – reacting emotionally and raw to Kenny coming right at the Lakers organization – and he made sure he added that last statement “Part of that blame should be on him, as well as the organization,” but even with that caveat, he still said Shaq was traded because of Kobe. Magic said Kobe was to blame for this situation. Personally, I agree with him. Kobe is to blame.

Kobe wanted to be the man. Kobe wanted to control the offense and the team. Kobe wanted to be the alpha male. Kobe wanted to lead the team AND league in scoring; he knew he would never do that with Shaq on the team. Kobe thought he was so good, that he didn’t need Shaq to win. Kobe wanted to be Jordan.

This selfishness is Kobe’s biggest flaw and the sole reason he will never win another championship, let alone NBA MVP, unless he does have another dominant player on his team. He simply can’t lead and direct a team. Kobe truly believes his team is better off when he’s shooting the ball. He doesn’t trust anyone else.

It’s because of this selfishness and supreme cockiness that Kobe needs to have another alpha male on his team who will put him in his place. Kobe is arguably the best pure talent in the league, arguably; but he is best served as a scorer. He is fundamentally not capable of setting up his teammates and making them better night in and night out. That’s why the Laker’s biggest mistake is not trading Bynum for Jason Kidd. Kidd is the leader and playmaker that would allow Kobe to be Kobe. Kidd picks up his teammates and makes them better. Kobe scores. Kobe would also trust Kidd to lead, which might be the biggest reason to do the trade, because as stated above, Kobe doesn’t trust anyone.

Magic is right; Kobe didn’t understand how tough it is to win in the NBA. It all came to easy for him in the beginning. What’s sad, is when you look at the current circus Kobe has created, he still doesn’t understand. I will admit the Lakers have not managed their team well, but it’s not like Kobe has been put with a bunch of no-talent misfits. He simply doesn’t have the ability to lead and inspire people to be more than what they are.


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