What is going on in the NBA right now? Stars everywhere trying to direct themselves to bigger markets. Everyone who doesn’t have the perfect situation wants out to lock themselves into another one. It’s a carousel of truces and pacts, of friendships and partnerships. But everyone loves to say Kobe Bryant isn’t in to all that stuff. He’s the lone wolf out to set everybody straight. But from reports on the inside right now, Bryant is heated at the Lakers’ front office and the direction they’re taking. As we wrote in Smack, some think he could eventually demand a trade.
Stephen A. Smith recently said, “I predicted that Kobe Bryant will demand a trade, and I am not budging from that. He’s livid. I’ve known Kobe too long. He is ticked off. It’s not just because [the Clippers] got Chris Paul, which is a guy that he expected to have. It’s because Jim Buss seems to be doing the inexplicable.”
Smith thinks the Lakers are regressing, which unless you’re a card-carrying fanboy, you should be able to see. The Lakers are quickly moving away from title contention (age, no athleticism, depth and the loss of Lamar Odom for nothing are all major red flags), and Smith believes the showdown between Bryant and Lakers’ ownership “will not be pleasant at all.” Ric Bucher, another source who’s been close to Bryant for his entire career, apparently also said he wouldn’t be surprised if 24 asked out within the next month. This is no rumor, it’s just a prediction coming from Smith. But given his history with Kobe, it definitely holds merit.
Not everyone is buying the prediction though.