After Kobe Bryant went down with a knee fracture last December, the Los Angeles Lakers were forced to make a move to help fill the void left in the backcourt. Kendall Marshall ended up getting called from the D-League by the Lakers and as a result received a considerable amount of time on the floor under head coach Mike D’Antoni.
Although Marshall didn’t play a single game alongside Kobe Bryant, the former lottery pick was asked about his impression of his former teammate after an ESPN ripped the five-time NBA champion recently. Kobe was criticized by unnamed sources for making it difficult for the Lakers franchise to bring in another star player amongst other things, via Ben Standig of CSNWashington.com:
It’s hard to say. He wasn’t around a whole lot. He was mostly still trying to rehab. The organization is going through an adjustment, the same thing every team goes through (at some point). It’s just that when you’re the Lakers, it’s going to be broadcasted a lot more. I don’t think that they’re going through (anything different than) when maybe your star is maybe on his way out the door or getting older (and) you have to find that new wave of talent.”
Marshall makes a good point in terms of every team in the NBA going through the rebuilding process. It is inevitable. Teams can’t stay on top forever. Some franchises do it better than others rebuilding through the draft or making moves to stay ahead of the curve, but the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) has made it difficult for teams like the Lakers.
Franchises will always go through a period of change no matter how successful they’ve been, but the Lakers do it on a bigger stage in the second-biggest market in the United States. Everything the team goes through will be amplified, especially when it concerns the face of the franchise.
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