All the talk recently has been focused not on the court (where the Lakers have won four of five) but off the court, where Kobe Bryant’s recent comments seem to have created quite a stir. Bryant stated his displeasure with the front office surrounding Pau Gasol and various trade rumors. This prompted team general manager Mitch Kupchak to respond stating it is his job to do whatever he can to improve the team.
Bryant’s remarks, and Kupchak’s subsequent comments, ultimately seemed to shed some light on a growing dysfunction in the organization. Ken Berger of CBS wrote a detailed piece that examined the inner-workings of the Los Angeles front office, and gave the team a rather scathing review.
Still, with all the drama unfolding in the bowels of Staples Center, the team still has a job to do out on the court. This is what prompted Bryant’s initial comments on Sunday. Still, it seems as if most fans tend to agree with Bryant, and feel that his comments and timing were acceptable.
We ran two polls on our Facebook page to ask the fans how they felt about Bryant’s comments and timing. It’s safe to say the results were very one-sided.
Lakers’ fans support of Kobe Bryant is very rarely in question, and this just seems to magnify that even more. It’s obvious that for a team to succeed they need to be able to trust one another. Bryant is the team leader, there’s no denying that, so when he decides to stick up for his teammates – even when that means calling out team executives – it’s usually a good sign for the team.
However, with Kupchak responding to Bryant and stating that it is still his job to make sure the Lakers can improve this season, it’s apparent that Bryant was unable to accomplish his goal. Or so you would think.
It’s possible that Bryant’s goal wasn’t to force management’s hand by any means, but instead to simply support his teammate. If that is the case, his timing does seem to be spot on. With the All-Star break just a few days away and the trade deadline looming in less than a month, Bryant’s comments appear to be well-timed.
As you can see, most fans agree.
Whatever the front office decides to do with Gasol, Andrew Bynum and the rest of the team, it’s obvious that the fans are in favor of Bryant supporting his teammates, even if it means defying the front office.