Written by: Bryant T. Jordan
Twitter | @BryantTJordan
Subject: Jim Buss may run Dwight AND Kobe out of town in consecutive summers!?!
I honestly don’t mean to sound like Chicken Little wailing “the sky is falling, the sky is falling,” but the simple fact is that when absolute devastation could be on the horizon, the faithful should be prepared to cope with such ruin.
The above said, there is a distinct possibility that despite all the hope in Lakerdom revolving around the summer of 2014, next summer could actually be far more devastating than this summer has been. Simply put, in 12 short months, Lakers fans could be protesting en masse in front of the Staples Center.
This summer bore witness to Jim Buss seemingly choosing Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash over Dwight Howard, with the end result being Dwight Howard agreeing to sign with the Houston Rockets and leaving the Lakers with zero compensation. I don’t know about you but when I invest in a big-ticket commodity, I expect a great return on my investment. If I cannot get a great return on my investment, I may indeed take a loss, but never, ever, under any circumstances would I simply agree to receive nothing for my investment. However, such is exactly what Jim Buss received for his investment in Dwight Howard, nothing.
As embarrassing and debilitating as losing the best center in basketball without receiving anything in return was, the fact of the matter is that next summer could be far worse. How, you ask? Allow me to make one bold statement, followed by an in-depth explanation of why such may in fact be true:
THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT JIM BUSS WILL RUN KOBE BRYANT OUT OF TOWN THE SAME WAY HE RAN DWIGHT HOWARD OUT OF TOWN!
When the free agency period starts next summer, I honestly believe that Kobe Bryant will not be the focal point for Jim Buss. Simply put, I honestly believe that Jim Buss will focus on both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony when free agency starts, and that he will in effect make Kobe Bryant wait and possibly wait and wait and wait for a formal contract offer until LeBron and Carmelo decide whether they want to become Lakers or not. Such an action by Buss may be all it takes to infuriate Kobe to the point of no return and decide that these Jim Buss lead Lakers are not the same as the Jerry Buss lead Lakers, and look to sign elsewhere.
There is also the possibility that even if Jim Buss pulls off the Hail Mary and is able to sign both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, that Kobe Bryant would balk at the far below market-value contract Buss would then offer him, feeling like a third wheel and entirely disrespected by the lack of loyalty shown.
There is also the possibility that even if the Lakers are only able to sign LeBron or Carmelo, rather than both, that Jim Buss will decide a youth movement is necessary and still offer Kobe a far below market-value contract, while at the same time trying to sign such younger quality players as Kyle Lowry, Jerryd Bayless, Evan Turner, Michael Beasley, et al.
There is also the very real possibility that if the Lakers are not able to sign LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony that Kobe Bryant will decide that he would rather compete for a ring in another city than waste away on a team that is more playoff contender than title contender, which the Lakers could be at that stage.
I honestly believe that Kobe Bryant will be not be the focal point of free agency this summer for Jim Buss. I believe that Buss will throw max offers at both LeBron and Melo and wait to see what they do; if Kobe expects to “get paid” fast and hard, he is in for a shock as I can see Jim Buss saying, “Sorry, Kobe but LBJ and Melo are my priorities and you’ll just have to wait for them to make their decisions; and, if they both sign on the dotted line, you can either take the offer I authorize of or you can play elsewhere”.
I honestly believe the above is exactly what will happen this summer, and when it does, there is a strong possibility that Kobe Bean Bryant, the greatest Laker in history, gets extremely offended and leaves the Los Angeles Lakers, the only teams he has played for since being drafted 18 summers earlier.
Next Page: More 2014 Possibilities