I’ve told you before that we sit in the heart of “Arrive Late, Leave Early, And You’d Better Win Or I Won’t Come At All” country.
This solid piece of Web 2.0 journalism will prove that all over again.
The past two weeks of Southern California sports talk in regards to the Lakers have produced comments from sports mensas that range from “we should trade Kobe” to “we should trade everyone but Kobe in order to get Kevin Garnett.”
Now that the dust and tears have settled, I’ve recently heard a constant stream of “if we only got Jerry West back, we would magically be transported back to 1985.”
No we wouldn’t.
And here is where I risk getting my SoCal resident card yanked from me.
Jerry West has lost a GM step or two. Although he did build the Memphis Grizzly franchise to a decent level of loser respectability, he in no way was able to wave his hand Jedi style and pronounce “you will trade with me” like he used to magically do.
Don’t get me wrong, Jerry West has a blueblood basketball pedigree. First as a player, and then as a club executive who built a 5 ring 80’s era team and then rebuilt it for 3 earlier this century.
The world of professional sports is ever evolving, and to think that West could show up, put his picture on the website and just wait for ridiculous player trade offers to come rolling in is ludicrous.
West found that the grass isn’t greener while in Memphis, and probably not as easy to navigate with a new franchise with no history of success to fall back on. New team, new city, and new coaches makes for a tough success formula.
Inside the Lakers’ organization there is reported dissension and/or a power struggle that has Jimmy Buss the heir apparent, receiving heat from Coach Phil Jackson, Sister Jeannie Buss, and most recently Lakers’ aging superstar Kobe Bryant. Current GM Mitch Kupchak’s role and authority are not clear at this point. This offseason is critical to the near and midterm future of this team.
Owner Dr. Jerry Buss will need to get everyone on the same page quickly, strategize with his management team, and then execute.
Kobe’s body is not as young as his age would lead you to believe because of his entry into the NBA straight out of High School and his many playoff minutes amassed along the way.
He can opt out again in 2009. Let’s get it done.