Kobe at the Garden? Now that’s a scary sight!
Picture this. Kobe picks up the phone after a tough loss at the Staples Center and calls Melo.
“What’s up Melo? I’m tired of this sh*t man, they’re giving Lakers jerseys to anybody these days. They should just start calling us the Los Angeles Charmins.”
“Listen Mamba, we’re catching L’s in multiple continents. We just lost our 16th straight in London. I don’t even have a team to play with! We’re not the New York Knicks, we’re the New York Knick. I’m good, but I can’t win by myself.”
As fans, we don’t know if there has been such a conversation between Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony really happened. But it should happen.
Kobe deserves better than to go out like this.
Carmelo has to realize he is in his prime, and that his career has an expiration date.
With the way things are now, both of these future Hall of Famers are talking about wrapping up this season early. Both are surrounded by dead weight on storied franchises enduring truly horrible seasons. If the NBA demoted its teams based on performance, Kobe’s Los Angeles Lakers and Melo’s New York Knicks would be candidates for the D-League. Things can change very quickly in the NBA (just ask Cleveland), but a championship for either superstar looks far, far away.
Because of their hefty contracts- which, by their own doing, is part of the problem – it would be tough to work out a trade for either Bryant or Anthony. Even if a contender was willing to trade for one these guys, any benefit would likely be more than offset by having to give up half their roster to stay under the salary cap.
But considering all the road kill that’s taking up roster space in New York (the Knicks were 5-36 and losers of 16 in a row heading into Monday night’s game at New Orleans) and Los Angeles (the Lakers were a slightly less terrible 12-29 as they prepared to face a young and ready Pheonix Suns), perhaps one of these teams could find a way to make a Bryant-Anthony partnership work.
Since the Lakers look like they are full rebuild mode, and the Knicks have traded away Iman Shumpert and JR Smith for cap space this summer, there would be a perk in Bryant reuniting with his coach from the Lakers’ championship years, Phil Jackson, who’s now running things in New York.
I’ll be the first to admit, it doesn’t seem likely to happen – Bryant doesn’t seem to be satisfied with individual achievements playing for a Lakers franchise that has become a dysfunctional mess. Even after surpassing Michael Jordan for third place on the career list, Kobe seems to want more than to chuck up 30+ shots a night. Either way, if Bryant has a couple of more seasons like this, he’ll make a run at the second guy on the list, Karl Malone (36,928). Not even Kareen Abdul-Jabbar at 38,387 is out of reach for Bryant (depending on his health, of course).
Despite naysayers, Bryant still has plenty of juice left after missing most of last season recovering first from an Achilles injury, then going down with a knee injury. Granted, his shooting percentage isn’t what is used to be, but that’s to be expected given every opponent knows he’s about the only player on the Lakers who can beat them. Bryant was averaging more than 25 points a game, which is essentially unheard of for someone his age. On the All Time Scoring List, only Karl Malone managed a season with a 25-point average after his 36th birthday.
We all know Bryant wants to remain patient during the Lakers’ rebuilding process, and end his career in purple and gold. I mean, what are the Los Angeles Lakers without Kobe “Bean” Bryant? Right?
Many say both Bryant and Anthony are getting what they deserve for signing huge contracts that inhibited their teams’ efforts to assemble a talented roster around them. Anthony, especially, is ripped for not pursuing a discounted deal from another team this past summer – even Bryant’s Lakers – rather than signing a five- year, $124 million deal to stay with a team he had to know was still far away from being a title contender.
Anthony’s deal includes a no-trade clause. The New York Post reported that the 30-year-old would be willing to waive the provision if the right deal came along. Of course, Anthony denied the report, but it’s certainly within the realm of possibility given the Knicks’ record and his constant rifts with his teammates.
For those who say one ball wouldn’t be enough on a team that included Bryant and Anthony, remember how well the two friends meshed when they played together at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where they helped lead ”Team Redeem” to a gold medal.
Come on, someone, make it happen. Let’s join forces of two of the most prolific scorers in the history of basketball.
These guys are too good for this.
They deserve each other.