Was this really the team that just won the championship? I hope this isn't the start of some really bad snowballs rolling our way. Too up and down a Summer for me, and I think I might throw up soon.
Recap of events in the last month and a half:
Trevor Ariza leaves. Sad turn of events for the L.A. native.
Ron Artest signs for a relatively cheap contract by his standards. Repeat here we come!
Sasha Vujacic is still a Laker. And still getting paid $5 mill a year. "Why?" - some child in Africa.
Lamar Odom and his agent turn down a $9 mill a year for 3 years deal after the Lakers raised their offer from $7 mill a year. Odom's been chewing on those sour patches a little too much. Sucks like a month-old lollipop Odom forgot under his bed.
Adam Morrison seems fully healthy and ready to revive his career, avg 20 pts through his first 4 games in the Vegas Summer League. Resurgence of the Bird Apparent!
And in recent developments, the Lakers front office has seemingly pulled the offer from the table, obviously frustrated with how negotiations with Odom's agent have gone. Don't play hard-ball with the front office. EFF!
[Update: Odom was offered $30 mill/3 years OR $36mill/4 years...Odom's camp rejected both. Odom led the Lakers with 1.3 rejections last season. Offer officially withdrawn.]
(Sour, I know.)
Well, fans who have clamored for a Lamar Odom trade almost every summer that he's been a Laker will finally get their wish - although this summer, it's probably their biggest dread. There will be no sugar rush in L.A. next year, but there will still be rush hour...
What was shaping up to be a Summer of Greater Expectations for the 2009 World Champion Lakers has quickly turned into a Summer of Absolute Discontent. How could feelings of champagne bliss switch to grievances of contract piss so quickly? But really, after the unfortunate mishandling of Trevor Ariza's contract (who still desperately wants to be a Laker despite symbolically stepping into T-Mac's #1 jersey), and the recent signings of Shannon Brown and Ron Artest (who both turned down more money to play for the Lakers) - how has it come to this?
The Lakers aren't betraying their players, the players aren't betraying their teams - it's the agents who are betraying their own common sense (if they were ever once not clogged by dollar signs).
I'm not sure what to make of this recent speculation that the Lakers have withdrawn their offer from Odom's camp, but I do know that it will be a very sad day in L.A. when Lamar Odom officially leaves signs with another team - regardless of who we may think is in the wrong. Unfortunately, it is pride and greed that have made their presence known more than anything else this past summer when it comes to the arena of cordial diplomacy and contractual business - and that's never been a recipe for anything sweet.
Expect the worst. Be surprised by the best. [More on this as it develops...]