Kobe Bryant has pretty much had it made during his tenure in the City of Angels.
"Get rid of Shaq"...done.
"Bring back Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher"...done.
"Get me Pau Gasol"...done.
While those are not direct quotes, they more than likely reflect what was going through Kobe's mind at the time of those decisions. It seemed that the Lakers' front office did not hesitate in making No. 24 happy by granting his every wish.
Nowadays, it seems to be the complete opposite. General manager Mitch Kupchak has made many decisions concerning the future of the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason, and it seems like he has left Kobe in the dark for most of them.
After last season's playoff debacle, head coach Phil Jackson once again packed his bags and headed to his ranch to do yoga and grow hemp—or whatever it is that he does—and Lakers' owner Jerry Buss and Kupchak immediately reached out to former Cavaliers' head coach, Mike Brown, and handed him the keys to the empire. Kobe was stunned to say the least.
With the lockout, and now a rushed start to the new season, Kobe has had time to come to terms with his new coach and look forward to another championship push. So what to Phil not being there, he still has Fish, Ron-Ron—excuse me—Metta-Metta, Pau, Bynum and Lamar...oh wait, they traded away Lamar...to the team that swept them out of the playoffs last season...for basically nothing.
Kobe was beyond stunned at this maneuver, he was livid.
Good ol' Mitch and Dr. Buss would certainly appease their superstar and bring him some help, right?
Josh McRoberts and Gerald Green...lock it up! Kobe has to be thrilled.
Kobe has always contended that he wants to retire a Laker, but it is pretty obvious he is reaching his limits with the recent actions of the Lakers' front office. On SportsCenter, NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith went so far as to predict that Kobe Bryant will eventually ask the Lakers for a trade:
"I predicted that Kobe Bryant will demand a trade, and I am not budging from that. He’s livid. I’ve known Kobe too long. He is ticked off. It’s not just because [the Clippers] got Chris Paul, which is a guy that he expected to have. It’s because Jim Buss seems to be doing the inexplicable. It makes no sense. It’s one thing for the team not to have improved [after losing to the Mavericks], it’s another thing entirely for them to regress. If you know anything about Kobe, that is the last thing that he wants to do. It will not be pleasant at all.”
Kobe has definitely earned the right to provide input on his team's future and to have that input seriously considered by those in the front office. There's no way to go back to being just another player on the roster for a player like Kobe, so a demand for a trade would not be completely unrealistic.
With three years left on Kobe's contract with the Lakers, it would be easy to see his demands go unheard. Isn't it funny though, one of the common complaints you hear during a divorce is "he/she stopped listening to me." With their recent moves, it is very clear the Lakers' brain trust has stopped listening to Kobe.
It would definitely be weird to to see Kobe rocking anything but the purple and yellow...wait, aren't the Bulls still in the market for a 2-guard? Oh, they signed Rip Hamilton...yawn, I mean yay! Wishful thinking I guess