LAKERS AT THE CROSSROADS

KOBE

Regardless of what happens at Staples Center tomorrow night, it’s time for sweeping changes in the Lakers organization and those changes should start at the very top. Jim Buss needs to swallow his ego and realize and accept the fact that his sister Jeanie should be the president of the franchise. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, in the franchise should ultimately report to her and that includes the clueless Jimbo.

Secondly, while you can work for someone smarter than you, it’s damn near impossible to do the same for someone dumber than you and that’s why it might be time for Mitch Kupchak to move on. As long as he has to appease Jim Buss’ meddling, Kupchak’s going to be forced into make the kinds of deals that gave a 38 year-old Steve Nash a sweeter than sweet three year guaranteed deal. He needs to be in charge of putting together a roster without the mindless interference of the NBA’s version of George W. Bush.

Third, and this is where it gets difficult, once the above are decided, Jeanie Buss and whoever the GM is, must call Kobe Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, and inform him in no uncertain terms, “That for business reasons related to the luxury taxes under the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), we’re going to ‘amnesty’ Kobe in July.” Don’t say “We’re thinking about…”or “What if we…?” – make it crystal clear that the decision has been made and that it’s in the best interests of everyone involved, to make this as painless as possible.

Make sure Pelinka understands that the Lakers will profusely thank Kobe for his 17 years of greatness, the championships, say that they look forward to retiring his number one day, etc, etc. Also, that they’re ready and willing to absorb the inevitable PR that will come their way because to be fair, this franchise has been incredibly supportive of and loyal to Kobe even when he hasn’t shown the same respect and loyalty to it.

This is about the Lakers moving forward and like it or not, their future is a 27 years-old Dwight Howard and not a soon to be 35 years-old Kobe Bryant coming off serious foot surgery and rehab.

This isn’t personal, this is business.

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