Does Kobe want to be traded, or doesn't he?
My grandmother, J-Dawg, uses the medical term "bipolar" to describe anybody that she deems to be a little "off," like bipolar is the general term for a crazy person or something. Someone used it incorrectly in a phone conversation with her one day, and she took that baby and ran with it. In the dictionary, it's defined as "any of several psychological disorders of mood charracterized by usu. alternating expressions of depression and mania."
Now, Kobe may be depressed because of the Lakers' current roster situation, but he can't be blamed for that. Anyone would be sad if they had to carry that collection of zombies. And he might go on maniacal city-to-city scoring outbursts like a serial killer goes on a tri-state killing spree, but that's a good thing (the scoring sprees, not the killing sprees). But he's definitely being a little moody lately. After three years of smiling for the cameras and appearing to be on the same page as the front office, he completely changes up after their first round losss to Phoenix and starts expressing his frustration with the lack of improvement that management has made to the team. A couple days ago, amid reports that he might ask for a trade, he stated that he does not want to be traded, only for his team to get better, and to get better immediately. Then I wake up this morning, take a look at ESPNEWS and notice that the "Breaking News" signal has been activated again. Kobe Bryant wants to be traded. He went on Stephen A. Smith's radio show this morning, talking about broken trust and private meetings and setting records straight and, most importantly, his desire to be traded. He put it all out there.
First of all, I'm going to give Kobe credit for being a team player. He took the bullet for the Shaq trade even though he was just an innocent bystander, then shielded the organization for three years by never criticizing the front office for their incompetence. Promised by Ol' Doc Buss that the team would be rebuilt to title status right away, he waited patiently as the Lakers went in an entirely different direction, drafting seventeen year-old Andrew Bynum with the no. 10 pick in the 2005 draft. According to Kobe, they balked on bringing in Baron Davis, Ron Artest, and Carlos Boozer. And at the trade deadline this season, they passed on Jason Kidd because they didn't want to part ways with Bynum. Through all of this, he never lashed out or complained. Instead, at post-game press conferences or chats with reporters after practice, he stressed that the Lakers were a "young team," and that they were maturing, and that it was all a process, bla bla bla. In the meantime, he just went out there and played his ass off, doing the best he could with the teammates he had.
But now, he can't wait anymore.
And he'll no longer hold his tongue or put up with anymore of this nonsense. He's already let the truth be known about the Shaq trade and exposed Dr. Buss as a liar. And he's not standing for team "insiders" slandering him, either. He's had it. Kobe Bryant wants to be traded and there's nothing the Lakers can do to change his mind.
(Of course, about twenty-five minutes ago, I visited espn.com's TrueHoop and learned that Kobe had spoken with Greg Anthony and told him that he will rescind his trade request if that "insider" is fired. Now he's gone on another radio show and taken it back altogether. Can we get this guy some medication?)
(Clarifications: That last little paragraph was a tad bit inaccurate and poorly written. Kobe didn't really take the trade demand back altogether, but he did ease off of it quite a bit after having a phone conversation with Phil Jackson. And that radio show he went on was Loose Cannons on KLAC 570-AM in Los Angeles; I assume he talked to GA on the phone. If Greg Anthony has a radio show, I don't know about it. Also, he first started his moonwalking on The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio, sometime in-between the interview on Stephen A.'s show and the chat with the Cannons. Just wanted to clear that up.)