I know Byron Scott can't say it out loud, but the Lakers are a better team when Kobe is not playing. Their performance against Golden State was breathtakingly better than they have played all season. Blaming the rest of the team for just "standing around" when Kobe is on the court won't fly. They stand around because they know Kobe's plan is to shoot the ball whenever he gets it. Instead of blaming the rest of the team, Coach Scott should do whatever he can to persuade Kobe to get with the program and fit in with the skills and enthusiasm of the other players, or find another team or pursuit to occupy his time.
Every time Kobe says he's old, in order to explain his poor performances this year, it sticks a stake in the heart of all Lakers fans. He obviously wasn't too old to take almost $50 million from the Lakers, thus destroying any chance they had at being competitive for years to come. His selfish desires (see Shaq, the salary, refusal to pass in fourth quarters, etc.) always override his professed love of winning over anything else. Kobe's salary is 2014 L.A. sports' most influential event, ruining a franchise for years just so he can claim to be the highest-paid player. Shame on the Buss family and Mitch Kupchak for forsaking their fan base in order to placate their aging, self-centered former superstar.
Coach Scott is quoted as asking, "Are we better off without Kobe?"
The answer is the Lakers are better off without a player, regardless of his name, who hogs the ball and shoots such a terrible, sub-38 percentage, turns the ball over way too much, complains that his legs are "tired" all the time, etc., and is more of a distraction than a contributor at this point in his career.
Jim B. Parsons
It was really fun to watch the Lakers subs play without looking over their shoulders for Kobe. Let's hope this helps build their confidence to play better when Kobe returns.
I've got the solution to Byron Scott's woes. Bench Kobe after 15 shot attempts. Kobe will get lots more rest, or he'll become more involved in the team offense. The other players will have a chance to establish their game.
I am really tired of reading yet another sports writer trashing Kobe Bryant. He really doesn't need your approval, but give it a rest and give the guy credit for all he's done. How many times has he saved the team with his last-minute three-pointers? How many times has he had the most points in a game? And how about him passing Michael Jordan in all-time points? The crowd loves him and he is missed when he doesn't play. Show him a little respect please!
Doesn't like Mike
After watching a re-energized and properly used Pau Gasol lead the Bulls to victory over the Lakers I had to wonder if Mike D'Antoni had any second thoughts on Christmas Day.
Interesting how Golden State and Memphis are two of the top teams in the NBA. What do they have in common? Both were recently advised by Jerry West.
Packing a charge
Regarding an NFL team for Los Angeles after a 20-year absence, why not follow the lead of Green Bay? Let local fans become entrepreneur investors, build and own a stadium and own the football team? Before worrying about two teams for our second-largest market, let's just develop one that is great. That way we will be free of any worries that, Raiders- or Rams-like, they will chase after the illusion of something better elsewhere. If Green Bay can make it such an outstanding success, why can't we?
Lawrence D. Longo
Who wouldn't love a football team that comes from behind in the second half against all odds and recovers from "impossible" positions in the standings to make the playoffs on the last day of the season year after year. If L.A. needs a football team and the Chargers refuse to move, how about this? The NFL can rename the team the "Los Angeles Chargers of San Diego," thereby saving us all the trouble and expense of actually bringing them to L.A. Home games will be just a short two-hour drive down the 405/5 and we can claim the most entertaining team in the NFL for our own. If the folks in San Diego don't like it, just don't tell them.
The Dodgers' new management team has already made several changes that may bring a better team to the city. However, there is one glaring problem that remains to be solved. I live in a portion of Los Angeles County that is not served by Time Warner Cable. Will fans like me suffer through another year of Dodger Blackout in 2015? Shameful.
One of John Wooden's mantras was "never mistake activity for achievement." The Bruins' embarrassing thrashing at the hands of Kentucky brought that aphorism to life! Somewhere, Ben Howland is undoubtedly chuckling at the greatness of the Steve Alford era.
Mark S. Roth
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