Over the past week or so, a lot talk has been swirling around the Los Angeles Lakers franchise after ESPN’s Henry Abbott published a controversial article about Kobe Bryant.
The article basically blames Kobe for the team’s struggles over the past few years with the five-time champion being the main reason for no other stars wanting to join forces in Los Angeles.
On Thursday, Lakers president Jeanie Buss was asked about the article and what happened this past summer in the team’s attempts to sign free agent Carmelo Anthony. Buss defended Kobe and let it be known the team made a strong case for Anthony to come to Los Angeles, via ESPN:
“We made a very good case for [Carmelo] coming to Los Angeles,” Buss said. “But he’s from New York, he sees a mission. I understand why he chose to stay with New York. I don’t think any of that has to do with Kobe Bryant.”
With the Lakers coming off a franchise-worst 27-win season and unable to land Anthony or LeBron James in free agency, it isn’t all that surprising that criticism and questions would follow heading into the 2014-15 NBA season. The Lakers have been infamous for their ability to land big-name after big-name in one way or another, but the new CBA has really made things difficult for the franchise that has won 16 NBA championships.
Much like any company or business, the Lakers will need to evolve and roll with the punches in this new era of NBA basketball. If any franchise is capable of making such a change, it is the Lakers who have helped the league get to where it is today with late owner Dr. Jerry Buss being the innovator he was.
There’s no question the Lakers franchise is facing the toughest challenge in recent memory after losing Dr. Buss, but few will be shocked if the team is able to bounce back much quicker than anticipated.[divide]
Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Comments On ESPN Article