The Lakers are on the brink of elimination and although many fans and pundits will blame Paul Gasol’s late game fourth quarter turnover for the lost in Game Four, the truth is that the Black Mamba poisoned his own team’s chances of winning with his selfishness and lack of trust in his teammates to perform in the second half.
There comes a time in every great athlete’s career when the time comes for them to usher in the future of the franchise. After sixteen glorious years five NBA titles, 2 Olympic Gold Medals, 1 MVP, and numerous record performances, at 34 years of age the time has come for Kobe Bryant to usher in the future of the Lakers franchise, the NBA next dominant center Andrew Bynum.
In the first half of Game Four Andrew Bynum put on a clinic and carried the Lakers to a halftime double-digit lead confidently utilizing the space on the floor and knocking down free throws when fouled.
However, once the second half started Bynum was totally forgotten only registering 4 points after a 14 point dominant first half. In the second half Kobe Bryant cost the Lakers the game shooting 2-10 in the fourth quarter due to his selfishness and inability to execute the plays being called by Laker Head Coach Mike Brown.
Despite this arrogant display no one appears confident enough to call out Kobe Bryant for his faults, when his teammates were interviewed after the game they did everything but state the obvious:
- Ron Artest ‘Meta World Peace’: ‘We lost because of the teams inability to execute, everyone on the team played a role in the lost’
- Andre Bynum: ‘We lost because we stopped executing, and because I didn’t get as many touches in the second half’ ‘I can’t score if I don’t have the ball’
- Kobe Bryant: ‘My teammates need to be more assertive, that is why I had to take tough shots’
During the early years of the Kobe-Shaq union the Lakers were swept three straight years by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. Unfortunately, due to father time, at the age of 34 Kobe Bryant can not afford to wait another three years until he decides to trust his teammates.
After Monday, the Lakers front office will think long and hard about the future of the franchise, and I warn you, do not be surprised if the same team that traded Lamar Odom for tax relief purposes does not consider trading Kobe Bryant if he does not accept his new role of running the offense through the franchises future star, Andrew Bynum. – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)