The Buss Family Sounds Split On The Possibility Of Trading Kobe Bryant
It's a question we've been debating since the NBA season began: Could Kobe Bryant end his career with a team other than the Lakers? While rumors have swirled, Kobe himself has been adamant that despite the fact that he's not competing for a title, he'll go down the ship. Does the Buss family, which owns the Lakers, feel the same way? Depends who you ask.
There's a Q&A with Jeanie and Jim Buss on ESPN this morning, which deals with everything from their late father's legacy to the idea of tanking (Jeanie thought the question was "insulting," for the record). The question of whether Kobe could be traded was brought up, and the two siblings had different answers to the question:
There's been a lot of talk that this season is going so badly that you should trade Kobe. Set him free, so to speak. Is there any chance that happens?
Jim: No. I love Kobe Bryant. I think L.A. loves Kobe Bryant. I don't envision him going anywhere. I don't see it.
Jeanie: I don't want to see Kobe Bryant leave. But we understand the realities of the sports world. Take Shaq, for example. He was traded and played for several other teams. But once he retired, he asked us to retire his jersey. He wanted to be remembered as a Laker. So while I get attached, I know what the realities are in this business. It's never going to change what we've accomplished together. But I don't look forward to the day that Kobe Bryant's not in purple and gold.
Jeanie's answer is more pragmatic than we might expect. It's interesting that she's even considering the possibility, when so many other players involved -- Jim, who is president of basketball operations, and Kobe himself, who has a no-trade clause -- have shut the idea down. In fact, the way she talks ("I know what the realities are" and "I don't look forward to the day") makes it sound more like Kobe WILL be traded than won't be.
Perhaps Jeanie knows something about Kobe that even Kobe doesn't know about Kobe, who just yesterday appeared to come apart at the seams during practice with his terrible team. Losing sucks. Can he really take it for two full seasons? Consider the "Kobe-to-the-Suns" rumors still alive, if just barely, for now.
Photo via Getty
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