ESPN: Kobe Bryant Has Destroyed the Lakers

There isn't much optimism for the upcoming Sixers season. But at least the Lakers look to be bad for the near future, thanks to Kobe Bryant.

The Sixers were awful last year, and they’re going to be awful again this season. But not all is lost for the Philadelphia basketball fan. Take last season: The hated Celtics won only six more games than the Sixers did and missed the playoffs.

And Sixers fans’ second most-hated enemy, the Los Angeles Lakers? They went 27-55 and finished last in their division. The Lakers! In last! If the Sixers are going to be bad, at least the teams Philly fans love to hate are doing poorly too.

And now, some even better news: The Lakers aren’t going to get much better anytime soon. ESPN reports Kobe Bryant — Lower Merion High School basketball legend, five-time NBA Champion, surefire future member of the Baskebtall Hall of Fame, et cetera — is sabotaging the Lakers from within.

He’s such a ball hog and bad teammate that literally no one wants to play with him. Allen Iverson hogged the ball, but at least he said nice things about his teammates in the press.

There are plenty of stories in this piece to excerpt, but here are my three favorites:

  • During a meeting with Dwight Howard meant to woo the free agent back to Los Angeles for another season, Howard asked why the team let him take all the flak for the previous season’s struggles in the press. Bryant went into “a mini lecture on how to win.”
  • This rival front office executive’s quote: “Kobe has cost the Lakers dearly in human capital. Kobe has hurt a lot of people. In some cases jeopardized careers.”
  • Steve Nash’s deal with the Lakers in 2012 was nearly scuttled because Kobe Bryant wanted Nash to call him to discuss how they’d share the ball, rather than the other way around.

(I’m with Bryant on that last one. He’s the bigger star! Nash should make that call. Yes, caring about who makes the call is stupid, but lots of rich people do stupid things.)

Anyway, it appears the Lakers won’t be any good until Kobe Bryant retires. Then again, he’s won more titles on his own than the entire Sixers franchise has in its history, so…