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Kobe says don’t break up Lakers, they can win again

May 11, 2011, 7:20 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant talks during a news conference after the Lakers were knocked out of the NBA basketball playoffs in Los Angeles AP

Lakers fans are ready to break up the team.

It’s not like they won two previous championships and 57 games this past season. (Oh, wait…) They had a very bad playoffs, they looked fatigued and disinterested, they ran basic sets of the triangle offense and not the depth of it needed to counter what the Mavericks did (something Luke Walton mentioned at his exit interview). They were not athletic enough.

So, clearly, take the longest, most skilled front line in the NBA and break it up, because it will never win again.

No, it doesn’t make much sense. Kobe Bryant doesn’t think so either and said so at his exit interview (as reported by NBA.com’s Hangtime Blog).

“This is nonsense,” he said. “I remember [the Lakers] had a pretty good era in the ’80s and they didn’t win three [titles] in a row. They didn’t break that team up….

“If you’re asking me do I believe we can come back and do it again,” he said, “I absolutely believe that we can come back and do it again.”

Kobe was very Kobe during his exit meeting with the press. Confident they could do it again, with this core. Saying that this season was a year wasted in his life.

But he is right. Tall and good beats small and good, and the Lakers are still tall and good. They didn’t play like it in the playoffs, they played like a team mentally and physically worn out. They need more athleticism around the core. They need some shooters. If they switch systems they need a new point guard.

But this is about tweaks, not overhauls. Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol is a guy you only give up for a few players in this league, and even then you better think about those changes. Kobe gets it.

  1. zblott - May 11, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    Here’s a look at what the Lakers and Spurs have, both positively and negatively, moving forward after disappointing playoffs:

    http://www.behindthebasket.com/btb/2011/5/9/spurs-and-lakers-now-what.html

  2. danvoges - May 11, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    gasol and bynum need to spend the summer playing with inmates like jimmer did.

    or take some testosterone pills.

  3. andrejohnsonforpresident - May 11, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    I believe Ron ron and fisher are replaceable. Lamar needs to start already, the man is stealing the 6th man of the year award!!

  4. loungefly74 - May 11, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    great article because its true. this teams just needs to tweek some things…that it. kurt, you did a great job staying consistent and realistic on the NBA this season. this article continues that steadiness.

    i laugh when i hear people say stuff about the bloated salaries, age, etc of the Lakers…lemme say, there is always a way.

  5. cosanostra71 - May 11, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    It’s true. Don’t break the team up. Do make some changes however. Like getting a PG. I love Fisher, but his best days are behind him. Wouldn’t mind him off the bench, but we need to get more athletic at the spot in the starting lineup.

  6. 00maltliquor - May 11, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    Lakers fans are ready to blow the team up??? What?? Not me or any real Laker fan i know is saying that! That’s just you, the media and ESPN, lil’ buddy. Yes, we need a real PG and move Fish to the bench, no matter what system, but that’s about it. I’d keep Artest too.Yeah, i know he ain’t what he used to be, but we’re in a league where 85% of players don’t even try to defend so he’s certanly useful.
    Don’t re-sign Ratliff and Joe Smith. Finally break up with our high school sweetheart (Luke Walton) that we just can’t seem to shake and don’t look back and we’re good.

    • 00maltliquor - May 11, 2011 at 11:48 PM

      Oh, unless we can get our hands on that Howard kid, then i might be singing a different song…

  7. scir91onyoutube - May 11, 2011 at 11:27 PM

    how was this year a waste of year in your life kobe? you hit many game winning shots, enjoyed a lot of amazing games, and had a good time with your family. you will be out of the NBA in a few years. don’t take any day for granted. wake up kid!

  8. passerby23 - May 12, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    I just finished commenting on Kurt’s other piece that the Celtics were done. I think the opposite is true. I think the Celtics have more of a run left in them than the Lakers. Boston was competitive, strong defensively, and a couple bounces away from leading their series. The real issue is that the Heat played extremely well as opposed to the Celtics looking bad. They do need to add a piece or two but they are still in the mix.

    The Lakers have no such argument. They were dismantled soundly. Unless the Lakers can make a move for Chris Paul or Dwight Howard, how do they upgrade? Fisher and Artest (two bloated contracts) are going to be difficult to move, as is Luke Walton. What changes when the Lakers face an athletic Thunder team in next year’s playoffs and get burned time and time again off the dribble? Or, perhaps an improved Blazers team? We’re going to be saying the Lakers should’ve made some big moves LAST year.

    It wasn’t just a bad matchup that hurt the Lakers, they were exposed. Barring a big deal for Chris Paul, I think their championship window has closed.

  9. trbowman - May 12, 2011 at 4:26 AM

    Didn’t the Lakers just win two straight championships a few years ago? Ya. They don’t need to blow it up. Need to make a few moves, upgrade the bench and PG but for the most part they’re set.

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