For all the differences between the 2007-08 Lakers, the 08-09 Lakers, and this year’s Laker squad, one thing remains the same: The Lakers are hoping that they can get a significant contribution from Andrew Bynum, but aren’t sure he’ll be healthy enough to make one.
Though Kobe had a no-trade clause, the Lakers explored other options.
According to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the event, the Lakers once contacted the Cavs to investigate whether Cleveland would make James available in a possible Bryant trade.
The Cavs said that James, indeed, was untouchable, sources said. Then they attempted to make the Lakers a different offer for Bryant, offering anyone else on their team in a package for him. The Lakers had no interest.
For Bryant, who had a no-trade clause in his contract, the answer was simple.
“I never would’ve approved it. Never. The trade to go to Cleveland? Never,” Bryant told Holmes.
This is just as the LeBron-Kobe arguments were kicking into gear. Regardless of which player was better at the time, LeBron – six years younger – was definitely more valuable than Kobe.
So, it’s unsurprising the Lakers asked and even less surprising the Cavaliers said no.
And even less surprising than that was the Lakers rejecting Cleveland’s counter offer. Here were the other Cavaliers during the 2006-07 season:
- Larry Hughes
- Zydrunas Ilgauskas
- Drew Gooden
- Sasha Pavlovic
- Donyell Marshall
- Anderson Varejao
- Damon Jones
- Daniel Gibson
- Eric Snow
- Shannon Brown
- Ira Newble
- David Wesley
- Scot Pollard
- Dwayne Jones
That scrap heap doesn’t come close to Kobe.
The what-if of a LeBron-for-Kobe or Kobe-for-other-Cavs swap is intriguing, but both ideas were non-starters for at least one side. None of that came close to happening.
But, nine years later, that barely makes the discussion less fun.
Then, the Knicks president tweeted a few more thoughts:
Jackson might be more intelligent and philosophical than you.
More than that, Jackson really wants you to believe he’s more intelligent and philosophical than you.
The Kings played the night before in Boston and were in their fourth city (Cleveland) in six nights. It’d be reasonable – maybe even wise – to value extra sleep over an optional shootaround.
To Rondo’s point, perhaps Karl shouldn’t have called one at all. If so much of the team plans to skip it, is it worth bringing in anyone? Is that productive for the players who attend?
What happened after the shootaround certainly wasn’t.
Quincy Acy disputed Fischer’s report:
Then, Caron Butler took issue with Rondo’s account:
I don’t know precisely which Kings attended the shootaround, but someone fed Fischer a list of names for whatever reason. The agendas and leaks coming from the Kings are debilitating.
And for Butler to publicly disagree with a teammate like that is startling. Unless he’s saying Rondo was misquoted, which seems unlikely, considering Steve Herrick of the Associated Press also quoted Rondo saying three or four players attended shootaround (hat tip: Kevin Draper of Deadspin).
The tamest explanation is that Rondo used “three or four” as a euphemism for “not enough,” and the real number could’ve been closer to five. So, maybe Acy and Butler also attended but participation was down.
But that wouldn’t necessarily mean teammates appreciate Rondo – who declared himself the first veteran teammate DeMarcus Cousins ever respected – saying “three or four.” That could leave a couple of them under the bus.
And there’s still the issue of Karl using shootarounds productively – and Rondo maybe calling him out publicly for it.
Really, this speaks to where the Kings stand. They can’t even conduct a shootaround without controversy.
If you’re a Comcast subscriber in Northern California, you can stream tonight’s Kings-76ers game here.