More tough talk from Kobe

First of all, thanks for all the comments on my last post. I was curious to see what you all were thinking and feeling went wrong this year and what can be done in the offseason. I’ll get you guys the full transcript of today’s marathon media session with Kobe, Phil, Mitch, Andrew, Sasha, Smush and Chris Mihm later tonight, after I finish writing. It was an interesting day to say the least.

Kobe Bryant’s had almost two days to cool off from the Lakers season-ending loss in Game 5, but if anything, his stance on the situation of the team has grown stronger. Kobe reiterated his calls on the front office to “Do something” about the team’s current state. Asked point blank whether the team can just sit back and wait for Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar to develop, Kobe said, “No. Something needs to be done.”

Later on, Mitch seemed to indicate that Andrew might be on the table this time around. I’m sure it would still take a lot, but Mitch basically said that the Lakers were going to build around Kobe and that they’d aggressively pursue every opportunity to improve as a team via free agency, the draft, or trade.

The No. 1 priority seemed to be to find help in the backcourt. Phil Jackson acknowledged that they need an upgrade over Smush Parker at the point. And I don’t think they want to put Jordan Farmar in the position of being the starter so early on into his career.

Kobe wasn’t interested in outlining specific changes — “I don’t know who has to stay and who has to go,” — but it’s clear that the Lakers know they’ll need to do something to keep their superstar happy this summer.

Anyway, here’s a little of what 24 had to say today. More later….

Kobe —

“This summer is about getting ourselves to an elite level and doing whatever it takes to make that happen. This is a competitive city. We’re used to winning titles not just winning games or getting to the first round, we’re used to winning championships.

“I just voiced my opinion and now they’ve got to go out there and do the best they can to make it happen. When I resigned here, they promised that they would build a contender and build a contender now. I don’t want to have to wait anymore than I already have.

“I don’t know (how we do it). I just voiced my opinion. Now it’s on them to go out there and do their job and make it happen. I’m sure (Mitch) understands that patience is running thin in myself and coach. We want to be able to contend. I’m sure he understands that.

On his window for playing at a high level:

“Obviously, there’s a window. I feel fine physically. I still eat like crap. The important thing to me is winning, now. We had a season where we missed the playoffs, then we got bounced from the playoffs in the first round the last two seasons. We got to the playoffs the next to last game of the regular season … it’s enough of that.

On whether making the Western Conference Finals next year is enough:

“I don’t play for anything but championships…”

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  • lakerboy

    cant wait to read what odom and the others have to say. thx, great read!

  • gdchild

    “Later on, Mitch seemed to indicate that Andrew might be on the table this time around. I’m sure it would still take a lot, but Mitch basically said that the Lakers were going to build around Kobe and that they’d aggressively pursue every opportunity to improve as a team via free agency, the draft, or trade.”

    So, basically the Lakers managment didn’t do its job to really build around Kobe. First the stupid 07 dream of anothe superstar coming and then waiting for Bynum to become the next frachise player while wasting our golden opportunity to become a title contender with Kobe and some solid help.

    So sad that Jerry Buss let Jim Buss make mistakes at the expense of the team, Kobe and us fans.

  • gdchild

    What went wrong? For starter, keep Smush for too long w/o addressing our pg issue.

  • Torrey D. Elcan

    Okay Lakers fans, we have a serious problem with managment, actually who is running this team is it Kupchak or Jim Buss???? Well oneof the first problems that needs to be addressed is the point guard position, if you saw that game against the Clippers and old Sam Cassell running rings around Smush Parker you know what I’m talking about. Problem #2 a big fella up front to stop opposing teams from driving the rock down our throats time and time again. Problem# 3 I just don’t see Bynum being a star, maybe it’s just me btu I see himbeing what he is know, a big who cna’t jump, can block a couple of shots, not quick enough on his post moves, and in the west those big men will eat him alive.

  • Keepin’ it Real

    Sending Bynum packing would be one of the worst moves in Laker history. Let’s look at some reality hear. The Lakers had a string of injuries that cost them quite a few games, which put them in the seven seed in the west. So they had to play Phoenix, who in my book is the odds on favorite to win the title. I hate to say it, but the Suns are at the top of the league. Losing to the Suns is tough, but they are the team to beat. Now, what should we do? Sign Chauncey billups, pay him the money, pay the luxury tax and accept it. The Lakers are close, so imploding the team is wrong, adding Billups and keeping Bynum is the right thing to do.

  • DJ

    How long is it going to take Bynum to develope? Keep in mind, he came right out of high school with no higher level playing experience. It even took Kobe several years to become the player he is now and Bynum is still nowhere near the level Kobe was at in his rookie year. I say if teams are interested in him, let’s get a solid trade and let him become someone else’s project. We want championships now!

  • wilzuvsteel

    I have to agree with letting Bynum go. Nobody wins championships with boys and rookies. Plus if you compare Bynum to Oden there is such a huge disparity in talent. Oden will run circles around Bynum. Bynum is a young version of Bill Cartwright. He is not a Laker for life type center. In reality Shaq should have never left LA but Mitch should have gotten a much better deal than what we have. I would have settled for 1st round picks than what we have now. Potential has more power than these bums we have now. Nobody wants our broken down players and misfits who lay down in the playoffs and lie to management about their off duty activities. Bynum needs to go hungry to realize why he’s with the Lakers. Otherwise it is just expensive day care. Not being prepared for a season of basketball is a lame excuse. Top that with a bad work ethic and inability to learn is also a red flag. Jordan Farmar at least has the raw skills and basketball IQ to adapt. Bynum is just a big PC with no memory. I had more moves in elementary than he does. He needs to work on his game if I’m to sacrifice years of Kobe’s prime to say he belongs in a Lakers uniform. Bynum doesn’t exhibit the fascination of basketball with passion like a true student of the game would. All the greats learned from history. This kid still needs to go to college and take classes. Like that English class is going to help him from getting schooled by Duncan, Yao, Stoudamire, Dirk. But the kid has potential….Kobe has ring potential. How do you like those apples Mitch? We seem to be a hospital for the injured. Vlade Divac, McKie, Mihm, Brown, Walton, Odom, Radmonivic, Turiaf and even coach Jackson. These guys need to hit the gym and stay healthy. There’s no sense in having a team when you’re calling in sick to work everyday. These guys all need to rethink their goals before putting on the Lakers jersey next year. And with Mitch K’s record right now I’d say he too needs to go if nothing is done this summer and the Lakers need to get reacquainted with JWizo 44# for life.