As a Laker fan, these last few days have been interesting to say the least. Kobe demanding a trade, then then rescinding said demand pointed out what everyone already knew: the Laker front-office is as backasswards as any in professional sports. Seriously, Kupchak and company haven’t taken a sure step since they re-signed Bryant in 2004. Those guys can probably barely tie their shoes, let alone run an organization. The sad part is, the reason Jerry West won’t come back to rescue them, is because he wouldn’t want to screw over Kupchak, who he sees as his protege. Yeah, you did good work there Jerry, thanks. All of that said, I am not at all shocked by Kobe’s obvious frustration with the direction (or lack there of) of the organization. I totally understand and sympathize with his plight. It has been awful rooting for the Lakers since Shaq’s departure.
With that in mind, Kobe gave me an idea. I’m demanding a trade to another organization. I don’t see any benefit in continuing this relationship, and at this point, there is no other alternative. I just want to watch basketball and pull whole-heartedly for my team. At this point I’ll cheer on Pluto. Just do the right thing Lakers, just do the right thing. Hell, I’ll even propose some trades you could make that would benefit both organizations.
Now we have to assume there are certain untouchables around the league. Jack Nicholson is not going anywhere. Spike Lee will end his career with the Knicks (poor guy), and for some reason Billy Crystal would surely block a trade from the Clippers. I’ll assume Kid Rock won’t be moving from Detroit any time soon and unless she realizes she’s nailing a fruity version of Chris Paul, Eva Longoria will remain loyal to the Spurs.
You also have to consider what a fan like myself brings to the table. I’ll only bash my team when they’re in the midst of a playoff collapse, I have a forum (this blog) where I can publicly talk myself and the rest of the franchise’s fans into the latest personnel moves. Want examples? Here’s me in the 2002 to a friend: “We extended Devean George? Our defense will be rock solid for years to come!” or how about another one of my greatest hits, this time in 2005: “We got Kwame Brown for Caron Butler? Being coached up by Phil and pushed by Kobe will make Kwame grow up. Plus, what’s Caron Butler going to do anyway?” Ouch. Now if that isn’t blind loyalty, I don’t know what is. I’m also not going to make waves if we don’t have a great run in the playoffs. I’m used to disappointment in the postseason (see: my track record as a Padre and Charger fan). I’d say I’m a great all around fan, and while I won’t get you the same attention level as some so called “celebrities,” I’ll work hard and bring it every night.
So who are some viable trade candidates? Well I came up with five possibilities, let’s get cracking Kupchak, I want this done soon so I can get an early start on the jersey sale at Foot Locker.
5. Miami – Jimmy Buffett for Me, straight up
Look, it’s been a while since “Margaritaville” and, though he’s not getting any younger, I think Jimmy has one more nice run in him. Plus, you can’t tell me he and Jack in the front row for a few seasons wouldn’t be hilarious. The Lakers get a solid veteran and a set of season tickets that will open up in a few years (wait, he’s still alive right?). On the flipside, the Heat get my youthful exuberance and I’ve rooted for Shaq before, we have chemistry. I know when he’s going to take a night off and I can pick up the slack by talking up the role players that night.
4. L.A. Clippers – Frankie Muniz and Michael Clark Duncan for Jeremy Piven and Me
This is how far you’ve pushed me Mitch, I’m willing to go to the Clippers. Clearly Muniz for me is not a fair deal, as the Lakers wouldn’t be getting equal value. So Duncan is thrown in, and we have to tack on Piven’s season tickets to make the math work out. The Clippers end up with an Emmy-winner and myself, while the Lakers get a douchebag with a faux-hawk and a huge black dude who can whip said douchebag’s ass. I say everyone wins.
3. New Jersey – Jay-Z for Andy Garcia and Me
Andy is a good guy, and those “Ocean’s” movies have been a nice little project for him. But that “Godfather III” stain doesn’t just wash off easily. Still, the guy was a bad ass in “The Untouchables” and I’m sure he’s got some great on-set stories to regale us all with. He and I go to the Nets to watch Marcus Williams and Richard Jefferson develop into a formidable tandem, while Jay-Z totes Beyonce to L.A. and decides whether or not to retire for real. He would have to sell his stake in the team, but I don’t see that being a big hurdle.
2. Boston – Bill Simmons and Dennis Leary for David Arquette and Me
I wouldn’t hate being a Celtics fan. My parents are both from New England and grew up going to the Garden, and my Grandfather on my mom’s side was friends with Don Nelson when he was a role player for the team. So, there’s sort of a family connection, which is nice. Arquette gets thrown in to balance the clout Leary brings. Dude has a great series with “Rescue Me” and he has definitely re-appeared on the scene. He’s ready for the bright lights of the Staples Center. Arquette brings the famous family and he married into “Friends” money, which never hurts. As for Simmons, well I just want to hear him talk up Kobe and co. after being so biased against them because of his upbringing. Obviously the Celtics get the better of the deal. I mean come on, Leary is gonna croak from Lung Cancer any day now, Simmons’ 80’s trivia columns are getting tired and Arquette has to have a hit movie in him somewhere. Doesn’t he? Well, the Celtics make this deal because they think he does.
1. Golden State – Jessica Alba for Tobey Maguire, Dyan Cannon and Me
The ultimate, everybody wins scenario. The Lakers get a new young starlet for the cameras to love, the Warriors get experience (Cannon), and Spiderman and I get to watch and pull for the league’s most exciting team. What more could you ask for? Alba is from southern California, so I’m sure she’d welcome the prospect of cheering close to home. And Tobey seems like the kind of guy who’d welcome the intimacy of the smaller market in the Bay Area. It’s seriously the perfect deal.
OK Mitch, I know it’s going to be hard for you. I mean who wants to be known as the guy who traded Shaq, and Phillips, all while alienating his star player and an entire fan base. But as I said, it’s time for everyone to move on.