If you haven’t read part one, don’t start here.
Anyway, back to where we were. After a mediocre season for the Lakers, many knew that Kobe’s time atop the NBA mountain was coming to a close. Having five NBA championships, Kobe made it clear that his entire goal in his career was to be like Mike. The signature fade away. The “He can’t guard me”. The shrug after an impossible shot.
Kobe wanted one more. He lost to Detroit in upsetting fashion. Lost a heart breaker to Boston. He came up short on number six.
But this article isn’t about just Kobe, it’s about what could and should have been for the Los Angeles Lakers. When word broke that LA was going to be receiving what many thought was the best PG in the league (and they would have been right), Lakers fans we’re ready for one more run with another banner. And they should have been. With Paul on the floor, Kobe no longer needed to be the primary ball handler at every moment of the game. Assuming that the Dwight Howard to LA a year later happens and a 32 year old Kobe (still playing in his prime) would have made another Lakers dynasty.
But would that trade have worked exactly as we thought?
Trust me, you will not find a Lakers fan angrier then me that Chris Paul wasn’t on our squad. But think about what we gave up in that trade. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom were two huge pieces in the title runs that we had just gone through. Never mind the fact that we would have to find a core to put around Paul and Bryant, Andrew Bynum would no longer be there due to the injuries that he would have in the seasons to come leaving the Lakers squad with big men like Jordan Hill or Robert Sacre. Yikes.
Sure, maybe we wise up and sign some of the budding studs that we let go like Shannon Brown, or maybe we add through free agency and get a Aaron Afflalo/Wilson Chandler.
In the end, I don’t know if the trade would have made the difference. I don’t know that our beloved Kobe would have won his sixth and maybe seventh title. But I can tell you Ko
be doesn’t rupture his Achilles. I know that Dwight Howard doesn’t leave as soon as he does. I can tell you Mike D’Antoni isn’t our coach.
And I can sure as hell tell you, we aren’t at the bottom of the league for six years.