The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t expected to do much for the second consecutive season as they find themselves still in rebuilding mode.
ESPN The Magazine’s Henry Abbott put the blame for the Lakers’ recent misfortunes on the star who largely was responsible for their success in the 2000s — Kobe Bryant.
Abbott believes the Lakers’ lack of big-name free-agent acquisitions and Dwight Howard’s departure last summer is a result of how difficult it is to play and deal with Kobe. Abbott has plenty of sources, from agents to former teammates, to back up that assertion.
One particular highlight came after the 2012-13 campaign, when Howard asked his Lakers teammates why they let all the blame for the season’s woes be placed on him. Kobe responded by giving a lecture about developing thick skin and learning how to win, which, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, was “a complete turnoff” for the big man.
Abbott also mentioned one agent with NBA clients who says, “I’ve had a lot of clients in the last five years, good players, who didn?t want to play with Kobe.”
Kobe will make $48.5 million over the next two years, which clearly handicaps the Lakers in making big deals over the summer because of the salary cap. But it’s interesting to see that Kobe’s ego also might be a reason why big names aren’t flocking to Tinseltown like they used to.
Interestingly, the feature doesn’t include anything from former teammates Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol, who said leaving Los Angeles was difficult because of his friendship with Kobe.
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