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6/01/2007 12:28:00 PM
Non-NBA Destinations for Kobe Bryant
The destination possibilities for Kobe Bryant are endless.
Photo by AP
I'm still not exactly sure what happened with Kobe Bryant earlier this week. We know he did a bunch of media appearances and hinted that he'd like a trade, demanded a trade and said he didn't want a trade. Despite the myriad words and concepts Kobe trotted forth, understand the Lakers aren't trading Kobe anywhere. At least not within the NBA.
But what if the Lakers grew so tired of Kobe's antics that they decided to really punish him? Here are some places the Lakers could move Kobe far, far away from the NBA...
1. Los Angeles Galaxy: Major League Soccer and their deep-pocketed benefactor Phil Anschutz have already shown a willingness to spend cash in order to make splashy international headlines -- hence the forthcoming arrivals of David Beckham and Cuauhtemoc Blanco. As soccerphile and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash once told me, "Some of the NBA shooting guards, up in the air with their height and ability, could control boxes and be really amazing in the midfield." With Kobe in the middle, Becks on the wing and Landon Donovan charging up the field, the Galaxy would finally command attention from the general sporting world. And Kobe's form actually isn't half-bad.
2. The Black Pearl: Speaking of Kobe's puzzling words, I saw the latest Pirates of the Caribbean last weekend and I'm still not sure what was going on. Who was alive? Who was dead? What happened to the guys who were half-skeletons? Plus I still don't know understand that beating heart-in-a-box stuff. I think Capt. Jack Sparrow would be the type of leader Kobe could really respond to, with his meandering speeches and quizzical directions. And the Lakers could use Captain Barbosa to defend Leandro Barbosa.
3. New York Yankees: Lots of fun in the Bronx right now. The fans are booing Joe Torre, the Red Sox are beating everyone they play and, according to the New York Daily News,
A-Rod "likes the she-male, muscular type." (The Post also created my favorite headline of the year: YANKEE DOODLE RANDY.) Basically, there are a lot of highly paid players in pinstripes who could use a leader to step in and take command of things. Kobe, you're on deck.
4. The Republican Party: When your party's hottest Presidential candidate is perhaps best known for emoting opposite Sam Waterston, it would seem to suggest a leadership vacuum. Well, Kobe's a leader, as he's said a few times. And he'd be great in debates, switching sides and double-talking like all politicians do. Could make for an interesting campaign, especially when Kobe's lovely younger wife and Sen. Fred Thompson's lovely younger wife hit the campaign trail together.
5. Los Angeles Sparks: Juwanna Kobe? The WNBA is entering its 11th season, but the League is still largely overlooked. What would happen if a WNBA team suddenly brought in a 6-foot-6 player who could dunk? An undefeated season and massive media attention, that's what. Get him a wig and a razor, now.
Where else could Kobe make an impact away from the NBA? Talk to me, people.
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com.
As Kobe and Shaq seem to have reconciled their differences, they should join forces again to create the greatest faux ventriloquist act the world has ever seen. Shaqobe (pronounced shack-oh-bee) would take Vegas by storm. I can already hear the reviewers now; "That dummy was so rude." "Those matching bow ties were precious." "I didn't know the big guy knew Italian!" Once they've gotten too big to open for Wayne Newton, they can take the act on the road provided they skip over Colorado.
Hahaha, it's funny. You know, in Spain we have the greatest "soccer" team in the history, REAL MADRID (like the Celtics) and the best F1 racer of the moment, 2-time world champion Fernando Alonso (like King James) but you, my dearest Americans, don't care about these 2 sports, so everytime I go there it's like I can't share with anyone the success of my fellow Spaniards! Florentino Pérez, the guy who brought Figo, Ronaldo, Zidane and Beckham to the same team always dreamt of bringing Real Madrid to the NBA. Kobe in Spain? Not even in my dreams, but that's my proposition anyway, Kobe Bryant signing for Real Madrid :) Peace PS: I love SLAM but in the last 15-20 issues I have stopped buying it, don't know. Still, I have the 3 covers of brilliant number 50 ;)