As I type this, I see a picture of Kobe Bryant on the side. Much of this offseason has resembled a continuation of the on-going modern day Greek tragety that has become the Los Angeles Lakers. But yet and still, it seems that in all of this while people pick sides as if this were a political conflict of great importance, everyone misses the fact that no one is right or wrong.
Jim Buss and his father Dr. Buss have become just as polarizing now as Kobe has always been in his career. While a large portion view them as idiots who need to step down, others cite their successes(Well, more Jerry's than Jim's). But in all of this, we fail to realize that within the span of 3 years the Lakers have drafted promising players that can and will become major contributors on a title contending team. Jim was a direct cause of this. So while he may need to curb his arrogance, and he may need to formula more of a solid plan other than wild 2007 or 2010 plans the fact remains that within the span of 3 years he has made big strides through the draft.
On the other side of the spectrum though, you also cannot ignore the fact that moves were not made to replenish other aspects of the team and keep the team balanced most of all. Bad MLE signings and lack of creativity with roster shuffling has left the team stagnent in it's 7th or worse position. The argument can be made that if Jim wanted to he could have had his cake and ate it too. With small and smart trades, he could have Bynum develop as well as keep Kobe happy.
While it has sucked to be a Laker fan, it has also been riveting for a fan of drama like myself to witness all of this going on. Nothing is more amazing than the tremendous irony of Kobe's career right now. People take notice that he is Michael Jordan in reverse, but even more outrageous than that is the fact that now Kobe is in the role of Shaq and Andrew Bynum is in the role of Kobe. You would think that of all people, Kobe would be understanding of Drew's position and for all I know he might just be.
What bothers me is than in Kobe's quest to cement his name in the annal's of time, he fails to realize that taking a team like these Lakers in the way the west is constructed at this point would make him a bonafide legend. Going east wouldn't tarnish his career too much, but it would make it lose some luster though. But in the same token, Kobe cannot be faulted for wanting to leave. A few solid drafts don't equal a full-proof plan. While he may love LA and Laker fans, he must love himself even more.
In all of this intricate drama of trade speculation, hurt egos, and cat & mouse scrimmishes there's one thing that has dwelled no one. Common sense. Jim Buss has failed to understand that while he may have daddy's approval and power, you also have the best player in the world and you have to do everything possible to continue to build upon the legacy already built and not destroy it just so you can do it "your way". Kobe has failed to realize that trades are not as easy as they seem and that Jerry West is one of the best ever in his profession so to compare Jim and Mitch to him isn't all too fair.
If common sense were to intervine in this situation, some things would be realized. Kobe does not want to be traded at all, he simply wants to be given an opportunity to succeed and he also wants to be reminded that he is appreciated. Jerry does not want to lose all of that money by trading Kobe and soil his legacy. Jim does not want the pressure of having been one of the main people directly responsible for the departure of one of the best guards ever. If everyone would come together, lay their feelings out, work it out like grown men, and work towards a greater good then they would be creating lasting legacies after this summer of discontent.