Monday, June 18, 2007

Top 10 Trade Destinations for Kobe Bryant

(Ed. Note: There is no proof to the rumor that we're changing the name of the blog to Five Tool Kobe. But we understand how these things get started.)

10. Boston

The Celtics are desperate to prove they are still relevant after their tanking/draft fiasco, and they can offer a variety of package options, ranging from the well-established (Paul Pierce) to the up and coming (Al Jefferson). Theo Ratliff, in the final year of one of those Billy King Sixers contracts that always provide so much comedy value around the league, would be a must in any deal, giving the Lakers cap relief going into next season.

In Boston, Kobe could be the first major star ever to play for both the Lakers and the Celtics. In an up-tempo offense "coached" by the very vacant Doc Rivers, he would easily lead the NBA in scoring, and as LeBron James showed in this year's playoffs, it doesn't take a great cast of characters to get deep into the playoffs.

9. Rome, in the time of Caesar

As seen on the hit HBO series, Rome is a murderous, back-biting cesspool of human domination and degradation -- a perfect match for Kobe's off-court talents. As someone who grew up overseas, Kobe's international predilections would be rewarded here, and he'd be a key part of the NBA's efforts to continue to grow the fan base beyond North America.

Rome can offer up any number of soldiers, riches and artifacts to the Lakers, something that would have considerable appeal in the status-conscious LA market. Coach Phil Jackson would probably leap at the chance for a tighter defense with shields and swords packing the lane around a developing Andrew Bynum, and he'd look simply fabulous in a breast plate.

The final kicker for Rome, for Kobe -- a league-leading amount of sodomy. It's a win-win situation!

8. New York

Isiah Thomas has shown that he can blow big trades, and none would be bigger than putting one of the biggest stars in the NBA at Madison Square Garden. Stephon Marbury, in his historical role as overrated superstar who gets dealt for players better than he is, would be nearly a match under the salary cap, and the Knicks can also dangle the surprisingly potent David Lee, the returning LA favorite Quentin Richardson, and draft picks that could be heavy lottery favorites in the future. The Knicks could also take Vlad Radmanovic's contract, a major plus for the Lake Show as they try to clear cap space.

In New York, Kobe could team with an actual low-post scorer again in Eddy Curry, and the same rules as per Boston would apply here. He'd also have a terrific opportunity to rehabilitate his image among local Madison Avenue ad types, who could use his outlaw image and bicoastal fan base to make many more consumers eager to Obey Kobe's Thirst.

7. Paris, in the time of the Revolution

Anarchy in the streets, truly outstanding cuisine, the day to day excitement of violent decapitations *and* puffy shirts? For sheer visual appeal, it's hard to top Paris as the next stop for Kobe. Unlike many NBA stars who might balk at the low exchange rate and streets running red with blood, Kobe's shown a greater sense of, how do you say, je nais sais quoi.

Paris would appear to be compromised at the trade table, what with its plunder being squandered on royalist abuses and no NBA franchise to tap into for tradeable talent. But this analysis fails to grasp just how much Jerry Buss enjoys a freshly made crepe, and Jackson would be able to indulge in his taste for Dumas. Dealing Kobe to Paris also means the Lakers will never have to worry about facing him again, in the playoffs or the regular season, destroying any chance he'd have for revenge. Sacre bleu!

6. Dallas

No team was more exposed for its lack of playoff toughness in the post-season than the Mavs, a #1 seed that got rolled in the first round. Owner Mark Cuban has always shown a taste for rolling the dice, and his roster is filled with the kind of talent that the Lakers would be looking for in a rebuilding era. Top targets would include Jason Terry, Jerry Stackhouse, and possibly Erick Dampier, all of whom could prove to be more valuable in Jackson's vaunted triangle offense.

For Dallas, the only real consideration must be how well Kobe would co-exist with Dirk Nowitzki, the reigning MVP and the NBA's best scoring big man. Would they mesh together as well as Shaq and Kobe, depite Dirk's dramatically different offensive game? Only time will tell.

5. Buenos Aires

Don't cry for me, Argentina! Kobe Bryant's arrival in the Southern Hemisphere would be the capper to a remarkable run for our southern neighbor, who would forget all about Manu Ginobili and Angel Cabrera as soon as Kobe crossed the Equator.

Argentina has more to offer the Lakers in trade than most NBA observers realize. With their secret race of genetically engineered Nazi Supermen, and their strong chances to retake the Falklands from a Britain that's lost all taste for armed conflict following the Iraq experience, they just might have what it takes to sway Buss.

For Kobe, Buenos Aires would give him a chance to make his historical mark on basketball for an entire continent, as well as the opportunity to show his range as a torch singer. The pantaloons may be surprisingly hard for the Mamba to resist. Finally, it wouldn't be much of a switch for him, time zone wise. So he's got that going for him.

4. Detroit

As an elite team that's grown stale and lost their identity, the Pistons fit the profile of a Lakers suitor. A sign and trade move with Chauncey Billups and the playoff-weak Tayshaun Prince makes sense here, as it gives the Lake Show a long and longer front court of Odom, Prince and Bynum -- possibly effective in the Jazz-Spurs big man West.

For the Pistons, Kobe joins a team of defensive minded players and Chris Webber, and he'll enjoy working with big men who can actually catch the ball. The lack of a point guard is a little bit disturbing, but Kobe dominates the ball as is, and the Pistons might have more than they think in Carlos Delfino.

While the Pistons don't usually come up in trade talk, Joe Dumars is smart enough to know that this roster isn't getting any better, and not afraid to make difficult decisions (witness Darko). While Billups won't provide the star power that LA might need to fill seats in a post-Kobe era, watching him go against Sam Cassels might be enough.

(Ed. Note / Update - Whoops. Delfino dealt to the Raps for second round picks. Oh well.)

3. Washington, DC

With the town in a tizzy over Gilbert Arenas's contract, Chocolate City may be the perfect place to receive Kobe. As a lobbyist, he could supplement his off-court income with lucrative K Street work, giving the same kind of public approval magic to either the Dems or the Republicans.

A sign and trade with Arenas makes sense here, but that's not the only possibility. The Wiz could also offer up Antawn Jamison, who always looks good from a distance, and the Lakers could throw good money after bad by getting back Caron Butler. Provided he's still in the league, Kwame Brown is always an option here, too.

In the District, Kobe would head up an exciting offensive team that's lacking in quality big men. That should be a welcome change for the local fans.

2. Miami

The greatest soap opera in NBA history returns as the Heat move heaven (the injury-prone Dwayne Wade) and earth (the donut-laden Antoine Walker) to the West, putting Shaq and Kobe back together in the worst sequel since Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Impossible, you say? Sure, but you haven't taken into account Pat Riley's ego, stung by the first-round exit and Shaq's dalliances with obese children. For at least 1-2 seasons, this would work like old times, and in the East and with the state of Florida happy to consume second-run shows, it's a win all around. For extra fun, keep an eye on how Gary Payton and Alonzo Mourning react -- because they are always fun to be around in a potentially awful situation!

1. Hell

Kobe's going here soon enough, so why not speed things along? NBA teams have shown more willingness to deal with the Father of All Lies than most professional leagues, and Hell has much to offer in the way of winged demons, temptations of gold and plunder, and untold cursed souls, wailing in torment, to fill the seats at the Staples Center no matter how long the Lakers rebuilding project could take. That all spells cap relief, a must for any deal involving Kobe.

For Kobe, Hell would offer any number of ironic punishments early, but we're confident that with the skills he's shown so far in his NBA career, he'd ascend quickly in the Lord of the Flies's perpertual wailing offense. Kobe's strong drive and dish game would also play hell in Hell's corporate arena in the frozen lake of Corpadverticus, where the home-court advantage is truly profound.

From a fan's perspective, I'm rooting for #1. Pick your favorite destination in the comments, if you are so moved...


Andy W said...

I resent the nazi connection with Argentina, bro.

Andy W said...

post was still pretty funny, though

Brian said...

Nice article, but:

"the playoff-weak Tayshaun Prince"

C'mon now. If you're basing that off one series (against Cleveland in this year's ECF), then, yes, maybe you're right. But you're way, way off base otherwise. Historically, Prince has been a major clutch performer for the Pistons. To say he's "playoff-weak" is a little short-sighted.

Enjoyed the article though, especially the #1 landing spot.

Ken Hanscom said...

Interesting thought, but you forgot perhaps the number one destination for Kobe Bryant -- Los Angeles.

If he leaves, seats will be empty. I know for sure that I will not be buying any Lakers tickets next year.

DMtShooter said...

Folks, we take our mission statement ("Cheap, mean, unfair, tasteless and biased") pretty seriously -- merits for Argentina, Tay Prince or Kobe staying put nothwithstanding.

But thanks for the comments, and by all means, poke around the site. You'll find lots to like in our Celtics coverage (whistling, walking away quickly)...

FanProphet said...

I think that we think alike when it comes to this sell-out. How does everyone love Kobe Bryant. Michael Jordan wanna-be. Whatever, I could go on and on about this clown. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Kobe to the Rockets straight up for Luther Head. Done and Done. It may not be a fair trade but it is hot as hell in houston.

Anonymous said...

he said head (heh heh)

DMtShooter said...

FP inspired me. Kobe has, believe it or not, the highest selling jersey in the Association. I get that he's got mad game and plays in a huge market... but... um.... really?

They can't all be bought as ironic gifts, folks. (I miss the days when you could buy your whipped buddy a Doug Christie jersey. Some current player must take up The Legacy.)

(future post percolating...)

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