NBA: 7 Reasons Why Kobe Bryant's Days as the Man in LA Are Dwindling
When it is all said and done, Kobe Bryant may go down as the greatest basketball player of all time. Kobe’s success speaks for itself.
Unlike other greats in NBA history, Kobe had the tough task of dealing with surpassing the success of legends in his own city. Whether or not older Laker fans like to admit it, Kobe has enjoyed a much more successful career in the NBA than any basketball player has in the city of Los Angeles.
With that being said it seems like there might be a new king in Los Angeles—one that is not even a Laker.
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Kobe is 33 years old and will be 34 before the start of the next season. While it seems like it will take longer for Kobe to lose his step, those days are coming sooner than anyone wants to believe.
The older Kobe gets and the older his knees get, the worse it will be for his production and for the Lakers success.
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Andrew Bynum is having a career year in the 2011-2012 campaign. It won’t take long until the Lakers become Bynum’s team, unless they trade him for Dwight Howard—then the name of this page would be changed to Dwight Howard.
Whether Bynum sticks around for the Lakers or the Lakers pursue Dwight Howard, the Lakers fans and media will likely give more attention to a young dominant center in his 20’s than an aging shooting guard who is leaning toward his late 30’s.
Andrew Bynum will be starting in his first All-Star game this year and it definitely will not be his last, regardless of the jersey he is wearing.
The "Lob City" Clippers
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The NBA fans have always been more intrigued with the flashier teams and players—just ask Vince Carter and Josh Smith why they are so popular.
The Clippers are a more exciting team than the Lakers in every single way. The Lakers play the game in a very calculated and strategic manner while the Clippers take the floor and try to put on an AND 1 basketball clinic.
What is more exciting, Chris Paul passing to Blake Griffin for another breathtaking dunk or a Pau Gasol 17-footer? Come on now.
And speaking of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin…
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin
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Chris Paul (26) and Blake Griffin (22) are both young players who are overloaded with energy. Paul and Griffin might play for another five years after Kobe decides to hang it up.
The Clippers have two big stars in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. It is starting to seem like they are the new talk of the town. Kobe is still having a great season but Paul and Griffin are garnering more attention than the Black Mamba.
The NBA highlights are full of dunks from Griffin and crossovers from Paul—no team is as exciting to watch right now.
If Blake Griffin and Chris Paul keep performing the way they are, it is tough to see them losing their new wave of fans and attention.
The Los Angeles Media
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For years in Los Angeles, the sports media has been surrounded with Lakers analysis and rumors—now it seems like most of the attention has gone to the Clippers.
While ESPN 710 is still considered to be the exclusive home for the Los Angeles Lakers, most of the discussion is about the Clippers and how they may be the new team in Los Angeles.
Kobe is still putting up MVP like numbers and this will definitely keep the media talking. But Kobe’s success won’t last for much longer.
The more attention the Clippers get on local television and radio, the worse it will be for the Kobe and Lakers.
The Basketball Fans in Los Angeles
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Although there is no statistic to back this claim up, it is pretty obvious that the Los Angeles Lakers fans are the worst group—and this is coming from a lifetime member.
Most Lakers fans are not scared to turn around and put on a Clippers jersey as soon as the Lakers hype starts fading away. Plenty of the new wave of Clipper fans are the same people who have been rooting for the Lakers every time the Lakers have been fighting for a World Championship.
With Los Angeles basketball fans supporting the Clippers more and more, it will be tough for Kobe to still be the man while wearing a purple and gold jersey.
Many basketball fans in Los Angeles do not want to cheer for an inferior team and all signs are pointing towards the Lakers becoming that inferior team in L.A.
The Clippers Success Against the Lakers
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The fact that the Lakers are starting to look like an inferior team to the Clippers is something most basketball fans thought would be unfathomable.
It seems like it is becoming the ugly truth for Kobe and the Lakers.
Since Paul has joined the Clippers they have enjoyed three wins in four matchups. Although two of those wins came in the preseason, both teams were playing with their full squads at full speed. The Lakers did recently beat the Clippers and the two teams face off again on April 4th.
The Clippers currently have a better record and have been able to beat the elite teams in the NBA like Miami and Oklahoma City while the Lakers are struggling to beat Minnesota and losing to Milwaukee and Sacramento.
Kobe should not take the blame here. But if the Lakers keep losing to elite teams and the Clippers keep winning, expect the Clippers to take over the Los Angeles Times sports section for the rest of the season and for the foreseeable future.
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No matter how hard Kobe tries, it is going to be tougher to compete with the Clippers for the top spot in Los Angeles. Luckily for the Lakers, it seems like one or two seasons of success for the Clippers might not do it.
Kobe will likely not be able to help the Lakers get beyond the Clippers in the next couple of years but don't expect Andrew Bynum and the rest of the Lakers to let the Clippers take control.
Until the Clippers really dominate the Lakers, do not expect all of Los Angeles to turn their backs on the Lakers and join the Clippers.
The Lakers and Clippers have brought a combined 11 championships during their times in Los Angeles. The Lakers have brought 11 of the 11 and the Clippers have brought none.
But if the Clippers are able to bring in championship to Los Angeles, then expect the winds of change in Los Angeles to blow quicker than ever.
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