LA Lakers: Why Mitch Kupchak Is to Blame for Kobe Bryant's Unhappiness

Kelly ScalettaFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 19:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers adjusts his jersey during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on February 19, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Lakers 102-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant is not happy, and typically, when Kobe Bryant isn't happy, he lets people know he's not happy. He's not one to keep such things to himself. This time though he's sticking up for his teammate. He's not happy with the way the Lakers have been treating Pau Gasol. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Bryant said, 

"I wish management would come out and either trade him or not trade him. It's just tough for a player to give his all when you don't know if you're going to be here tomorrow. I'd rather them not trade him at all, but if they're going to do something, I wish they would just ... do it."

There are some who want to say that Bryant is getting paid a lot of money, and he should just go out and give 100 percent regardless of what happens. 

It's always easier to tell other people to do what to do, though. These are professional basketball players, but they are still people. You can't divorce the human aspect from this equation.

Bryant is right. It's hard to commit to someone that isn't committed to you. Imagine you've proposed to a girl you've been with for three years, and she says she's not sure, but hey, would you be willing to buy her this $50,000 car?

Essentially that's what the Lakers are asking of Gasol. They are hoping for a one-sided commitment, while they're openly contemplating betrayal. Let's not make it out that Gasol has done nothing for the Lakers either. 

Between the way they handled the Lamar Odom situation, assuring themselves of getting nothing worthwhile in return for him, and the way that Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss have handled this whole Gasol thing is an embarrassment to what was the best run organization in professional sports for 40 years.

Since the Odom fiasco they have apparently contemplated about every conceivable move, and a few inconceivable ones. Every one of them has been public. 

Bryant said,  "If they're not going to do it, come out and say you're not going to do it. This way, he can be comfortable and go out and can perform and play and he can invest all of himself into the game. You can't have one of our pillars not knowing if he's going to be here or not. Do something. One way or another, do something."

Bryant is right, as the saying (cleaned up) goes, poop or get off the pot. This is an embarrassment.