With the Black Mamba still recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon and Dwight Howard and James Harden attempting to grow matching beards in Houston, the Lakers are officially all about 2014, though they'll never admit it.
Next summer, LeBron, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, along with a smorgasbord of other superstars, will presumably hit the open market. Steve Nash is the only contract the Lakers have on the books leading into 2014-15, leaving the Lakers flush with roughly $50 million to spend, a large stack of which they'd like to give LeBron.
But would he really want to play next to Kobe in an effort to drive up Bryant's ring count, a total LeBron himself wants to exceed?
Serena Winters of Lakers Nation asked this very question, only to have it dismissed by the ever-confident Kobe.
"You don’t want to help someone else kind of increase their ring count," he explained, "but he’s already increased Dwyane’s, so I don’t think it’s that big of a stretch."
He of course couldn't speculate any further, as commissioner David Stern frowns upon and shakes his finger at teams openly pining for OPPs (other people's players), but he gave us enough to run with for now.
Not much thought has been put into the ring-count argument. Were LeBron to spurn the Lakers in favor of the Miami Heat or another team, most would tend to believe it had to do with Kobe being old or too brazen, or him seeing a better opportunity to win elsewhere. Few took into account that he may not want to help the Mamba run out of fingers for his championship hardware.
Knowing how important titles and legacies are to LeBron, it's conceivable he would be turned off by the prospect of aiding in the advancement of Kobe's greatness.
Never fear though, Hollywood, because Kobe doesn't think it's an issue. Although I'm pretty sure he thought a pairing of him and Superman would work out as well, and look how that panned out.
Here's to hoping LeBron is in a championship-giving mood one year from now.