Are Gasol and Odom The Key to The Lakers Demise?

Mike JamesContributor IApril 9, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 07:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic is defended by Pau Gasol #16 and Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Two of the 2009 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. 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 Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The problem with the Lakers according to Gasol and Odom is Kobe. There is a problem with this team that you would never find on the Bulls or the Cavs. Gasol and Odom both believe they are better off without Kobe. I know on the surface you might say this is crazy but I have studied sports psychology for years and they will sabotage this team to make a point.

Both Gasol and Odom have very fragile egos. They are like high maintenance girl friends you have to constantly let them know you love them. They don't get that enough from Kobe because he is in love with himself and his game and image as the savior.

Gasol really believes he is the reason the Lakers are championship contenders and he is right to a point. During the four years of no Shaq and no Gasol Kobe couldn't get out of the first round in the playoffs. In step Gasol and they are in the title game in back to back years. Gasol has taken this personally and has become passive aggressive in some games by not showing up to subconsciously make a point. (you can't win without me) Odom pulls the same stunts from time to time. They both resent Kobe and it will come out more than ever in these playoffs.

What other player would dare say Jordan or Lebron is shooting too much? Gasol has that gumption because he really believes he is the key to winning championships and not Kobe. There is trouble in paradise folks and this is not going to go away. Before the three year contract runs out for Kobe one of them will be traded.

Odom and Gasol played their hearts out when Kobe was out to make a point. Not to hold down the fort while their leader was gone but they wanted to win to prove they don't need their leader as much as people think. The Lakers had not won in Portland for what 8 years and with Kobe out these guys played to get it done and the game wasn't even close.

Odom and Gasol love playing with each other but they have no love for Kobe. If the Lakers aren't done in the first round they will be out in the second. It's not because they don't have the talent because they do. Gasol and Odom do not have the will to win with Kobe.