NBA Lockout: What it Means For Kobe Bryant and Another Lakers Championship
According to ESPN, David Stern has officially cancelled the first two weeks of the 2011 NBA season. As the league's stars flee overseas amid the work stoppage, the bridge between the players and owners is proving to be too big to overcome quickly.
The likelihood of the league pulling together any kind of a season this year is comparable to the Colts' chances of winning the Super Bowl without Peyton Manning.
So what does this lockout mean to one of the NBA's long-time superstars and the team he has won five championships with in his illustrious career?
Kobe Bryant certainly doesn't need the money, but it's all about playing the game of basketball, right?
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The never-ending great debate won't be settled even if Bryant ever catches up to Jordan in every statistical category, which probably won't happen anyway, but the lockout will hinder Kobe's chase in a variety of areas.
Obviously, with five rings, Bryant is one short of MJ, and a lost season is undoubtedly a lost opportunity for the Lakers.
Jordan sits at third all time with 32,292 career points while Kobe is in sixth with 27,832. Bryant is just shy of Jordan in free throws and All-Star selections, but he's way behind in league MVPs.
The lockout has the potential to ruin Kobe's chances to catch up to MJ because he isn't getting any younger, but many believe it is an unwinnable race.
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There have been many rumors about NBA players attempting to work out contracts with foreign teams this offseason, and Kobe Bryant has been at the height of them.
It would only make sense for Bryant to take his talents to Italy where he spent a majority of his childhood because his father played pro ball there at the end of his career.
However, similar to the lockout negotiations, Kobe's talks with Italian teams have been difficult and haven't produced a deal that would draw him in.
The longer the lockout lasts, the greater the chances are that Kobe will play in Italy; as much as his contract with the Lakers allows at least. As far as another Lakers championship goes, it would probably be better if Bryant just rested his knees for a while.
Another possibility is that Pau Gasol will play in Spain. This could be beneficial to the big man, but an unneccesary injury would also be detremental to a Lakers championship as Kobe ages.
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As sad as it is to say, the Lakers probably won't win a championship with their current roster unless Ron Artest is on the court.
He's come up big in crucial moments during past playoff runs, and his defensive skills are needed to stand up against the NBA's super teams.
However, Artest, or should I say Metta World Peace, could get himself into trouble with extra time on his hands during the lockout.
He's already been in the offseason conversation for tweeting about the end of the lockout and declaring he wouldn't be afraid to take on street fighters or even UFC fights in the boxing ring. If he doesn't get hurt because of that, he's also talked about trying football.
Hopefully Mike Brown can keep Artest under control because without Phil Jackson's presence he is bound to step over the line again, marring LA's shot at another title.
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The Zen Master has quietly slipped into retirement and former Cavs coach, Mike Brown, has stepped into big shoes in LA.
Unfortunately, a lost season will mean lost time with his new team, and he'll have no time to settle in. If the Lakers hope to win another championship, it will have to be soon.
If chemistry doesn't come easy, than the lockout will steal time off LA's championship clock. They are built to win now, and Brown will have to do all he can to get his team on the same page.