Phil Jackson's Laker era has ended and the team that he built over the years might also be dismantled or remodeled. Who would have though that they would be swept in 4 straight games by the Dallas Mavericks. They were the second best team in the West prior to the Playoffs and they are one of the favorites to win this year's championship but they crumbled against the Mavericks. Let's discuss how they collapsed so that all those finger pointing and trade rumors would be channeled accordingly.
Let's first start with their leader, Kobe Bryant. Kobe has been the Lakers' vocal and spiritual leader. He doesn't only show it on the court in actual games but also in their practices. He's bailed out this team in several instances but they can't just rely on him alone and his heroic acts. Was he the reason for their downfall? Probably not because he's played with all his heart in this team. In my opinion, without Kobe, they will not be where they were. His importance to this team goes beyond what is written in the stat sheets.
Was it Lamar Odom? Odom has been very busy with his personal life. He's been working with his lovely wife in their reality show, The Kardashians. His teamates have been laughing about his acts on the show and many have noticed that it's the usual cause of distraction in their dug out. He's the reigning 6th man of the year and so far his averages has been decreasing. His last average was 14.4 points and 9 rebounds per game. Honestly, that's not too shabby for a guy who's as busy as him.
Was it Pau Gasol? According to their fans, Pau is the main reason why they failed in their quest for a three-peat. First of all, he wasn't as dominant in the shaded lane in their series against the Mavericks. He just scored 12 points and grabbed 9 rebounds for the Lakers in all the 4 games. Their fans blame him and if there will be a trade, they'd love Pau to be included in that trade. Again this opinion came from their fans.
If there will be some points to consider regarding the trade rumors, those points should come from a reliable source such as Josh Benjamin of the www.bleahcerreport.com.
Josh Benjamin said:
"Rather, there is one player on the Los Angeles Lakers who should be on the trading block. If Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak hasn't already started discussing deals involving this player, perhaps he should read this piece and get right on it. I'm talking about center Andrew Bynum. The reasons why Bynum should be traded could probably fill two file cabinets, but I'm going to focus on just two: maturity and durability.
Ever since the seven-footer was drafted 10th overall by the Lakers in 2005, Bynum has been known for inconsistent play and being injured constantly. In his six-year career, he has only played in 82 games once. Over the past four seasons, he has missed a total of 124 games due to injury. For someone who's 7'0" and weighs 285, Bynum gets hurt way too often.
This is going to sound harsh of me, but if Rajon Rondo can play in an important game with a dislocated elbow, then Bynum can learn how to play through pain. I understand that he has suffered some serious injuries, but it seems as though he only plays through the pain when pushed to. Case in point: last year's NBA Playoffs.
Rooted in Bynum's injury problems are his maturity issues. Before this season started, he gave the team hours' notice, not weeks', that his recovery from knee surgery was taking longer and that he would miss the start of the season. In researching this, I later found out that this was because he chose to wait until after he went on vacation to have the surgery.
Seriously, Bynum? You're part of a TEAM. Your health is important, and you don't just put that and your team's success at risk just so you can go gallivanting around the world.
More importantly, Bynum should be traded just for his actions in Game 4. I don't care how badly your team is losing, you just DON'T pull that kind of bush league play against the opposition. Instead, you just keep playing despite all the frustration.
That all being said, it's time for Bynum to go."
If Bynum would leave the Lakers they might have some free cap salary for a Dwight Howard or for a Chris Paul. If this would come true, the Lakers would be unstoppable. Bynum appears to be the main problem of the Lakers and the main reason of their collapse. If there's a player who deserves to be traded to another team for a better and more deserving big man, that's Andrew Bynum.
Or was Derek Fisher the real culprit? If he's the culprit this would not make any significant difference because the Lakers re-acquired this guy out of their gratitude and love for Fisher. His daughter has eye problems and only a team of doctors who are based in Los Angeles can cure his daughter's problem. He can't be traded that easily. If they would want to have a better point guard while he's on the team, then they should pursue Chris Paul because he will become a free agent this summer. That would be nice.