Saturday, August 25, 2007

What Could've Been

Watching Kobe and Kidd zip around the court for Team America turning steals into dunks makes me livid at Kupcake for not pulling the trigger on that Bynum-Kidd deal last year. Despite rumors to the contrary, Kidd obviously still has a lot left in the tank. And while Bynum has shown glimpses of incredible promise, he's a long ways away from being a consistent starter, much less a dominant big man. How do you pass on a chance to get Jason Kidd when your starting point guard is Smush Motherfucking Parker?

Germ and Big Ben took me to a Lakers/Wolves game last year where Bynum had a double-double and was blocking shots like crazy. Staples was chanting 'By-num, By-num,' I swear this is true. Garnett was killing us the way he always does but everyone in that building knew he was gonna opt out and be wearing the purple-and-gold in '08. Everyone knew it. It was a beautiful night, and not just because the Lakers won going away. We saw the future that night- our dynastic, overpowering, title-winning front line. Granted we were full of beer, weed and Oxycontin, but we believed in this vision.

So what happened since then to put a damper on things?

Well, for one, Bynum didn't repeat that night's performance very often. A typical game for Andrew consisted of late rotations, dumb fouls and an earful from Phil or Kobe (or both). Sometimes Kareem would get in the act, too, pointing out his pupil's basic lack of comprehension. Then the whole Kobe-in-the-parking-lot thing went down and the lasting impression was that Bynum was Jim Buss' pet project, more important than getting Kobe and Phil what they need to compete with the Spurs/Mavs/Suns in the West.

Garnett wanted to come. But the Wolves got lots of better offers elsewhere. Maybe if LA had done a better job of drafting in recent years, they'd have some additional chips to throw in the pot but the sad truth is that the current Lakers roster has very few players that other teams covet and would want to trade for.

So now here we are, watching Kobe dominate the world and rub it in our faces. He's playing better defense than he has in five years for Los Angeles. He's cheating on us, in a way, savoring all the desirable companionship he's not getting at home. We just want him to be happy and to not leave us.

What a difference six months makes.

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