Kobe Bryant is happy, if you believe him. The Lakers didn’t get LeBron–did Kobe really want him? And Lakers brass couldn’t convince Carmelo Anthony to leave New York–same deal, did Kobe want to be sharing shots with Melo? Kobe says: “I can…tell you with 100% honesty that I’m happy with the effort the organization put forward this summer.” He goes on to say Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has “responded efficiently.” When’s the last time “efficient” made Kobe Bryant happy? He wants greatness and glory, doesn’t he?
Kobe apparently figures that if everybody else just plays efficient ball, he’ll put the team on his back and take it to the next level. (“It’s my job to go out there next season and lay it all out there on the line and get us to that elite level,” he said.) Kobe’s “efficient” team includes Carlos Boozer, Jeremy Lin, Nick Young, Xavier Henry and Jordan Hill. If you see any of them in the All-Star game this year it means that Lin fans stuffed the ballot box or Carlos Boozer found a time machine. (Boozer is a two-time All-Star–in 2007-2008.) Speaking of time machines, did Kobe build one for himself? (He’s known to be a pretty smart guy with broad interests–did he tinker in his 12-car garage last season? He had time.) The brightest spot in Laker-land is Julius Randle, the rookie out of Kentucky with unlimited potential who should thrive under Kobe’s guidance. The 19-year-old won’t need a time machine; Kobe has to hope he won’t need much time either.