Kobe Bryant to the New York Knicks is as juicy as it gets in trade rumor town. A deal between these two famous franchises, both mired in mediocrity (if that), could rock the NBA the way LeBron’s Cleveland homecoming did. Kobe just signed a ridiculous contract to play out his career in LA, but with injuries and a general lack of talent around him, if Kobe doesn’t get out of LA we may actually watch a man go crazy as the season wears on. It’s going to be ugly. The losing will be torture. Suddenly there’s the idea floating around that Kobe could ship himself to join Phil Jackson’s Knicks and team up with Carmelo Anthony in Derek Fisher’s triangle offense.
Did Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak see all this coming? Kupchak didn’t do anything to surround Bryant with first class talent in the off-season, despite allegedly trying. Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin were the big acquisitions. Steve Nash, who’s out for the season, was never returning to form. Did Kupchak set a trap for rival Phil Jackson, whose Knicks are also talent-shy? Did he know Jackson would be tempted to bring in Kobe? At least there’d be one person on the floor who knew the triangle! Did Kupchak mastermind this as far back as when he signed Kobe Bryant to a nearly $50 million extension–did he want to make the Knicks eat that cost, and take the aging superstar off his hands? Is Mitch Kupchak a genius?