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Thursday, May 12th, 2011 at 9:05 am  |  19 responses

Kobe Bryant, Mitch Kupchak: Current Lakers Can Still Win


Despite the numerous calls to blow this Laker team up following their shocking Playoff sweep, Kobe and his GM believe there’s no need to do anything dramatic roster-wise (something, of course, they’ve yet to discuss with the man who signs the checks: Jerry Buss.) From the LA Times: “Kobe Bryant met with reporters for the last time this season in a crowded, sweltering, uncomfortable room, which was entirely fitting. He called this season a ‘wasted year of my life,’ understandable because he wanted to catch Michael Jordan in the worst way but was still one championship shy. It kills him to no end. But neither Bryant nor General Manager Mitch Kupchak painted sketches of an imploding Lakers franchise, seemingly satisfied with the crux of a roster that fell well short of another championship parade. ‘In terms of this being the decline of the Lakers, this is nonsense,’ Bryant said Wednesday. ‘I remember they had a pretty good era in the ’80s and they didn’t win three in a row. They didn’t break that team up. Do I believe we can come back and win it again? I absolutely believe that. If this team came back as is, I believe we can win.’ The Lakers have plenty of time to analyze their roster, though they’re too far over the salary cap to sign anything but a mid-level free agent. They have four second-round picks in next month’s NBA draft, though none higher than No. 41 in what is only a so-so selection of players. Basically, all the Lakers can do is make trades. They got lucky in 2008 when Pau Gasol arrived and became the second-best player on a two-championship run. There’s no predicting future success this time. ‘There’s really nobody out there looking to help the Lakers,’ Kupchak said. ‘With the core players that we have intact, we do think that we can continue to contend. We may have to look to improve certain areas.”

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  • Benn0

    first

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    He can still believe all right, just like he believed the Lakers would come back from 0-2 and 0-3. I’m not sure Kobe still has a good grip on reality.

  • Brahsef

    People are overdramatizing this whole situation. It’s the problem with the current 24/365 news style. People gotta find somethin to talk about so they make it much bigger than what it really is. All the Lakers need to do is add some youth. Kobe/Pau/Bynum is a team made for chips although they didnt get one this year. Add some perimeter youth/another big for some depth and they’ll be all good.

  • matt the jazz fan

    they need someone to stop dribble penetration and a centre that isn’t injured half the year.

  • lexluther703

    I love how Kobe always tries to be so smooth, so suave, and acting as if his team is perfect the way it is is a great example of him ACTING. Your point guards couldn’t play in the D league, your bench play is inconsistent, your bigs are immature and softer than tempurpedic mattresses,and one of the top coaches of all time is leaving all the drama to go experiment with drugs. Not to mention Bean is hitting his mid-thirties. Give it up mamba, the reign is over

  • logues

    are we still thinking that kobe is better or even on the same level as jordan? sorry had to say it, but lets not kid ourselves anymore

  • Bruno

    current Lakers can still win but I don’t see them gettin a championship, that should be the entire sentence but let’s wait and watch how all this thing end up … the first thing to watch out before any rumors about trades and nonsense is the lock out thing

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Well, they can’t win against Dallas….

  • angus

    mj is above kobe in so many ways…well every way really, that comparison is nonsense it really is, kobe has never even been the best player for one year! let alone a decade. Hes just outlasted all the other ”next jordans” thats why he gets so much credit.

  • underdog

    nope

  • irondan21

    Sure they can win, not a championship, but they can still win.

  • Truth

    brahsef is right. you guys dont know basketball at all.. 3 finals in a row. give credit to the mavs really, LA let game 1 & 3 go (no chemistry/hunger) lakers do need improvement, i say get dfish out, waltons 6mil out, keep ebanks, get rid of joe smith and caracter, everyone else keep barnes blake brown artest odom this team is loaded! they should risk and get Greg Oden or Brook Lopez/Kevin Love and theyll be set. Kobe finishes with 7 rings.

  • http://Nba.com GP23

    They need a point guard. Trade for Steve Nash.

  • showtine

    I guess dementia is part of Old age in the NBA….

  • Red Star

    That’s what I like to hear Kobe! Lakers 4 life!!

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    16TH!!

  • flipnoyce

    Yah keep the same team KOBE I wanna see a second sweep and a third until you retire!!! Oh by the way, Blake Griffin is becoming the new face in LA you know the guy that plays for the Clippers.

  • http://slamonline.com biged

    Everyone is forgetting that a couple of years ago the Lakers sucked and management fixed that pretty quick, couple of trades and we were in the finals…. So I have a lot of confidence that management can fix the issues that we have pretty quickly. There still enough time to fix this….Lakers4Life

  • Dre Baller

    win games, yes.
    win another ring, no.

    LA needs to put together a new Big 3. Kobe, D12 & CP3

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