If you think Kobe Bryant is satisfied with five championships your dead wrong. Kobe has always held the position that he is constantly in pursuit of more hardware when each season comes to an end but, it wasn’t until two years ago after the Larry O’Brien trophy was hoisted above the heads of the purple and gold that we saw an underlying motivator in Kobe’s life: (Post Game Interview)
REPORTER: Can you speak in terms of what this means to you individually? We know what it means as a team, but what about individually for you?
KOBE BRYANT: Just got one more than Shaq. (Laughter). You can take that to the bank. You know how I am. I don’t forget anything.
Of course, there is an entire history between the “Big Fella” and “The Mamba” but it was not until that moment we were able to see Kobe’s determination to pass his long time teammate and rival. Kobe now feels that he has solidified his place in his generation of basketball players that is now coming to an end, but what about those not in his generation?
As of right now no one in the league comes close to touching the legacy that Kobe Bryant will leave. Of course there are those that have the potential to leave their own mark but as of current players right now, Kobe is in a class of his own. It is due to this fact that Kobe must now look to the past. He currently has as many rings as Magic and is one away from joining the greatest player to ever step foot on the hard wood.
He has never had the same amount of drama between Magic or Jordan that he did with Shaq but the motivation to pass/join these legends is definitely there.
Due to the new CBA there is a small window of time that the Lakers can keep spending the way they are used to that will enable Kobe to a some what easier path to his sixth championship. The “salary cap” that has been agreed upon will not go into effect for another year and half to two years but basically after this period what ever owners pay their players over a certain level MUST be matched dollar for dollar and given to the league. Under this new agreement that means that the current Lakers would have to pay an extra 68 million dollars in taxes on top of what they are currently spending for players. As with a few other teams this type of spending has got to be curbed, which theoretically means that we have two years left of spending before we are punished for it. These two years also happen to be Kobe’s last two years of maintaining his level of play, after that we can expect a different Kobe.
With any other owner in charge of this organization we would have been able to expect these next two years to be a time to acquire young talent and usher in the post-Kobe era. But, with Jimmy Buss holding the reigns who knows where he will steer this ship. He has been known to be very emotional, judgmental, and quick to react in times of crisis. There are many players that are currently free agents and those that will have a chance to enter the waters next year that could all but guaranty us a spot in the finals. Will any of these free agents join Kobe in L.A.? Who knows. But these are the last few years we can spend money like T-Pain in a strip club so why not go for it.
No matter what happens though, we know that we are L.A. We have the city, women, sites, and lifestyle that will be attractive to star athletes. I just hope that with all the hard work that Kobe has put into this team they will in a final fair well act do what they can to give him the BEST possible shot at #6. But then again we may already have that team and its only a matter of motivation and defense.