It seems like just yesterday they were getting swept out of the 2011 NBA playoffs. They were old, slow and didn’t seem to communicate all that well. That doesn’t mean there aren’t people who weren’t a fan of the core of a team that won back to back NBA titles. One big fan of that core is Kobe Bryant. NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper writes Bryant is planning on making a hard push to get Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher back in L.A. for the 2012-2013 season.
“Whether either would be receptive is unclear – Fisher and Odom loved their seasons in Los Angeles, but were hurt to be traded within the last 3 ½ months. It is known, however, that Bryant plans to use his close friendship with both to convince them that a reunion is in everyone’s best interest, bruised egos and all.”
For their part, Lakers management can’t say anything about guys who are employed by any other team. This all came up as the Lakers prepared to welcome Fisher back to Staples Center as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. I could see Fisher going back to L.A. because of his friendship with Kobe and I would imagine some loyalty to the Laker organization since he’s been tied to them for the bulk of his career. Odom is a little trickier. It’s been well documented that he wasn’t happy about almost getting traded from L.A. so maybe he’s still offended by that being traded twice in a week and maybe the Lakers don’t care to have the extra media attention that comes with Odom being a Kardashian. Considering the Lakers can’t offer Odom more than maybe the $2.5 million mini mid-level. You know who else can offer him everything L.A. can? The Miami Heat. Same money (more if you count the lack of state income tax), a beach, a championship contender, a friend in Dwyane Wade, a need for a big man and it even is a location where the Kardashians film one of their bajillion reality shows.
I understand why Kobe Bryant would want Fisher and Odom back in L.A. Right now the only guy he’s played with for more than three full seasons is Andrew Bynum. He’s playing with bunch of guys he doesn’t know, doesn’t trust or both. So sure, he’ll want some guys he’s won titles with. Just don’t expect Laker management to bend over backwards to put back together a core that we last saw got swept out of the postseason.