What Kobe Bryant Has Coming to Him

It's going to be a long year in Los Angeles.

The Kobe Bryant trade spectacle hasn't resolved itself, but suffice it to say that things don't look promising. If the Los Angeles Lakers trade Kobe Bryant, they're unlikely to get good value for him. If they keep him—and if they don't swing a miracle deal for Kevin Garnett—KB24 will be the moodiest malcontent in the Southland.

I'm loath to absolve Mitch Kupchak here, but the fact of the matter is that he doesn't have any good options. And as for Kobe Bryant, well—it's hard to blame him for wanting out of the Staples Center, but it's also hard not to feel like he's brought most of the trouble on himself.

By going so outrageously public with his trade demands, Kobe Bryant effectively killed any leverage Kupchak might have had in trying to move him. That means, of course, that potential suitors are going to be more inclined to try to get Kobe Bryant on the cheap...and that Kupchak, with his back to the wall at the flea market, is going to be more inclined to take his superstar and go home.

I'm not guaranteeing that a trade won't happen—but if it doesn't, Kobe Bryant himself will be partially responsible. I don't imagine that that'll sit very well with the Mamba when it's mid-December and he's averaging 43 a night for a sub-.500 Lake Show...