By Austin Kent
When I first heard that a website existed with the sole intention of convincing Lakers management to unite Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett under one roof, I nearly lost my mind. Actually I did, I completely lost my mind, but only before quickly succumbing to an overwhelming sense of comfort and familiarity.
This is nothing new. Not to me at least, and not to the thousands of NBA disciples who’ve spent considerable portions of the past decade living in a fabricated basketball dream world, a world where inconceivable trade scenarios become a reality. The magic created with every thought of combining the league’s greats is what fuels the fantasy sports industry and the reason aspiring general managers of all ages pass on sleep for the several weeks leading up to February’s trade deadline.
The website, GetGarnett.com, has been around for less than a week but the concept behind the movement is far from revolutionary. Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett are the two greatest basketball bachelors in the game today; does a better ending to their historic but painfully unsatisfying careers exist? After growing up in Shaquille O’Neal’s shadow Kobe is finally a man, and he’s desperate to show he can still win big. Meanwhile Garnett’s still waiting for a sign from the basketball Gods that his career isn’t going to waste.
Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson have saddled up alongside Yao Ming and Carmelo Anthony respectively, while Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan all have impressive supporting casts of their own. Hell, even LeBron James can laugh at these NBDL all-star teams that call themselves the Timberwolves and Lakers.
As with any pipe dream trade scenario, the criticisms come in droves. One particular question that seems to be standing out is “how on Earth will Mitch Kupchak pull off such a deal without giving up the players he’s all but branded untradeable?” The answer is simple, he can’t.
Back in February fans across the country braced themselves for Jason Kidd’s arrival in Los Angeles, but were disappointed to hear that a deal could not be reached thanks to Kupchak’s reluctance to include Andrew Bynum.
A quick review of the rest of the Lakers’ roster shows that, aside from Luke Walton and Lamar Odom, they really don’t have much/anything to offer. I’m not exaggerating. Besides, do you honestly think the current Lakers squad would defeat the theoretical combination of Kobe, KG, and any other three human beings in a seven game series?
Now I’m no general manager, and rightfully so, but if Kupchak offers anything less than Odom, Walton and Bynum, together as a package, and comes away empty handed, then the Los Angeles Lakers don’t deserve such a loyal following. Kevin Garnett is the answer to LA’s insuppressible mediocrity.
Of course there’s the whole financial aspect that can’t be ignored, and Kupchak and Wolves GM Kevin McHale would have to work that out over the course of the summer, but unlike the rest of us, these two get paid to dream up ways to make it happen.
The people have spoken.
Oh, and for what it’s worth, I once rode the KB/KG tandem to 8 consecutive championships in NBA Live 2003. That’s no coincidence.