Once upon a time, I was a Laker fan. The Showtime Lakes were a team for the ages -- Magic, Kareem, Big Game James, along with Pat Riley as coach -- four locks for the Hall of Fame. When that era passed, my interest flagged a bit. But then Jerry West pulled together an even more impressive roster -- Shaq, Kobe, Malone and Payton, with Phil Jackson running the show -- that's five guys headed to the Hall.
And then Kobe the young and talented became Kobe, the man-child for whom winning with one of the great teams of all times was not enough. Kobe had to be the star, not just a star. And so Malone and Kobe and Payton all left, as (briefly) did coach Phil. And so Kobe got his wish as the undisputed go-to guy for the Lakers.
And they sucked.
And continue to suck. They have not won a playoff series since Kobe drove away the other talent.
Old hat, of course. And my general lack of interest in the NBA has meant no Kobe rags from me in more than a year.
But now there's this:
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, who is increasingly upset over the direction the National Basketball Association team has taken, wants the club to trade him.
"I would like to be traded, yeah. Tough as it is to come to that conclusion there's no other alternative," the 28-year-old Bryant told ESPN radio.
Bryant said he is fed up with empty promises from Lakers' management and now it is time to move on.
"They want to move in a different direction and the team is rebuilding," Bryant said. "I wish they would have told me that before re-signing me."
One of the sad things about modern life is that the rich and famous seem, in general, to have Papal dispensations that suspend the law of Karma.
But not always.