It really is. Loyalty is the death of the ol’ dynasty.
The New England Patriots are loyal to nobody, even Tom Brady plays for less. Patriots? Ten of the last eleven AFC East division titles. The Green Bay Packers said, “Fuck you!” to Brett Favre when he attempted to come back after shortly retiring in 2008 and won a Super Bowl with Aaron “the Bad Motherfucker” Rodgers in February 2011. The 2004 Boston Red Sox? Pedro Martinez? Face of the franchise? Seeya. The Indianapolis Colts? Bye-bye, Peyton Manning! In “rebuild mode”, they are going to win their second consecutive AFC South title with Andrew Luck in the post-Peyton era.
St. Louis Cardinals? Albert Pujols? David Freese? It’s been real fun! Seeya! Yep, see the aged TSTOS banner? Pujols is my favorite baseball player of all-time, but that contract he wanted (that the Los Angeles Angels honored) is laughable. I was called all kinds of shit back in February 2011 and again in December 2011 when I hammered the idea that Pujols wasn’t worth his salt in what he wanted with that deal. Oh, look, ever since the Cardinals have visited the NLCS twice and went to the World Series last month.
The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Yankees are struggling with this concept. They either wait too long to say goodbye or can’t say goodbye altogether. Not only is loyalty the death of the dynasty, but it’s often used as a replacement word for the real thing.
Yesterday the Lakers’ Jim Buss, who’s taken over the franchise from his late father Jerry Buss (who was a basketball genius), said in regards to the 2-year $48.5 million contract Kobe Bryant was given about giving Kobe double more than what he’s worth, “Loyalty is one of the values our father instilled in us! We have always run this franchise based on loyalty! My father was all about loyalty!”
Really, Jim Buss? Then why did your father have 73 girlfriends and bail on Shaq back in 2004 or never give Brian Shaw the job? Oh, and during the lockout back in late 2011 cut all kinds of equipment managers and other staff? Yeah, bailed on Shaq, too, a dude that was more popular, more likeable than Kobe. The Lakers went with Kobe — and it was the right move — because Kobe would win you more titles in the long run, going forward. Hey, dumbshits — Jerry Buss wasn’t about loyalty; he was about winning. That’s why he hired Jerry West, who was all about efficiency. As the GM, Jerry West didn’t draft Kobe back in ’96; he acquired Kobe via trade. He acquired Shaq.
Stop telling me this signing of Kobe for double more than what he’s worth is/was a loyalty decision rather than one that was made out of unequivocal desperation. The Lakers had Kobe exactly where they wanted him. Where else was he going to go? They could have just gave him the $10-11 mil for the next two years. It’s not like he was going to bolt and play in Memphis or Milwaukee or somewhere to finish his career.
To win in the NBA now, you need two stars and a horde of important niche parts around them (i.e Shane Battier). That won’t happen with Kobe and his contract extension. Read this again if you haven’t. The Lakers will be irrelevant in two years. The signing isn’t a “loyalty” move. It’s a bad move. Kobe can’t say he’s all about winning a sixth championship when he accepts this contract which essentially has him hogging a huge chunk of the Lakers’ salary cap. Let’s call a spade a spade here.