Los Angeles Lakers: Let the Overreaction Begin

Fire the coach! Trade Kobe! Trade Gasol!

Not even 24 hours removed from the end of the Los Angeles Lakers season and the calls for widespread change among Lakers fans have already begun. As with any franchise that has championship expectations, these reactions have become expected, however, the speed and severity of many of the comments have been startling.

My message to Lakers fans?


Sure, a Game 5 exit to the Oklahoma City Thunder wasn't how it was drawn up at the beginning of the year, but blowing up a team requires more justification than simple frustration and disappointment.

Remember, this was a team that was forced to adapt to a brand new coach and a brand new system without any formal training camp. This was also the season in which everyone wrote the Lakers off, thinking surely no team as old as they were could survive the treacherous lockout-induced schedule.

Despite all of the obstacles and difficulties, however, there the Lakers were the No. 3 seed in the loaded Western Conference. And then, despite their age and fatigue, it was those same Lakers that pushed a younger, more athletic Thunder squad to the brink in round two, losing in part because of late blown leads in three of the five games.

With this framework of thinking in place, let's take a look at the rumors and theories ravaging the Internet.

First off, let's start with Kobe Bryant.

Of all the theories, rumors and suggestions, those surrounding Bryant are by far the easiest to address: he's not going anywhere. Sure he'll be 34 by the time the 2012-13 season begins and sure, he'll be earning almost $28 million, but at the end of the day, all of that means very little.

Despite all of the criticism, Bryant remains the team leader and is coming off of a season in which he finished second in the league in scoring. With a more spread out schedule on the horizon for next s...

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