NBA Playoffs 2011: Could This Be the Beginning of the End for Kobe Bryant?

Hey Laker fans, before you throw me off a cliff, harass my family for the next 10 generations and make me join the witness protection program, let me explain.

I am not saying that Kobe is done; I am not saying that he and the Los Angeles Lakers can or will not win the NBA title this year.

They have been built to win for several years now and are capable or rolling over the other NBA playoff teams for a third straight year.

They have assembled a great team, amazing talent and the five championships they have won since 1999, proving that they know how to dominate the league.

Laker nation, and it seems like the majority of NBA fans, expect nothing less than a title. They fully expect Phil Jackson to lead his team to yet another victory and ride off into the sunset following the victory parade.

NBA poster child Kobe Bryant should win his sixth championship and his third straight MVP award. Everything will go as planned, right?

So my question in all of this is: What will happen if Kobe Bryant and the Lakers fall short of the prize and do not win the NBA title this season?

This season has already been one of the most interesting for the Lakers in recent memory. They have had good streaks and they have had bad streaks. Just before the All-Star break, they lost three in a row, including one to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After the break, they went on a 17-1 tear. They then proceeded to lose five of their last seven games, with losses to the Jazz, Warriors and a frustrating win against the reserve players of the Spurs.

Are the Lakers really worried? They will just flip a switch for the playoffs and everything will be fine. 

Laker coach Phil Jackson offers some insight on that. In a recent interview with Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Jackson discussed the recent difficulties and said:

"Yeah, I'm concerned, very much so, you can't t...

About the Author