Scenarios Where LA Lakers Do the Unthinkable and Tank 2013-14 Season

Kobe Bryant is more likely to demand a trade to the Houston Rockets than the Los Angeles Lakers are to tank.

Anywhere else, tanking might be justifiable. The Philadelphia 76ers haven't been shy about their aversion to winning. Despite what general manager Danny Ainge says, the Boston Celtics are right there as well. So tanking does happen, and it can go down in larger markets—except in Los Angeles for a certain team sporting purple and gold.

As long as the fiercely, sometimes irrationally, competitive Black Mamba is both still playing and has a say in the day-to-day operations, the Lakers aren't going to tank. It would be a public relations disaster.

Not merely because they're one of the most famed franchises in all of sports either. Though their standing is reason enough to avoid it, Kobe's reaction is the icing on an already-frosted cake.

Yet, what if he didn't have a choice? What if the Lakers themselves had no choice? Or what if something so compelling went down that he and the Lakers agreed to the unthinkable and tanked this season?


Out of Kobe's Hands


Kobe's Shattered Timetable Gone Wrong

If Kobe is to miss opening night against the Los Angeles Clippers, like the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan says he will, the clock starts ticking.

All this talk of shattered timetables and Kobe being ahead of schedule suggests he'll be back sooner rather than later, regardless of whether "sooner" means opening night or not.

Should something go terribly wrong—an unexpected setback, United States residents are forever banned from Germany, Kobe re-injures himself upon return or while trying to save the world from Pinky and the Brain—the Lakers will find themselves up tanker's creek without a Kobe-shaped paddle. At which point they'll be free to start Nick Y...

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