Stephen A. Smith reacts to Kobe Bryant's interview with Mike Greenberg on ESPN's Get Up! and explains how Kobe is holding LeBron James accountable for bringing a championship to the Lakers.
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what he's disappointed they've underachieved and I think that he knows that he's gonna do everything to be protective of Rafa linka because he believes in that man and he trusts Rob palinka and that's his guy make no mistake about it he also believes that Anthony Davis is worth any player that the Lakers were willing to give away everybody knows that but the flipside to all of this is you know what I think he's holding LeBron accountable I think he's looking at LeBron James and he's saying okay the heat is rising excuse me this ain't Cleveland we're 30 minutes away from where you grew up and we're gonna love you no matter what this eight Miami which have fallen off the map a little bit until you you know collided with or not collided but join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and with the fourth straight NBA Finals and in one two NBA championships nah bro this is Laker nation excuse me we are about Championships with this franchise and you don't get to get a pass I think that's what Kobe is saying I think Kobe is reminding the world that is a level that he would have been held to and held accountable for and there is nobody that puts on the purple and gold that should be absolved from having those obligations placed on their shoulders that's not what he said but I'm telling you that's how he feels it's one of those situations where he's gonna be a future hall-of-famer he's a future hall-of-famer we all know this but every single megastar outside of Elgin Baylor who retired early in the 1972 season that the Lakers won a championship outside of that name every megastar that has ever won the purple and gold have never worn a purple of gold has delivered a chip LeBron can't be somebody that's not committed to that I think he is but here's the difference between Kobe and LeBron that nobody has brought up Jalen nobody has brought up max LeBron doesn't say it himself LeBron puts him to work we know he takes care of himself we know he's an elite athlete we get all of that he doesn't do it himself but members of his camp are quick to say that is nothing proof one three chips are ready he's already a champion for Tom league MVP universally recognized as greatest in the game when he's healthy I mean please he ain't got nothing to prove he's already done it hell no not with Kobe not in Kobe's eyes now the shacks eyes not in careens are not in anybody who has ever worn the purple and gold they don't subscribe to that thinkin when you put on that uniform it's about trying to capture championships and they don't want to hear what you did in the past for somebody else as being as being a it's being qualified to suffice for what you lack in LA ah they don't weigh in at that point and I'm telling you that's how they feel to that point Lakers fans don't want to hear it Lakers fans don't care what you did before you got to LA win for the Lakers period that's Kobe don't you live for the late you went for the Lakers they take care of you forever those fans forever that's the real reason Kobe is in the minds of some deluded fans in the goat debate with Jordan because he's not quite Jordan got close but not quite and that's an easy direct comparison but he did it for the Lakers so he has legions of fans all around the world who will say he is Wilt Chamberlain to chips in his whole career he put up those great numbers but not really the best who ever played but boy those Lakers fans will tell you yes Shaq Kareem knows these are the greatest players of all time but when you win for the Lakers boy it is just different those fans will swear by you let me get to Kobe how does he really feel about the Lakers it's really about LeBron how does it really feel about LeBron we're gonna get to this a little later in the show about the goat debate but I think right now Kobe's feeling vindicated in this sense dude when you're old and the guys around you aren't ready to win you can't win this is like in Cleveland when you were a little younger and you had all-stars oh yeah then why is Kobe such a destruction destructive force for the Lakers why can't they win and Kobe sitting there going timeout I got no one around me I don't have the coach even at certain times when Phil's not there the league is changing all this this is not like a you know look at Tim Duncan holding the Spurs together and he does deserve credit for teammate stuff that Kobe maybe doesn't deserve credit for holding that culture together in San Antonio but still he had Popovich with the whole time as his coach and GM and LeBron it was in the East with other all-stars now LeBron Zolder not quite as good as he once was and he's surrounded by cats who aren't ready and so Kobe's like oh not so easy to even make the playoffs under those circumstances how does Kobe really feel like right now just like that what Kobe's really doing for LeBron James as a god that is one of the Lakers all-time greats won five championships there played 20-plus years there and it's synonymous with the current fan to the point that we know Kobe stands are as loyal as anybody they give the Beehive a run for their money with that being said when he talks about patience he knows the Bryant is in his 16th season so what he's really doing is talking about optics and when you're putting together in a record okay there's something that's called Lost Tapes where you put together this masterpiece and certain songs just didn't make the album for whatever reason didn't get certain clearances somebody didn't feel like they were good enough I don't want this to become that for LeBron James in LA here's what I mean the visuals are showing up at the game with the glass of wine the visuals of sitting on the end of the bench where it seems like you're not involved with your teammates these are the things that Kobe stands understand that he did not do because he was immersed in basketball we've seen him have success post-playing career in social media and entertainment but LeBron while playing and going to the lottery has to watch the optics of being in LA and doing so many production projects and on so many albums acting and doing movies because what's going to happen is people like Kobe fans like Laker fans and an executive like Magic Johnson who I know didn't say what clap Frazier said but trust me there's a lot of him that feels like Clyde Frazier felt so it's going to be interesting to see how this is welcomed if they don't get a major free agent this offseason I'm talking about all NBA caliber that I don't feel like they're gonna come so I don't feel the Lakers are gonna be a contender even next year well we having a different conversation you're assuming a lot about the young guys there though those guys are pretty good they are