The idea of combining Howard and Kobe might be what some people view as a recipe for a championship, but Kobe disagrees. He doesn't want to lose Gasol, and he made that clear. And if the Lakers HAD to trade Gasol, he wants it done immediately.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak wasn't thrilled with Kobe's comments, and responded with a statement of his own:
So basically, he's saying that he doesn't care what Kobe wants, he's going to do what it takes to win. It makes sense, since that's his job. But should he really go against his best player, and one of the best players in franchise (and league) history?
Personally, I think Kupchak should pull the trigger on a deal, if he thinks it would make the Lakers a better team. Kobe isn't the kind of player who would pout if his friend got traded, or let it affect his performance on the court. All he cares about is winning, and I believe he'd give maximum effort regardless. He knows his days in the NBA are numbered, and he's still chasing Michael Jordan in more ways than one.
If the Lakers can make a move and end up with a starting 5 that includes Kobe, Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, Metta World Peace and Hedo Tukoglu, that's a team that has a great chance to do some serious damage.
It might not make Kobe the happiest guy in the world, but it might be time for the Lakers to ignore him and win at all costs.