Kobe Bryant knew just what to say on Monday to provoke equal parts aggravation and outrage at the Lakers’ annual "All-Access" event from Staples Center in L.A. It was the perfect combination of unearned swagger, but under the guise of confidence and positivity, and trolling a rival fan base. It's a chef’s kiss emoji quote for the very people who consider the chef's kiss emoji integral to their lexicon.
"They’ll figure it out,” Bryant said when asked about the Lakers’ future. "They have talented pieces and [Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, who used to be Bryant's agent] has put them in position with incredible flexibility. They will figure it out. So, enjoy the journey because we'll be champions before you know it, and then we'll just be laughing at all the Warrior fans who all of the sudden came out of nowhere."
That last part doesn't really make sense, but maybe it's because we didn't have the privilege of attending the MAMBA Academy and we're not an obsequious Lakers fan. The flexibility part is logical—the Lakers are poised to go big in free agency next summer, by shirking payroll after a profusion of one-year deals for Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, and JaVale McGee. Everyone else is expendable or on a cheaper rookie deal.
Even the champions part, despite how hyperbolic it sounds, remains grounded by the fact the purple and gold have the best player in the league at present, and some talented youngsters. But Warriors fans coming out of nowhere is begging for headlines and we're serving them up!
Are there some bandwagon Warriors fans? Of course, basically all of San Francisco (certainly in Sausalito), if we're being honest about geography and the cost of living in the Bay these days. But bandwagon fans have jumped to join the crowd cheering every dynasty since time immemorial, including the current 30-something Lakers fans who never heard of Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones or Elden Campbell, and hopped aboard the purple and gold train right after coming out of Kazaam in 1996.
Kobe also talked about LeBron, talking smack to Phil Jackson about how he's a better coach of the triangle and more, so it's clear he's got a good ear for what the blogosphere wants; we're just playing our part.