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CAGE:Can't Cage former pro's words


June 07, 2007|By Soraya Nadia McDonald

They didn't say they're not interested, but that wasn't good enough, obviously, for the owners from Oklahoma City. I met my wife in Seattle, she was born and raised in Seattle, in Mercer Island. I played most of my pro career there. It would be a shame to see such a wonderful franchise that's been in Seattle for 40 years move to Oklahoma City.

Q: What the heck is going on with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers?

A: You gotta admit, there's a little frustration in there. It's their second year of being eliminated in the first round [of the playoffs]. Certainly, they were not the better team in the first round. Unfortunately, they happened to draw a team like the Phoenix Suns, who are a very good team.

I don't think the ingredients are there for them to compete at the level the Lakers are used to. They're used to being in the Western Conference Finals. And such a storied franchise of winning NBA titles, and then to see them have two consecutive first-round exits, I'm sure it's frustrating.


Kobe's trying to figure out, obviously he doesn't have a whole lot of years left in this league, even though he's under 30. That's a lot of miles on his legs. He wants to win now. I think that's just the competitive nature of him today: "I want a team right now or in this next year or two. I don't want to be part of a rebuilding process." And that's been mentioned in the Laker camp, rebuild, rebuild. I'm sure that panicked him and he said, "Wait a minute. I don't want to be part of a rebuild."

Q: There have been rumblings of a trade that would send Jermaine O'Neal to L.A. to play with Kobe. Is this a good idea?

A: Jermaine O'Neal would be a great fit because he's another big guy who can play on the box. He can play with his back to the basket. He can rebound. He'll make the big shots. He's a good free-throw shooter. And, I think he wants to win. He's another guy coming from a bad situation wanting to do good — if they're able to get him. I was on the Kevin Garnett bandwagon last summer, but I'm not sure if Minnesota would part ways with him. More importantly, what's Kevin's feel on that? Is he thinking the same as Kobe — hey look, I don't want to be a part of a rebuilding process — which has already started in Minnesota. So possibly, he could be looking. All he has to do is say the word to Kevin McHale.

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