Nostradamus of the hardwood
It's pretty easy to see in retrospect, in fact few realistic Laker fans would have been surprised even at the time back in 2004 to peer into a crystal ball and see the 121-125, no playoof series wins and Kobe trade demand future. It didn't take a rocket scientist to know that Shaq was the difference between perennial contender and borderline playoff team.
But Ray Aleen deserves some serious kudos for stating it in public back then, and I might add raising the ire of Kobe and many Laker fans in the process:
"He's going to be very selfish," Allen said of Bryant. "And he feels like he needs to show this league and the people in this country that he is better without Shaq. He can win championships without Shaq. So offensively, he's going to jump out and say, 'I can average 30 points. I can still carry the load on this team.'
"I think the point production is not going to be so much what people are going to look at because (Tracy) McGrady did it in Orlando, Allen (Iverson) did it in Philly. Can you win a championship? I think that's the question. Carrying guys on your back and making everybody better."
"If Kobe doesn't see he needs two and a half good players to be a legitimate playoff contender or win a championship, in about a year or two he'll be calling out to Jerry Buss that 'We need some help in here,' or 'Trade me,' " Allen said. "And we'll all be saying, 'I told you so,' when he says that."
Wow...hammer, nail, head, close to 3 years ago. Wonder who he likes on today's card?
Via True Hoop.