Don't ever make the mistake of trying to marginalize Kobe Bryant in a conversation about the NBA's best players. You'd be wrong.
The NBA season will be fast, furious and frenetic. (Beautiful? Maybe not so much.) And as it opens, the spotlight shines on LeBron James (doesn't it always?) and the Heat. Again.
Two days later, how does the Chris Paul trade look? That depends on where you live. But this much is indisputable: It's a lesson for small market teams everywhere.
The move by David Stern and the NBA owners to keep Chris Paul from being traded to the Lakers was spectacularly petty.
Three straight home losses? Check. Angry words? Check. Petty jealousies? Check. Got 'em all. Which means Kobe and the Lakers have everybody else right where they want them.