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Child's Play

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The Chucky doll of the Lakers came out with his weapons last night as point guard Chucky Atkins had some harsh words for Kobe Bryant. Atkins was asked what moves he would make to improve the Lakers in the offseason. "I ain't the GM of this team," Atkins said. "Kobe's the GM of this team. Ask Kobe. You've been watching this [stuff] all year. You've been watching it and I've been playing in it."

The Los Angeles Times also added the following:

Atkins has been bothered by the number of shots Bryant takes and gets irritated when Bryant criticizes him in private for faulty defense, team sources said.

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It's fascinating how Shaq once declared himself the GM of the Lakers, as if it were good thing, and now it's considered a criticism that Kobe's the GM. Technically, Mitch Kupchak is the GM, and he definitely has his work cut out in the offseason. He can start by trading Chucky Atkins.

Some have claimed that Atkins has been a real find for the Lakers this season, averaging almost 14 points a game. But we beg to differ. Atkins is only interested in chucking up threes, and could care less about passing, defense, and the other typical traits associated with top NBA point guards. On a team with Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, and Caron Butler, Atkins should worry more about setting up his teammates than firing every three-pointer he possibly could.

Instead, he's averaging a porous 4.3 assists a game, almost 2 fewer than Bryant. And it's a shame that Atkins is bothered by Kobe's private criticisms of his defense because they're well deserved. The Lakers defense has resembled puddy during the current 8-game losing streak, and Atkins should be better considering the only energy he expends on offense is beyond the arc.

Chucky Atkins should realize he's Chucky Atkins. He's a journeyman NBA player who gets to be included in salary cap dump deals to match payroll. His job is to be happy he's an NBA player, pass the ball, play defense, and do "the little things" that help a team win. Since he has failed, it's time to trade him.

As for Kobe Bryant, LAist will examine if he should be traded later this week. But before we do, what do you think?