So it all comes down today. When the Lakers find out if their bold offseason plan to build around Kobe Bryant will pay dividends. Bryant reportedly will announce at a noon press conference whether he will sign with the Lakers or the Clippers.
Both sides have made their last-minute maneuvers. For the Lakers, Phil Jackson is gone. Shaq is now officially gone too. The Clippers may play 10-12 games in the Pond to accommodate Kobe. And now they've traded Melvin Ely and Eddie House for virtually nothing to clear space.
If Kobe signs with the Clippers, it will mark a stunning reversal for the two LA franchises which could not have been more opposite. The Clippers with Kobe, Elton Brand, and Corey Maggette would become one of the best teams in the NBA. The Lakers would be building around Lamar Odom and be a combination of the old Clippers and the Heat. Ouch.
If Kobe signs with the Lakers, however, Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchak save some face, and have a decent young nucleus to build around, even if it won't win a title anytime soon. The Clippers will remain pretty much the same, and could get a lot worse if they fail to match Quentin Richardson.
LAist has no idea what will happen, but we'd like to point out that it's all moot if Kobe is found guilty.