Yeah Casey, Kobe is the anti-christ. I'm sure Shaq's trade had nothing to do with him cursing at Dr. Buss during a preseason game in an attempt to get a huge contract extension. It also probably had nothing to do with the fact that they offered Shaq a sizable extension, which he declined. Or even that Shaq demanded the trade and refused to back off. Yeah, he used Kupchak's comments to become outraged and demand a trade, but the writing was on the wall before that occurred. If Kobe somehow orchestrated all of these feelings and actions, he should have a temple built in his honor. Yes, Kobe wants to be the primary option and it was time. Shaq is entering the decline of his career and you know he will never accept a role other than being the center of attention. Do you really want Shaq as the focus of the offense in a few years when he's only playing 50 games a year and his numbers are as bad as ever? Shaq is not the kind of player who will pass the torch when it's necessary. Sure, the team could have been major contenders for the next couple years, but Shaq declining and eating up all their cap space would crush the Lakers. If they tried to trade him at that point, he would be nearly worthless. The Lakers have made a pre-emptive strike and now have a talented, young nucleus to build around. When they get a solid big man, this team will be very competitive for years to come.