Apparently, Kobe Bryant would like to see Mickael Pietrus join the Lakers.
I promise you, he's not alone.
Anyone connected with the Phoenix Suns would gladly buy the French Flinger a ticket to L.A. and a limo ride to Staples Center. Just as long as they can stop paying the guy who makes Eddie House look persnickety when it comes to shot selection.
Pietrus, the Suns' $5.3 million headache who has fewer fans in the organization than Vince Carter, criticized the team and coach Alvin Gentry in a French newspaper, adding that he would like to bid adieu and deserves to play for a championship contender like the Celtics or the Lakers. He even went as far as to say that Kobe told him he would like to see Pietrus in a Laker uniform.
Sacre bleu! Attention Kobe, Mitch Kupchak and Danny Ainge: Lance Blanks' phone number is (602)...
Pietrus possibly leaving the Suns to join the Lakers? Talk about killing two birds with one stale croissant.
Pietrus doesn't want to leave Phoenix because he'd turn down his $5.3 million player option which grossly overpays him, even by ridiculous NBA standards. He was a throw-in in a deal that (1) got rid of Hedo Turkoglu and (2) brought Marcin Gortat to Arizona. When you're the third-most important Euro in a trade, you should be happy with any playing time you get.
The Suns have more wing players than the Coyotes. Pietrus played himself out of the rotation thanks to his itchy trigger finger, sulked, then used a minor injury at the end of the season to beg out of games.
Of course, Pietrus begs to differ, saying "Phoenix didn't use me but that's their problem," he told L'quipe, as translated by hoopshype.com. "The only thing I care about is winning a title."
Unless you don't count not being used.
• I've heard a lot about Ian Kennedy being snubbed for the National League All-Star team, but what about catcher Miguel Montero?
This is the one game where we don't care if his defense is awful and if he runs the bases like a kid lost in the mall. Montero's bat has been a big part of Arizona's great first half and he's on 20-homer, 80-RBI pace. Brian McCann of Atlanta is also deserving of a spot, but Miggy should have gotten more push. If the D-Backs want to stay in this race until the end, Montero will have to play a huge role.
• Nice of Curt Schilling to wait until the 10th anniversary of the Diamondbacks World Series championship - and the week Phoenix hosts the All-Star Game - to tar and feather the franchise's greatest moment and intimate that at least one of his Arizona teammates was juicing back in 2001.
"There isn't a team in the last 20 years that has won clean," Schilling announced on Philadelphia talk radio this week. That should also endear him to the 2004 and 2007 Red Sox as well. Or was he just talking about Manny Ramirez?
• Four majors shy of Jack Nicklaus and six months shy of his 36th birthday, it's getting tougher to see Tiger Woods doing what was a foregone conclusion a few short years ago.
Now at 0-for-13 with only four top-fives since the 2008 U.S. Open, Tiger has a bum knee, a new swing and a PGA Tour desperate for an icon that may no longer exist.
• Maybe, just for this week, we can forget that Derek Jeter is getting paid $50 million over the next three years to be a .260 hitter and keep a hot new prospect on the bench.
This week, with his 3,000th hit beckoning (all of them as a Yankee), the captain deserves a victory lap and a standing ovation for his body of work.
• A quick thanks to Deron Williams for answering the burning question "How far will you go NOT to play for the New Jersey Nets?" Turkey and New Jersey ... pretty much a wash. Williams will be allowed to rejoin the Nets as soon as the lockout ends, and he has a few stiff drinks.
By the way, the same Istanbul team that signed Williams is also hot after Kobe Bryant. And if they land him, Mickael Pietrus can't be far behind, right?
Jerry Brown is a contributing columnist who appears every Sunday in the Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org