Answers to your questions on Kobe's choice

Updated: July 15, 2004, 5:48 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
Less than an hour after's Marc Stein broke the news that Kobe Bryant will remain with the Lakers rather than bolt across the Staples Center hall to the Clippers, ESPN Insider Chad Ford stepped into The Show's chat room to take your questions.

Kobe Bryant
Chad Ford: (4:03 PM ET ) Alright folks, I'm here. I think all along we knew Kobe returning to the Lakers was the most likely outcome, but still, over the last 24 hours it sure seemed like the Clippers had a shot. Let's roll.

Jason (L.A.): Chad -- Who is the better team in L.A. now that Kobe has returned to the Lakers? The Clippers still seem to be in better shape long term, to me.

Chad Ford: (4:05 PM ET ) Long-term ... maybe. But in the short term, the Lakers will be better, because they have the best guard in the league. I think the combo of Kobe, Lamar Odom, Brian Grant, Caron Butler and whoever else the Lakers come up with will be a playoff team. But it will be anywhere from a fifth to an eighth seed. The Clippers? Unless they add a significant player in the backcourt, I still think they miss the playoffs.

Lamar (Freeport, Iill.): Without big brother around, Kobe finally has a chance to validate MJ like comparisons. Can he deliver, or will he wish he still had someone to draw attention away on offense?

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer