Let’s flash back to last summer, shall we? The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off one of the greatest heists in NBA history once again in stealing Dwight Howard and trading just Andrew Bynum to acquire him. Remember the shock from all of the basketball world? Remember how ESPN pretty much said the Lakers were gonna win the title? Remember the SI cover with Dwight Howard and Steve Nash titled how the season was gonna be “fun?” Yeah, well….. it was all good just a year ago.
The Lakers struggled to begin the year, firing then coach Mike Brown after starting off the season slow. They hired Mike D’Antoni, and the Lakers actually had a 45 win season, which led to a seven seed in the West, and an embarrassing exit in the playoffs without the guy who pretty much put the team on his back in Kobe Bryant, who tore his Achilles in the last week of the regular season. The off-season turned into a slideshow, begging for Dwight Howard to stay in Los Angeles (https://shaunhoward.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/i-hate-my-team/) and that turned into a comedy show because Dwight Howard wasn’t going to stay with the Lakers. Everybody, including Dwight knew that. Dwight treated the Lakers like one of his baby mamas.
This is Dwight Howard’s life in a nutshell (no pun intended. Okay, maybe).
At first, he thought the Lakers were this new sexy toy because he was tired of having children with his old toy (Orlando Magic), so he decided to get the new toy pregnant. Then, when the going got tough, Dwight decided he was fed up and wanted to have another sexy toy. So when the moment reached, Dwight saw he was free and BOOM, on to Houston because they are the new sexy toy in his eyes. (BOOM BABY! Houston strip clubs about to be POPPIN off this year!!!! Houston fans, if Dwight gets fed up in three years and wants another toy, he’ll make sure he’ll get his way). So Laker fans, we were just a groupie to Dwight Howard.
Where does that leave the Lakers now? How do the Lakers go from here?
Well for the starters, I don’t know what the Lakers plan down the road is. Do the Lakers want to tank this year, get a top 5 pick + clean salary cap except for Steve Nash’s contract next year? Or do these interesting cast of characters attempt to actually make the playoffs? Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss did the right thing in my eyes to letting Dwight Howard walk without taking on another contract. However, if the Lakers were smart enough, they would have traded Dwight Howard during last season, especially when he was unhappy in February because he was on his usual mood swing.
Three questions that I have for my own team:
1. Will you attempt to play defense, Los Angeles?
When you see this roster, you can tell that it fits Mike D’Antoni system. They’ll get up and down the court, and score 105 a game, but they’ll probably give up 110. Steve Nash is the starting point guard and he’ll be 40 during the NBA season. That’s not a typo. Steve Nash playing defense on Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Deron Williams, Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Ricky Rubio, Tony Parker, and even Brandon Jennings will be seen as a highlight film for those guys. Remember when Curry put Nash in the washing machine spin cycle back in March?
Nick Young has never heard of the word defense before (but he’s heard of swag since he’s SWAGGY P, BRUH!), and watching him play defense will be mildly entertaining because he’ll just let other two guards score so he can shoot more. Jodie Meeks? Lol. A frontcourt line of Chris Kaman, Pau Gasol, and wait for it…… Wes Johnson will be hilarious. Given this is the first (and only) training camp with Mike D’Antoni as a head coach, maybe they did work on simple defensive concepts.
2. Will Kobe Bryant be effective this season?
No one, and I mean no one knows what to expect from Kobe Bryant. Bryant just tore his Achilles in April, and has said that if this were a playoff situation, he’d be able to play. But then he added that he can’t push off his Achilles and that he’s not in shape. Which makes me believe that Kobe Bryant probably won’t be back for awhile. It’s completely obvious that the Lakers can’t just rely on Kobe to come back and carry them for most of the season like he did last year. But this is Kobe Bryant, and he’s been known to do the unthinkable.
3. But really, do the Lakers have a long-term plan in place?
I know, I know. I addressed this above. But it’s an interesting question to ask. Kobe can’t play forever, and I know the Lakers know this. At some point, you have a solution to the problem. Mike D’Antoni isn’t the right fit for the organization, but neither is Phil Jackson anymore. Are you going to place all your chips in hope of landing Carmelo Anthony this summer, or do you go full rebuild mode? These are questions that the front office will need to answer quickly.
All off-season long, I’ve been saying how the Lakers won’t make the playoffs, and as a fan……. I’m not changing my mind. Looking at the roster, it’s clear to me that the Lakers built the roster to D’Antoni’s system. That’s fine to a degree. With everyone off the roster after this season with the exception of Steve Nash, it’s clear that Lakers are going to go all in the summer of 2014. I’ve been saying this, it’s best for the Lakers to completely forget about this season, and start from scratch next year, in hopefully Kobe Bryant’s last season of hooping (Yes Laker fans, Kobe is going to retire soon). Do I think the Lakers will actually do that? Will they miss the playoffs for the 6th time in franchise history?
I think the ceiling for this team is 35-38 wins. They’ll be exciting to watch because they’ll score 100+ points a game, and because Nick Young is probably going to go full YOLO mode. But they’ll give up a lot a big games to guards, and give up at least 105+ points a game. So no playoffs. A lottery pick, and a semi-rebuilding project heading into the Summer of 2014.
It’s not the end of the world, Laker fans. All franchises have to rebuild. It’s how you reload. And we must pray that the Los Angeles Lakers front office knows what the hell they’re doing.
The Los Angeles Lakers. One of the NBA’s glamour franchises, with the 16 championships, the success of big men, and the amount of legends from Jerry West, to Kareem, to Magic, Shaq, and a current one, Kobe Bryant. After coming into this season with hype after acquiring All-Star center Dwight Howard and point guard Steve Nash last summer, but now, the Lakers are seemly one of the teams on TV that you can’t look away from. Not because of the basketball abilities of the players, but because the drama is seemly there non-stop. The Lakers are currently 24-27 with a game at Miami on Sunday Afternoon on ABC. 3 games under .500, and this team isn’t that good as we thought they’d be. (The Lakers were down 20 points against Charlotte, and happened to come back to win. Not even amused.) Laker fans expect championships or at least a contender. This team isn’t even near that, at all. The Los Angeles Lakers are an below average basketball team.
The current problem with the Los Angeles Lakers is that they have pieces that are pretty damn good on paper but teams aren’t made on paper, they are made on the court. The Lakers are old, slow, and in new head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system, this team simply can’t run his type of offensive style. You can tell the egos are strong because they aren’t winning games. Why? Every other week, we’re hearing something about how a player doesn’t want to come off the bench (Pau Gasol), to there being screaming and crying at a team meeting (Dwight Howard), to then a guy possibly questioning a guy’s character and toughness to the press (Kobe Bryant). This team is full of divas. Full of guys who want to be “The guy.” The guy to carry their team to win it all instead of doing with it a team. The Lakers Organization wasn’t in the wrong to bring Dwight Howard or Steve Nash to their team. If you can get rid of a player like Andrew Bynum who isn’t playing at all for a Dwight Howard who is playing, that’s perfectly acceptable.
“THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS ARE YOUR 2012-13 NBA CHAMPIONS” is a headline that we’ll never see. That was the expectation when the Lakers decided to bring in both Steve Nash and Dwight “my neck, my back” Howard, but obviously things haven’t worked out that way, and I don’t think they will if the roster looks the same next season. The Lakers need to make changes. The Dwight Howard experiment hasn’t worked, and it needs to end. The obvious answer is a trade, because letting Dee-wite walk out without anyone in return would be stupid. The question now is where do the Lakers trade him, and for whom? That’s something to think about.
Dwight Howard isn’t 100% on the court and I don’t think that’s he’s 100% mentally. Perhaps, he’s ready to leave the bright lights of Los Angeles, and go to a smaller market such as, Atlanta or Dallas. As great as Dwight Howard is, he can’t accept when people attempt to challenge him. Kobe Bryant is challenging Dwight Howard mentally. Bryant has been quoted over and over again as saying that he’s tried to tell Dwight to just block all the other shit out, and just play basketball. The problem is that Dwight hasn’t done that. In this whole #Dwightmare saga, he’s told people what they want to hear. Let’s go back to when Dwight got Stan Van Gundy fired.
(coach killa, coach killa, coach killa *R. Kelly voice*)
Look at this…just look at it.
After Stan’s exchange with reporters, Dwight comes in and acts like everything is perfectly fine. He talks to the media like nothing is wrong, that they just need to focus on the next game. The funny thing about this is that Dwight is basically doing the exact same thing this season. He’s hit the reset button on the season like he’s a kid who’s N64 no longer works. It’s ridiculous. If he’s supposed to be so focused on the goal of winning a championship, why do we need to start the season over about 7 times?
Of course, it comes off as just “Dwight’s personality.” But how long are we just gonna chalk it up to his persona? Laker fans already got Andrew Bynum outta here for his personality, it won’t be long til the same happens to Dwight. Yet in some ways it already has. Bryant stated that the Lakers don’t have the time to wait for his shoulder to heal and he’s right, they don’t. Steve Nash also said the same thing to the media about Dwight, that he just needs to play. So what does Dwight do? Play against Boston last night because big brother Kobe and Scuba Steve said so. If these injuries are as bad as what he claims, if his legs are really going numb, if his shoulder is causing this much pain (even though he’s been cleared for the last few games prior to the Boston game), shut it down already Dwight. He’s gotta stop vacillating between playing or not playing, just like he did in Orlando with his #Decision. As a fan, I am sick and tired of watching this dude try to please everyone. It’s annoying, really. If it’s career and no one else will take care of him, why hasn’t he repaired that shoulder? Why didn’t he just sit out the season til January like we all assumed he would? I just don’t know, man.
It’s one thing for a team to seemly get embarrassed from time to time. In the NBA, there will be nights that this happens. But every other night, this happens with this team. A team, with championship or bust aspirations as Bryant said shouldn’t be getting embarrassed on the basketball court. This team seemly doesn’t give a flying fuck about playing together, or playing with pride. I don’t care if you suck. Losing doesn’t bother me one bit. It’s the way this team carries themselves on and off the court. Crying to the media about everything little thing isn’t built for titles. This team lacks the effort, the heart, and the desire like their fanbase has. Simply put it, when they put on that Laker uniform, they aren’t playing for pride or for the ones who did it before them, they are playing for themselves.
This is very sad how this ship is sinking. Nobody knows what’s gonna happen with the Los Angeles Lakers. Dwight Howard (Or 13-1, 6×2, 3×4, etc) is gonna leave this summer. The Lakers have no lottery picks because they traded all of their lottery picks to Phoenix. Kobe’s a grandpa. Pau will be coming off a foot injury. Nash is 39 years old. No, I’m not expecting this team to win a title while Kobe Bryant is on the roster. But his contract expires next year, and so does Gasol, and World Peace. That opens up a lot of cap space for the Lakers to do something. (No you dumbass Laker fans, Lebron James isn’t gonna leave Miami. Stop with that.) With the cap space finally clearing out, you can slowly rebuild and reload to contend for titles. Will that happen with Jim Buss being the dumbass that he is? Will Mitch just accept that it’s time to do this?
Your guess is as good as mine. This front office needs to understand one thing: This team currently constructed HATES each other. When they play, you can tell they do. As fans of this team, we’re gonna love them win or lose, but it’s time. It’s time to implode this team, soon. Laker front office, it’s time to bon voyage to Dwight Howard soon.
If you don’t know, or you don’t care about the NBA (I know, it’s easy to not give a fuck about it), Dwight Howard or as French Montana called him on “Stay Schemin” #TheWhite Howard is a Los Angeles Laker. By becoming a Laker, Dwight follows the footsteps of the great Laker centers (Mikan, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq) and now, he has to deliver on a NBA Title. You know how we all got Lebron James for the longest time because of his failures to win a ring? Well, that torch or burden has been passed to #TheWhite.
When news of this trade happened, I myself didn’t really give a shit. I was more happy the Lakers kept Pau Gasol than getting Dwight Howard.
But really, I still don’t give a fuck about this trade.
Yeah, I am a Laker fan, but at the same time, Dwight Howard has been a bitch all off-season. Actually, check that. He’s been doing this shit since last season, and then it got progressively worse. Dude didn’t play hard on defense in Orlando, cried about how he wanted to leave so bad, then opted into his contract, delaying his free agency for next season because he couldn’t make up his mind.
While I was watching this press conference on Friday afternoon, I kept thinking to myself, “Gotdamn, this dude is really an idiot.” And then I realized, that he still doesn’t know what the hell he wants. Yeah, sure. Dwight is good with the media. He knows how to attempt to make people laugh (His Kobe impersonation was actually funny, I laughed when I saw that), but he’s so corny. Dwight will say the right things right now because he knows he’s lucky that he’s going to suit up with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Pau Gasol. But at the same time, it’s sometimes good to shut the hell up.
I mean now, it’s funny to me because Dwight keeps saying “I love being a laker, Los Angeles is a great place for me,” but he just wants to play out his last year of the contract, and then become a free agent. Well, since the Lakers have his bird rights next summer, meaning he can get the most money from them…… he’ll be a Laker for awhile. If he doesn’t know this, well guess what Dwight?! I just informed you. You’ll be a laker for awhile, bruh. Los Angeles loves you anyway, so you say.
Here’s how I can tell Dwight Howard is a corny ass person:
It’s been great. I started off walking around Beverly Hills and every day I had this one lady who would always come and say, ‘Come to the Lakers! Come to the Lakers!’ If she’s watching, I’m here.
That story its self makes me want to laugh at his face. Nigga, you didn’t even want to be in LA first. All this talk about “Brooklyn” “I want to be a net,” “Trade me to Brooklyn or I won’t play this season,” shit was all a facade and you gotta stop making up stories to the Los Angeles media.
Dwight Howard landing in Los Angeles takes away the attention from Matt Barkley and Lane Kiffin, which, I guess is a good thing. Plus, when he actually lands on the court (He had back surgery in April, and he still can’t run…. like what the hell?), he’ll protect the middle seeing how the Lakers have Steve Nash, an offensive whiz, but a mediocre defender, and an older two guard by the name of Kobe Bean. Nobody is questioning his on the court display. The dude is a force, when he wants to be one. Best “center” (I put that in quotes because Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard are the only type of traditional centers in the NBA now… well at least in my eyes.) in the league, and the best big guy defender in the league.
I get that.
But, the main point of this blog is that we all need to relax about Dwight Howard going to the Lakers.
Listen other Laker fans. I get it. You’re excited. We haven’t been in this situation since 2010 (LOL) where we can contend for a title. You expect greatness, and you should. You’re a fan of them when they win, and right now, the Lakers haven’t gotten out the 2nd round in two years (So much struggle, it’s actually funny). So, I get that you’re excited.
Dwight Howard is a damn good piece in the middle. I mean, he’s excellent. Does this put the Lakers over the hump in the Western Conference?
See Laker fans. Oklahoma City isn’t just going to die and roll over because we have Dwight Howard. In fact, seeing how all OKC does is shoot jumpers, this trade does little to nothing affecting them. Kevin Durant is the 2nd best player on god’s green earth. Russell Westbrook is a top 5 point guard. James Harden will be an all-star this season. Serge Ibaka is a good defender. If anything, this does nothing for them. They have size now with Thabeet coming off the bench.
Then, Laker fans, how can you forget about the best player on the planet?
If you forgot, it’s the Summer of Lebron James.
(I know the Heat are in the Eastern Conference, but most Laker fans love bringing them up for discussion. It’s funny to me. Vice Versa also.)
Plus, the Heat got a little better. Sure, the Lakers are strong at point guard and center. The areas where Miami is weak at. But, they have the best player in the game at the 3. Dwyane Wade and Bean cancel each other out as with Bosh and Pau. Plus, adding Ray Allen off the bench makes Miami the title favorite.
Don’t get your panties bunched in a wad Laker fans. I didn’t say we couldn’t win. We can. But you must respect the two teams who went to the finals last year.
Now to the other side of this:
Laker Haters, please relax for a second.
Now, when I saw this whole trade shit, I went to ESPN, and linked it to Facebook. The hate was so real from some folks. One person that I’m good friends with said that he was going to “root for OKC harder than before” because of this trade. But here’s my question: Are you mad that the Lakers improved, or are you mad that the Lakers traded for a guy that a team didn’t want anymore? It’s not like the Lakers said, “Here Orlando, you get nothing but a draft pick from us, and we’ll send Andrew Bynum to Philly because we just don’t give a fuck about you.” Orlando made the deal. If anything, be mad at them.
Then, I saw this as I was scrolling down Facebook, I saw this status that made me want to throw the fuck up for awhile.
Okay, timeout. Let me break down this intelligent status without being a fanboy (That’s actually easy. If you talk to me in person, no stanning, all truth).
“Now that Kobe has someone” is funny. Bean has had Shaq, and Pau Gasol to win those titles with him. That’s strike one buddy (Imagine if I kept this dude’s name on the status, this would have been epic as fuck). Sure, the Lakers haven’t gotten out the 2nd round, like I said before, but it’s not like they were supposed to win last year.
Anyway, “I don’t wanna hear anyone giving the heat shit for teaming up” is hilarious to me. Nobody cares about the Miami Heat teaming up. Same way nobody cared about Boston doing it. Same way about how nobody cared how Pau Gasol was given to LA for a pack of cigarettes and whiskey. Teams in the 1980s always had 2-3 stars on a team. This is nothing new. Stop with it, b.
“The entire league dose it.” Lol. Yes, I just typed Lol. Dose. Like medicine “dose?” Or……. what?
#Heat2013 is funny to me. You post a status about Kobe Bryant, and then put in hashtag (We aren’t on twitter, but it’s okay, I guess) heat 2013. Does the Los Angeles Lakers affect the Miami Heat? I didn’t realize that the Heat and Lakers were in the same conference. (This is like SEC fans who love to bring up USC because they have nothing better to do.) Yes, I know I addressed the Heat above because Laker fans are being outrageous stupid talking about how they are going to win it all. I mean, sure, I guess Heat fans feel offended that the team out west, and in a different conference is taking away attention.
But…………. most “Heat” fans were Cleveland fans anyway (I didn’t say all, I said most. Like most Laker fans weren’t Laker fans until 2000 because LA loves a winner. Look at USC for example. USC wasn’t an ounce of shit, and then in 2003, they became fans. Funny how that happens.)
Then, my favorite.
I was going through my girls Tumblr because I have nothing better to do, and some random idiot said this:
“Laker fans need to worry about Minnesota. Rubio/Love/Roy are gonna be tough to beat.”
You don’t know shit about basketball. Stop with it. Brandon Roy has no knees left. Rubio is recovering from an ACL injury. Kevin Love is the dopest white black player ever, but they aren’t checking this Laker team. Not yet at least. In a couple of years…? Yes, of course. It’s Rubio’s league if he wants it.
But Minnesota? Can’t say San Antonio? Oklahoma City? The other team in LA? But Minnesota?
I’m not here screaming how people hate my team. Do you think I care?
That face can tell you my reaction. I don’t care, and I didn’t write that part to bitch about it. But reality is, no matter what the Lakers do, the expectations are hilarious. Folks gonna hate the Lakers and give them unrealistic expectations, and folks are gonna love the Lakers and give them unrealistic expectations.
It’s the world we live in.
ESPN, the worldwide leader in Trolling has got to calm down about this.
I understand it’s been a slow sports summer. I understand you’re sad that Tim Tebow is a punt protector and doesn’t have a shot to challenge Mark Sanchez. I know Jeremy Lin left New York and went to Houston, which made you sad, I get it. But Dwight Howard coming to the Lakers doesn’t mean a Miami/LA NBA finals would happen. I know the media wants a Lebron/Kobe final. I get it. That was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO 2009, bro. Bron didn’t get there. Who gives a fuck now? I sure as hell don’t. Now people are gonna say, “you’re scared of Lebron, and you’re scared of the heat.” But, it’s not even that. Listen idiots, Kobe Bryant is a grandpa playing basketball.
In 2009, when Kobe was entering the end of his prime, and while Bron was entering his, that was the dream final matchup. But now, in 2012-13? Nobody tryna check that shit except for you, ESPN (and maybe David Stern). I mean, I thought this years finals matchup was the dream matchup that we all wanted. Bron vs KD. Not Bron vs Kobe.
Laker/Kobe fans don’t want to admit it because they still think Kobe Bryant is the best player on this earth, but he’s not. He’s not even the 2nd best player. No shade to Kobe, I love the dude because he’s awesome and it’s remarkable to see a grandpa (in NBA years) do what he does year in and year out, but at the same time…….. that finals matchup would be terrible. Not saying the Lakers don’t have a chance (I think they would lose in 6, honestly, but it’d be close) but this isn’t a dream matchup anymore.
I was listening to a NBA analyst (I wanna say Steve Smith) and he was talking about how “The Lakers and their fans don’t accept 2nd place,” and I laughed at that. Really, NO TEAM or THEIR FANBASE should accept finishing in 2nd place. But as a laker fan, and going through the last two years, getting to the Western Conference Finals would make my season. Now you ask me why? Easy, we haven’t been there since 2010. Getting swept by the eventual champ in 2011 wasn’t really humbling (It was actually funny because I knew LA wouldn’t three-peat) and I knew we’d lose to OKC this year. But really, let’s lower the expectations.
And of course, I have to calm down about Dwight Howard.
I don’t like the guy that much (If you read the stuff above, you’d know this). I used to, but this whole little saga turned me the fuck off about him and his fuckass personality. But, I know a good team when I see one, and right now, the Lakers are really really good on paper. But good teams aren’t won on paper. If that was the case, Miami would have two rings right now and we’d be speaking about how Lebron James is not only great, he’s black Jesus. Teams have to get chemistry on the floor, and in the locker room with each other. If #TheWhite isn’t going to be on the floor to begin the season, don’t expect the Lakers to win it all. That being said, I know my limitations as a fan, and knowing this, I’ll keep my mouth shut about the Lakers.
Everyone. Calm down about Dwight Howard.
Sure, he makes the Los Angeles Lakers a much better team, but at the same time, cool down with the shit. It’s August. He still doesn’t know what he wants to do.
Championships aren’t won on paper (ESPN and Laker fans) and nobody has forgotten about the Miami Heat or other teams in the league (Laker haters).