Steve Nash, a two-time MVP with the Phoenix Suns, can probably look forward… (Christian Petersen / Getty…)
The Los Angeles NBA universe restored to balance: Steve Nash to the Lakers (made possible by the Lamar Odom trade), where he can chase a championship and the Lakers can rejoin the league elite, and Lamar Odom to the Clippers, where his inconsistency and mental instability can lead his team out of the playoffs and into their rightful place in the lottery.
Mitch Kupchak said he was trying to hit a home run. Well, he hit a grand slam getting Steve Nash. If he gets Grant Hill too, that's double on the court and a home run in the locker room. Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum? Equivalent to two grand slams in the same inning! What time does the parade start next June?
Where are all those Mitch Kupchak critics now? Those who were maligning Kupchak for "giving away" Lamar Odom to Dallas failed to give any value to the trade exception the Lakers got in return — the trade exception that made the Steve Nash trade possible.
Managing rosters, salary caps and team finances is a complicated business, and Kupchak — who is smart, egoless, and learned from the best, Jerry West — continues to go about his business of keeping the Lakers in contention year after year after year.
John C. Germaine
"Luxury tax threshold" … "mini mid-level exception" … "traded player exception." …Put all of this NBA lexicon in a jar, shake well, and see how Steve Nash just sold out the Suns to their worst enemy for draft choices that will not amount to a hill of beans! And this was the guy who one week earlier stated he could never see himself in a Lakers uniform. How do you feel, Phoenix fans?
If anyone can get Andrew Bynum to grow up and put his diapers away, it's Steve Nash.
Though on its face, the Steve Nash deal looks solid, it also confirms that the Lakers are committed to staying long in the tooth. It all smacks of taking one last shot for Kobe. Fact is, the rest of the quality teams in the league are younger and invariably better down the playoff stretch. If they can't complete the Dwight Howard deal, this is likely nothing more than window dressing.
Because Jim Buss seems so dour during his interviews, I assumed he had no sense of humor but now I realize he is a laugh riot. Who but a premier jokester would replace an aging point guard who can't play defense and can't effectively penetrate to score (Derek Fisher) with an older point guard who has the same problems (Steve Nash) while paying him twice as much?
As a Canadian, how does it feel to be traded to a basketball team in a hockey town?
I won't get overly excited about the Steve Nash deal until I'm sure the Lakers don't try to bring back Karl Malone from retirement.
Magic Johnson's sports prowess has made him a successful and rich businessman. That does not entitle him to Times headlines every time he has a thought about the Lakers or sits at Dodger Stadium.
With the signing of Lamar Odom, it appears the Clippers are reverting to their old ways and will make the acquisitions of Benoit Benjamin and Baron Davis look good.
They gave up a good shooter and productive scorer in Mo Williams for this stiff who has been surviving in basketball since high school on "potential." He showed his potential last season when the Mavericks quickly tired of his crybaby antics and paid him not to show up for their games. Not many players can claim this on their resume.
The Clippers, after moving forward last season, have taken a giant step backward.
On thin ice?
I hate to douse Helene Elliott's enthusiasm about the Kings' mad rush to shower Jonathan Quick and teammates with fat contracts, but Elliott and others caught up in the giddiness of the Kings' success are in for a big letdown.
Never again will this bunch experience what they recently have. Repeat results are virtually impossible in a sport determined by chance as much as by talent. Of course, owners think that past results are a predictor of future success, so they open their wallets, theorizing that big bucks will equal continued competitive success, and thus continued commercial success.
Enticing, but untrue. Professional sports are littered with rewards of fat contracts for players who failed to deliver, and that includes players who had yet to even play on a professional level. (see the Dodgers' $42-million gift to Cuban expatriate Yasiel Puig). Speaking realistically, the Kings will be lucky to even qualify for next year's playoffs.
Lawrence M. Kates
Not a hit