Dwight Howard walks off the court after being ejected for his 2nd technical… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
A compilation of all of the Lakers' postmortem material recently published in your paper would read something akin to "War and Peace." Hey, they had a rough season, they have some decisions to make and the future is uncertain. Enough said.
Bill Plaschke represents the worst in sports journalism. His knee-jerk reactions are better suited for mindless reality television, scripted of course.
The article asking for Dwight Howard's dismissal Monday is a prime example. Months earlier, one would have thought he was Howard's publicist, campaigning for his arrival in L.A. to become one of the Lakers great centers. He didn't live up to Plaschke's naive and uneducated expectations, thus he should be kicked to the curb.
Howard is clearly the best big man in the NBA, and the Lakers should bend over backward to retain his services.
With an unparalleled work ethic, I just can't picture Kobe Bryant in a gym 10 hours a day for the next six months rehabbing for the privilege of playing his last year for the Lakers and Mike "I've Never Won a Title" D'Antoni.
On the other hand, I can clearly see Bryant leveraging his impending retirement to force management to dump D'Antoni for a coach with a system perfect for the current team; a coach whose system Kobe knows intimately; a coach whom Kobe (and most all NBA players) respect and admire; and a coach who has won more championships than any other coach in history.
Dang. If only there was a coach like that out there somewhere.
Mike D'Antoni should be renamed Z'amboni: back and forth and looks nice but is a sideshow with no impact on the game, as evidenced Sunday when Pau Gasol was doing the coaching in a huddle and Mike was staring at the floor in a baffled dreamland. The Lakers look to be hurting for a long time and the ultimate reason will prove to be the loss of Jerry Buss; Jim is more like a minivan.
Now that the Lakers' season is over, Dwight Howard has six months to learn how to shoot free throws.
"It took me a while to learn the players." It's hard to believe that the Lakers could hire a coach even dumber than Mike Brown, but congratulations. This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard from someone making $12 million.
If you pay someone that much you would think they would sit in a dark room, watch film until their eyes glaze over and talk to their players intelligently. More important, you would think that the GM might hire a coach that could work with the players that the GM got in the first place.
It's a good thing for D'Antoni and Mitch Kupchak that Kobe got hurt because it gives them a semblance of an excuse. And then why not just make Kobe the coach? He basically runs the team anyway.
Pau Gasol says "We have plenty of pieces," but they're scattered on the Staples Center floor like an expensive broken vase.
As the Lakers begin to blow up the roster, here's a thought — how about bringing home a center with high character and minimal contract demands who is universally recognized as a great teammate, can take a charge and has six hard fouls a night: Jason Collins.
Let Dwight Howard walk and just start from scratch!
Have you noticed how poorly Chauncey Billups is moving since his Achilles' surgery? That's a little preview of Kobe's future. Give Kobe his statue and rafter jersey, but amnesty him now and start building a new era.
I was surprised to see The Times' staff ignore environmental concerns and waste paper on printing the schedule for Games 5, 6 and 7 in the Lakers-Spurs series. Even the greatest Lakers fan of them all was probably calling the series from heaven and put the sweep into a San Antonio refrigerator after Game 2.
San Luis Obispo
There's that old joke about the guy who bets $10 at the craps table. He wins and lets it ride. He wins again and lets it ride. He does this 10 times. Finally, with more than $5,000 wagered, he loses. When a friend asks how he made out at the craps table, he says, "I lost $10."
As disparate as the Lakers' and Clippers' seasons have been, when someone asks how it went, both could answer, "We lost in the first round."
Now Chris Paul knows how Kobe Bryant feels.
Magic Johnson's early exodus during the Dodgers' blowout loss to the Rockies sent the wrong message to the fans in attendance. If these are our Dodgers, we love them, win or lose.
True baseball fans remain until the last out of the last inning. Fans easily become malcontents and whine as they leave the stadium instead of remaining in their seats and supporting the team, even if it is a lopsided loss.
Obviously, Johnson is neither a fan of baseball nor a fan of the Dodgers.