September 21, 2012 |
The same deal brought both Dwight Howard and Chris Duhon from the Orlando Magic to the Lakers, yet their arrivals nearly juxtaposed each other. The Lakers immediately held an introductory news conference for Howard. Duhon didn't have one. The Magic fans feel betrayed by Howard's mixed messages the last year on his playing future. Hardly anyone said anything about Duhon. The Lakers believe Howard's the final piece they need to win a championship and their next franchise player. Duhon's just hoping he can share some minutes with Steve Blake at backup point guard.
September 17, 2012 |
Before Dwight Howard can rebuild his reputation, he first has to fully rebuild his back. The public will probably give him only this season to finally win his first NBA championship in his first season with the Lakers. He's joining a star-studded lineup in Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace. The Lakers consider Larry O'Brien trophies as the sole gold standard in measuring success. And with everyone outside of Los Angeles upset at how Howard handled his departure from the Orlando Magic, such failure to win a ring would only exacerbate the criticism and spark uncertainty as to whether Howard will stay with the Purple & Gold beyond this season.
July 30, 2012 |
It may be the dog days of the NBA offseason, but there's still plenty of things to monitor. First of all, Laker fans can still get their hoops fix by watching the 2012 London Olympics. Among the notable subplots: Kobe Bryant has played an elder statesman role with Team USA where he's providing leadership, deferring teammates and playing defense. Pau Gasol remains Spain's No. 1 option, became the country's flag bearer and hopes he can rectify his native country's gold-medal match loss to Team USA in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
August 7, 2012 |
The debate extends from every Lakers fan, notable ex-Lakers and probably even the front office. Should the Lakers value Dwight Howard over Andrew Bynum, or vice versa? Clearly, the Lakers want Howard or else they wouldn't have discussions with the Magic over its disgruntled center. But there are plenty of questions to complicate those talks. In no particular order, they include: Would Bynum sign a long-term extension with Orlando? Would Howard do the same with the Lakers? Which other players would the Magic receive in return for its franchise player?
October 1, 2012 |
Dwight Howard wore a Lakers uniform for the first time as the team held media day Monday at its practice facility in El Segundo. When Howard will wear that uniform in an actual game is another question. The center maintained he doesn't have any updated timetable on when his surgically repaired back will be sufficiently rehabilitated for him to return to the court. "I don't," Howard said. "I just want to be 100% for the season. I don't want to have any setbacks where I play a couple of games and then I have to sit down.
August 9, 2012 |
At a time when they felt the extra financial pinch stemmed from the new labor deal, the Lakers still understood the value it takes to build a championship roster. At a time when they could've gone for cheaper, the Lakers went better. At a time when they could've walked away with their chips to save for a long-term future, they put all their chips in to hit the jackpot. With the Lakers acquiring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic, they followed through on Mitch Kupchak's vow that "we'll try to hit a home run. " The Lakers didn't just belt one out of the park.
September 25, 2012 |
When it came down to evaluating whether the Lakers would trade Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard, the Lakers front office held a fairly simple criteria on why they pulled the trigger. "We got the best," Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said at the time. Yet, if you're to listen to Sixers small forward Dorell Wright talk about the new Sixers center, perhaps the Lakers should've pulled a mulligan and remained status quo. "He's going to need two defenders to stop him; I would say he's the best big man in the NBA right now, hands down," Wright told the Phiadelphia Inquirer's John Mitchell . "He's a guy that can give you baskets with his back to the basket; a guy who makes free throws at 7-feet.
August 14, 2012 |
A long time awaits before the Lakers even begin playing basketball. But if Laker fans don't already have their tickets by then, they may need to hand over a few bills to secure seats. That's always been the case for Laker games, but Dwight Howard's arrival just put ticket demand into overdrive. Fansnap.com , a ticket search engine that compiles results from major ticket marketplaces and ticket agencies, said the average ticket price rests between $270 and $323 per seat since last week when the Lakers acquired Howard.
October 8, 2012 |
The never-ending feud between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal when they teamed together always entailed the two sniping at each other. Shaq accused Bryant of being a ball hog, while Bryant criticized O'Neal's work ethic. On and on it went. So Bryant has a unique perspective on O'Neal's continuous digs at Dwight Howard, the latest being that Philadelphia's Andrew Bynum and Brooklyn's Brook Lopez are better than the Lakers' new superstar. But those days of Bryant responding to O'Neal's barbs are over.
August 17, 2012 |
This is the first post in a series focusing on five things each Lakers player must do to have a successful 2012-13 season. 1. Howard needs to have a healthy back. At his introductory press conference, Howard provided no assurances that he could play in the Lakers' season opener Oct. 30 against the Dallas Mavericks. In fact, Howard admitted he doesn't have a timetable for his return at all. It's possible that such rehab would keep him out for the first month of the season. Though that may provide cold water toward all the excitement surrounding his arrival, the Lakers aren't concerned since his strong health history suggests he'll be fine once he fully recovers.