All the non Laker fans, don’t panic. Laker fans enjoy this while you can. I have some news that is going to make a lot of people very angry. Try to hold back the hate mail.
Dwight Howard going to the Lakers is not the beginning of a dynasty or the birth of something magical. Let me be perfectly clear. I am not saying that the Dwight to LA deal is unimportant. Dwight Howard is one of the biggest superstars in the league, and the thought of him signing to play alongside Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash is quite exciting. Is this an interesting development in Kobe and Dwight’s careers? Sure. Does this change the face and field of the NBA? Not so much.
Before you call me crazy, let’s look at exactly how Superman changed cities. To dumb things down immensely, The Lakers sent away Andrew Bynum and acquired Dwight Howard. The part where the Lakers acquired Dwight Howard seems to be all over the news right now as Lakers’ fans celebrate the next 14 championships they are obviously going to win. For some reason, the departure of two-time champion and 2012 All-Star Andrew Bynum is being overlooked. Don’t get me wrong, Dwight Howard is an incredible player. But is he really that big (pun intended) of an upgrade over Andrew Bynum? I would say he is.
What the Lakers essentially did in this deal was fix something that wasn’t broken. I’m not critical of this deal because it brought in another superstar, only because it felt redundant. LA traded arguably the best big man in the game, being Andrew Bynum, for arguably the other best big man in the game, Dwight Howard. Notice the use of the word “arguably”. Andrew Bynum vs. Dwight Howard is where the arguing actually takes place. The Lakers do not have an incredibly good Small Forward in Metta Elbowtothehead, I mean, uh, Metta World Peace. Now if they had upgraded from him to an incredible SF, this would be a big deal, and a fix to a major problem. But going from Andrew Bynum to Dwight Howard is going from one superstar center to another.
While both are unique and different players, the change isn’t going to be over the top. In fact, if anything, Howard will be a slight downgrade at first, as he must learn to play under the Lakers system. In Orlando, Howard was the man. He was the offense and the defense. In LA, he has to work with Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol. Should he have a hard time sharing for ego or strategy reasons, the Lakers are in some serious trouble.
To wrap things up, here is a prediction for the new and improved star studded Lakers: A loss in the NBA Western Conference Final in 7 games to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Love it or hate it, that is the only way I see things going for the Hollywood ballclub. And while I do admit that adding Dwight Howard is an improvement to the team, it isn’t as big as people may think. And as for non-Laker fans, I have bad news for you too. Get ready to hear about the LA Big 3 all season long. Then when Nash, Bryant, and Howard fail to bring home a championship banner, you can listen to ESPN talk about their epic collapse for the few months following that. If Howard and Nash want to get themselves fitted for rings, it won’t be anytime soon. The Lakers are a team that could have used Dwight Howard less than anyone. Come this year’s postseason, that is going to show.