Obtaining Howard And Nash Only The Beginning
There’s work to be done for Dwight Howard and the Lakers
Dwight Howard has been traded to the Lakers. This was news that was highly anticipated but was never thought to ever come to fruition. It was my personal opinion that Orlando was not going to trade him, but I am more than happy to say that I am wrong. However, just because the Lakers look like champions on paper, does not mean that the rest of the league will lie down in fear of the new Lakers era.
Taking a look at this roster, it is arguably the most stacked Lakers roster in quite some time and it is a definitely championship caliber roster. Although there have been comparisons, this roster is in no way comparable to the Bryant-O’Neal-Malone-Payton roster of 2004. On paper, the Lakers already seem to be the pending owners of the Larry O’Brien trophy, but they are not the team to beat.
The Lakers would be the team to beat if they had won the championship this past season, but we all know that they did not. The team to beat is always the team that was crowned as champions and that team is the Miami Heat. Lakers General Manager, Mitch Kupchak has managed to build a brilliant roster once again, but this roster, as complete as it is, is just like every team in the league in terms of wanting to knock the Heat off of their championship throne.
The Lakers as a unit have to now learn how to gel as a team, how to play as a team, and how to work together as a team. The Lakers are a team that is always held in high esteem by their management, the media, and their fans. Teams around the league bring their A game when meeting the Lakers and this is a roster that will be challenged every time they step on to the court. The expectations of this team is to win a championship or it’s a bust. They will not be given a pass nor will they be pacified for not immediately clicking together as a cohesive unit. They aren’t afforded those types of luxuries unlike a certain team in South Beach.
This upcoming season is a rebirth for the Lakers, especially with such a complete roster as this. This is not only a fresh start for the Lakers, but a fresh start for Dwight Howard. After the highly publicized dysfunction between Dwight and the Orlando Magic, namely then head coach Stan Van Gundy, Dwight’s image and reputation has been left a bit tarnished. Dwight was labeled as indecisive, egotistical, full of himself, and many other things. He was named to be the reason why Stan Van Gundy is now out of a job. He was labeled indecisive for his non-commitment to where he wanted to be traded although the Brooklyn Nets always seemed to be at the top of his list. He was accused of faking his injury because of his unwillingness to play for the Magic. Howard, one of the NBA’s most likable players was being painted as brute in the media and NBA fans began feeding into the hype. Dwight was making LeBron’s 2010 “The Decision” look like child’s play.
The blame for this Dwightmare can’t and shouldn’t fall solely on Dwight’s shoulders because although he was sure in his decision of wanting to be trade elsewhere, the Orlando Magic was sure that holding on to him would make him experience a change of heart, which he never did. Now after countless months of wondering where Howard would end up, he can now begin anew in a Los Angeles Lakers jersey. This is a new chapter in his career and a chance to repair his reputation as well as rebuild his image. Dwight’s new beginnings in LA will obviously come with the territory of being compared to past great Lakers who played at the center position. Yet Dwight has made is clear that he will be looking to create his own footsteps and not follow in anyone else’s.
The Lakers are a team that is used to winning, hence the 16 NBA championships. The Lakers are said to never have to rebuild, because they have the innate ability to just reload. Well that is proving to be true with such a complete roster on hand. This is a squad that will be tough to beat and when Dwight is completely healthy and ready to join Kobe, Nash, and Gasol on the court, they will be a force to be reckoned with on the court. For now though, the Lakers have a full season and a playoff run ahead of them. They are NOT yet champions. That title is held by the Miami Heat and they are the team to beat. With the championship window quickly closing on Lakers superstar shooting guard Kobe Bryant, the Lakers currently have no room for error. The world is watching and plenty are watching in hopes of failure on the Lakers part.
It’s championship or bust for these gentlemen. They must be a cohesive unit when they step on that court. From every coach to every player. With this mix of players, the Lakers chances of being crowned champions this season are very likely, but that is after all, just a roster we’ve seen on paper. Hopefully when this team begins play on October 30, the message that they send to the Miami Heat will be loud and clear, “We’re coming for OUR trophy.” Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and the Los Angeles Lakers are ready for the journey that can and will take them to the top of the NBA mountain. The rebirth of a team and a player is soon on the way. Be tuned in, I know I will be.
Melanie N. Young