The National Basketball Association has transformed into a league built on the next move. Each year, the next star wants to “take his talents to” the next big city.
LeBron James made a personal documentary for all to see on how not to handle a “decision” of that magnitude. Since then, big stars have bolted from smaller market for the big city in near silence.
Being a physical, overpowering Orlando Magic center, the comparison to the early days of Shaquille O’Neal is evident.
Comparisons are natural in sports, but Dwight Howard and Shaq might be compared for years to come. Both of their offensive and defensive games are near replicas.
Unfortunately, their free throw shooting are mirror images of each other. Even down to the similarity of their next team: the Los Angeles Lakers.
Shaq left Orlando for the bright lights of L.A. and went on to win three titles for the Lakers.
Dwight Howard has reached the finals already, just like Shaq did early in his career with Orlando, only to lose series to a Western Conference foe.
As this season unfolded, it was clear that Howard needed more help to win a title. The playoffs came and went in a flash for the Magic, and Orlando won just a single game.
To win a title, Howard has to leave Orlando, just like Shaq.
The perfect fit would be the Lakers.
As Kobe Bryant is advancing into the twilight of his career, a capable sidekick is necessary to compete for elite status.
Although the Lakers have won two straight championships with Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom as big men inside, this year’s playoff run for the Lake Show has shed a different light on the trio.
Most notably, Gasol has played in horrid form throughout the playoffs. And that is not stretching the facts.
Tough, physical and overpowering are antonyms for Gasol. His in-game intensity has been laughable, or stomach twisting, depending on which team you are rooting for.
Andrew Bynum, on the other hand, has shown his physicality in the paint for the Lakers. Since the playoffs began, Bynum has registered a double-double in each performance.
Those stats used to accompany Gasol, but his days in L.A. might be numbered.
As the clock wound down at the Staples Center this week, boos rained down from the rafters, as well as the high priced celebrity seats. No one is happy with the Lakers performance in the playoffs this season.
If the fans are dissatisfied, you can bet the general manger and owner are looking for answers. The Lakers have responded, rebuilt and rebounded before.
Unfortunately, Dwight Howard or any other player will not help the Lakers immediately in this year’s playoffs, but that day may come soon enough.