Lakers fans need a new impossible dream.
Part of being a fan is thinking with your heart, dreaming of the improbable, maybe the impossible. And Lakers fans fascination with Kevin Garnett was always based on thinking with their hearts, because once your head got involved the dream was quickly shattered.
The hearts of Lakers fans, and I have little doubt the teamâ€™s front office, loved the idea of KG as a Laker. But the chances the team would get him were always microscopic, and for a number of reasons â€” starting with being in the same conference and finishing with not having enough young talent to interest Minnesota. Itâ€™s hard to fault McHale for this choice, Al Jefferson is a better prospect, one who already has proven more, than Andrew Bynum, and the Lakers donâ€™t have a young Gerald Green to sweeten the offer. Some fans clung to the fantasy that KG would just opt out next year and play in Los Angeles for the midlevel exception, but that never made sense â€” Boston is going to give him a $25 million a year or so extension, with the Lakers he would have made about $6 million. Yes he has a lot of money in the bank, but to leave around $95 million on the table? Would you do that? Seriously?
It was hard not to be tantalized by the dream, but now Laker fans need to get back to reality. This is a Laker team that is has some nice pieces â€” and one great one â€” but is a key piece or two away from contending. There is more than one way to get those pieces, but holding out hope for KG was really never a viable one.
The KG dream is dead, but that dream and one of contending Lakers are not one in the same.