Around The World (Wide Web): What Lies Ahead For The Lakers

Ryan Cole —  April 30, 2013

From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: Steve Nash couldn’t finish this season because of injuries, but he knew where to start next season.With Dwight Howard. Nash was “very hopeful” the soon-to-be free-agent center would return to the Lakers. “I think this is the place for him,” Nash said Monday. “He’s in the prime of his career. He’s got his best years ahead of him. He can play for one of the greatest franchises in sports and an amazing city. This has got to be the place for him and I’m hopeful that he sees it that way.” Howard, 27, can sign a five-year, $118-million deal with the Lakers in July or a four-year, $88-million deal with another team. Reserve guard Jodie Meeks, who built a solid bond with Howard during their first season with the Lakers, also seemed to think a reunion would be best.

From C.A. Clark, Silver Screen & Roll: The season from hell. A nightmare. The cursed year. These are the words being bandied about Lakers Nation now that the 2012-2013 Los Angeles Lakers has been mercifully put to rest. From the fans to the bloggers, the players and even the coach, everyone agrees this year was an abysmal failure on all fronts. Therein lies the problem … on all fronts. If the Lakers’ troubles were singular, or uniform, knowing what to do next would be easy. If the problems all stemmed from poor chemistry, or ill-fitting personnel, then the solution would be much simpler. If injuries were all that kept the Lakers from being great, there wouldn’t be a need to do anything at all. But the Lakers organization is not that lucky. Instead, they have many difficult decisions to make, and very little real information with which to make those decisions. That’s the worst part of the debacle that was the failed 2012-2013 Lakers season: Not knowing whether to try it again.

From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: The San Antonio Spurs didn’t just end the Lakers season, they put Los Angeles out of its misery. That was the first time the Lakers have been swept in the first round of the playoffs since 1967, but you could see it coming for a long time. From the injuries during training camp, to the firing of a coach five games into the season, to the hiring of a new coach with a radically different philosophy and style that didn’t match the roster, to more injuries, to fan dissatisfaction, to Kobe Bryant blowing out his Achilles, it was all building to this ugly sweep by the Spurs. The question now is how do the Lakers spend their summer vacation? What steps do they take to become the contenders they thought they were back in October. Here are five suggestions.

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN LA: Just before 1 a.m. on Monday morning, a few hours after leaving Staples Center following the Los Angeles Lakers’ season-ending loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Dwight Howard addressed his murky future with the team. “I hope I get the chance to make it up to you! Thank u la,” Howard posted on Twitter. Whether that means Howard will indeed sign a five-year, $118 million contract extension when he becomes a free agent come July 1 and remain a Laker remains to be seen. Howard will be able to explain what he meant by the tweet when he addresses the media following his exit interview with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak on Tuesday, much like some of his teammates did Monday, including Metta World Peace, who said too much was put on Howard’s shoulders this season. “I think we put a little too much pressure on Dwight and as responsible leaders, we gave him a little too much responsibility,” said World Peace.

From Kelly Dwyer, Yahoo Sports: In terms of overall word count, the NBA blogosphere probably broke the all-time record this season when it came to the 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers. It’s true that the 2010-11 Miami Heat, fresh off of LeBron James’ annoying “Decision,” really turned on the content providers, but something about this collection of stars hit home with both writers and readers. It certainly hit home with me. The chance for the two greatest guards of their respective generation to mix with the NBA’s best center and most versatile big man had me salivating last summer. I didn’t appreciate Los Angeles’ borderline-cruel great timing as they seemingly fleeced both Orlando and Phoenix into acquiring the services of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Even with the caveats – age, health, the presence of Mike Brown on Los Angeles’ sideline – I assumed that an 82-game season would last long enough for the Lakers to figure it all out and start to find their groove just as they hit the postseason.

Ryan Cole