Around The World (Wide Web): Dwight, Who The Lakers Should Root For Tonight, Kobe-TD,

Ryan Cole —  June 3, 2013

From Elizabeth Benson, Lakers Nation: If you have been waiting for Dwight Howard to speak on his own behalf, using his own words, to discuss his upcoming free agency on July 1, today is your lucky day. After a couple of weeks of hearing and reading reports and rumors from “sources,” Dwight himself responded to all the talk and criticism of his upcoming big decision this summer. Dwight conducted an interview with the Los Angeles TimesT.J. Simers, and while he didn’t give any groundbreaking news regarding his free agency, the interview was quite interesting and gave us his perspective on the matter.

From TheGreatMambino, Silver Screen & Roll: No playbooks, no advanced metrics, no salary cap. Just pure, unadulterated, Lakers fandom. And the fan in me knows that for the sake of the Lakers and Kobe Bryant, I cannot, under any circumstances, root for the San Antonio Spurs. Even if that means pulling for LeBron James and his Miami Heat. Lakers fans everywhere have been without a horse in the playoff picture since the first round. The Show met its end with a quiet, anonymous sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, but even the team’s foremost nemese have been vanquished for weeks. Their STAPLES Center hallmate Clippers were manhandled by the Memphis Grizzlies in the last four games of a six game series. Their eternal foes from Boston had a prideful 4-2 exit against the New York Knicks. Even recent Lakers killers like Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder had their championship hopes effectively killed in the first round, with Russ going down with a torn meniscus. With the exception of everyone’s most despised enemy in the Miami Heat, Lakers fans haven’t had much to cheer for–or against–lately. However, as painful and disgusting as it may sound, Lakers Nation has to be rooting for LeBron in Game 7 tonight. The primary reason? Legacy.

From Eric Pincus, LA Times: The Lakers don’t have to say it and can’t under the rules, but they’ve got to be pulling for the Indiana Pacers to beat the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. They’d probably even root for the  San Antonio Spurs to win the title if that means the Heat loses in the NBA Finals. The reason, of course, would be a shot at future free agent LeBron James. If James wins his second title in as many years, he might be more likely to stick around in Miami for the duration of his career. The All-Star forward can opt out of the final two years of his contract after next season, making him a potential unrestricted free agent in 2014.

From Steve Martinez, ESPN: Of the players in the post-Jordan era of the NBA, it’s a fair argument that Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant are two of the most accomplished individuals. While LeBron James will no doubt be a part of this discussion once his career is near its end, he has not yet built up a statistical resume quite as hefty as Duncan or Bryant. Duncan (16 seasons) and Bryant (17) have about the same NBA service time, especially when you consider that Kobe was not much of an impact rookie in 1996-97 (7.6 PPG, 6 starts) while Duncan was the 1997-98 NBA Rookie of the Year, starting all 82 games and averaging 21.1 PPG and 11.9 RPG (keep in mind there were no 20-10 players in the entire NBA this season).

From Brett Pollakoff, Pro Basketball Talk: Once the report came out that Dwight Howard was “most intrigued” by the Rockets in free agency, it was guaranteed that the Houston franchise would begin to put plans in motion to do everything in its power to give itself the best chance at landing the All-Star center this summer. The Rockets let teams around the league know that Thomas Robinson could be had essentially for free, just so they could shed salary in an attempt to create the cap space necessary to sign Howard to the max contract he will require. It would appear that these overtures from Houston have been well received by the Howard camp.

Ryan Cole

Posts

40 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Dwight, Who The Lakers Should Root For Tonight, Kobe-TD,

  1. I wonder if anyone has considered that Darius Morris and Jodie Meeks might actually IMPROVE over the summer and the next year or two, and maybe – just maybe – the Lakers will be ok. If both of those guys got 35+ minutes per game, I think they’d put up pretty good numbers. Call me crazy.

  2. Well, it´s official at SS&R, TheGreatMambino, going against all his Forum Blue instincts, feels we should be rooting for the Heat this evening. Below are just two excerpts:
    “Miami hasn’t played up to their potential, but a running and gunning Spurs team means a running and gunning Heat team … which is as dangerous a squad as there’s ever existed in the NBA´´ &
    “Meanwhile, the Pacers resemble a team the Spurs just dominated.´´
    An interesting take for sure –

    Brian –
    I admire the optimism & surely hope you´re right!
    Robert –
    I`ve got a comment under review from the last thread, but basically it says you should have a sit-down with the Gov. and hash things out! ;)

  3. LoL, Okay crazzyy.

  4. I wonder if anyone has considered that Darius Morris and Jodie Meeks might actually IMPROVE over the summer and the next year or two, and maybe – just maybe –

    Morris might, but even if he does, he will probably never be very good. Meeks almost certainly will not; he has been around for a few years and has a pretty well-established performance level.

    If the offseason goes as I expect (Howard walks, Kobe starts the season on the DL) there will be a lot of preseason FBG posts like we saw in 2012, with people grasping at players like McRoberts and Murphy (then) and Meeks and Morris (in the near future) as sources of hope.

  5. It just seems as if the game has changed when it comes to young players. I feel like if Van Exel, Doug Christie, or Anthony Peeler had been on the team in the past 2-3 years, they would’ve been stapled to the bench. Not because of a lack of talent, but simply due to the lack of play often given to young players in today’s NBA. Not that these guys are on that level, but I don’t think there’s been sufficient playing time for us to find out entirely what’s there. Hopefully Howard resigns and everything that went wrong last year goes RIGHT this coming year. It’s not impossible.

  6. Personally, I’m rooting for greatness tonight, and in the finals. If that means LBJ puts together a 32-12-10 performance, or we witness a Paul George 9-17fg 9-12ft performance with a few 3s and some key defensive plays against LeBron, I don’t care. The Lakers and Kobe have their legacy and if I have to root for other players to fall below their very best in order for Kobe to look better, then that doesn’t speak well to my love for NBA basketball. The Lakers and their greatest players have their own legacy and I don’t need Duncan to fail in his bid to get a 5th ring in order to appreciate Kobe. Both Kobe and Duncan should feel gratified to have had all the success they have had, not least because they have accomplished so much while going against great foils.

    Regarding the Lakers’ hope for landing LeBron, I think Bill Sommons and Steve Kerr both made the same good point. We saw that very point play out with our own team. Making the finals three seasons in a row is a draining experience. The Heat are not likely to make it to the finals next season if they do get there after tonight’s game. The salary cap implications of keeping their Big 3 together is also a major issue. They will not be able to resign Wade, LeBron and Bosh again without taking a huge tax hit. Plus, Wade seems to be aging in exactly the way people have been expecting. I have little hope that LeBron will come to us but, failing this season may actually make it less likely. Star players don’t willingly leave defending champions in the NBA. Were the Heat to make the finals this season, it’s hard to believe they’ll have another long run in them for 2014. It’s easier to imagine LeBron leaving Miami after failing to make the finals then to imagine him missing the ring ceremony after a season in which he and his team managed to recharge. The Heat making it to the finals is probably better for the Lakers’ chances of landing LeBron then their missing them.

    I don’t think there is anything interesting to say about Dwight Howard. It all seems news for news sake. Let me know when he’s made a decision. Until then, I’m just gonna watch some good basketball, get a few runs in myself, and hope the Kings pull off a nice comeback against Chicago (So far, they are looking very overmatched).

  7. Darius is not gonna get it done. Jodie Meeks seems a little like Matt Bonner. If he’s in the perfect system, he will deliver. Otherwise, it’s very streaky. Darius Morris does not have the foot speed to be effective. I’d rather spend time looking at guys who could be an Aaron Brooks type. (Not the best example, but he was buried for a few years before he got a shot).

    But those types of pick ups has to do with scouting. And when your staff is made up mostly of Buss family members, that’s not gonna get it done.

    I have complete faith in Mitch, but he’s got too many irons in the fire to stay on top of scouting. That’s why a guy like Ronnie Lester was helpful.

  8. Rusty Shackleford June 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    If Aaron Brooks is available the Lakers shouldn’t need much in the way of scouting to understand they should pick him up. He has tore them up for years dating back to the 2009 playoffs.

  9. rr:

    I believe we are of similar minds.

    I agree with you that Howard will walk. I just don’t see him wanting to deal with the uncertainty about the Laker’s future. Add to that the fact that Kobe won’t be ready until well into the next season (I can’t see him contributing much until the All Star break). What this means in simple terms is that next year will be ugly. We really are standing on the brink of a major rebuild. We have had an amazing run. In this day and age and especially with the increasingly restrictive CBA we should not be upset.

    The question becomes what do we do this summer. My bottom line is we should not do anything foolish. I don’t want to jeopardize the salary cap space we have next summer. I am optimistic that Mitch can pull a rabbit out of the hat at the draft. We need to take advantage of every opportunity to get some young talent. I realize drafting at the tail end of the draft, as we often do, that getting a player who just makes our roster is a crap shoot. However, I hope the FO is doing their research and get that diamond in the rough player – someone that we can look back and say was a steal in this draft.

    The bigger question then is what to do with Pau? One argument is that we will keep Pau if Dwight bolts as he can move over to the middle. However, without Kobe for most of the year Pau is really lipstick on a pig. His play may actually diminish our chances of getting a top pick in next year’s draft (Andrew Wiggins is the real deal). Would it be better to trade him now to a team that needs a center, has cap space and also has picks? Atlanta fits the bill but that is only my speculation.

    Another argument is that even with the best of all summer 2014 scenarios: Kobe is healthy and re-ups on the cheap, Lebron signs with us and we draft Wiggins the truth is that we won’t compete for a championship without a quality center. If Pau were a Laker next year he may also re-sign economically and we would be much better off.

  10. Brian,

    You may be right. Those guys came in pre-Shaq and post-Magic, so the stakes were different. If Howard leaves, that almost certainly ends any hope of contention in 2013, and adding that to Kobe’s injury, I do think that any young guys who seem playable will get more of a shot in 2014. So, I do think that Morris will get a chance to show what he can do. I just don’t think that he will be able to do that much.

    Also: that whole 1990s group–Ceballos, Van Exel, Campbell, Divac, Peeler, and Lynch–was drafted/acquired by Jerry West. and a couple of them were 1st-rounders. Getting the team in decent shape for when Shaq hit FA was one of West’s greatest achievements, and it is often overlooked. Having a team ready to go when the big fish hit FA can be key. Daryl Morey has done a great job of making Houston an atttractive destantion for D12, by accquiring assets and then converting some of them into James Harden.

    If Houston gets Howard, The Veto will actually have worked in their favor.

  11. Morris/Meeks: I must join the group who is not too confident in these guys. I do not think either one of them is a true top 8 player on a top level roster. They “could” fill spots 9-12 in the right environment.
    Second Tier Players: In general, what it seems you need in this area are guys who do something very well. For example they could be a great shooter, or they could be a great defender, or they could be extremely athletic. Guys who are OK all around players do not cut it.
    Ralph: It is a pipedream, but I think your post leads to our best situation. Kobe and Pau recover nicely and sign for reasonable contracts at the end of next year. We combine them with either Dwight (if he signs) or whatever FA we can get in 14 if he doesn’t.
    trianglefan: Your posts are awesome (inclusive of your name).
    rr: McRoberts and Murphy – I had almost forgotten about them and here you go reminding me. Well at least you didn’t mention Kapono : )

  12. Ralph:

    Not rr, but I agree with you none the less. I do, however, have a different take on Pau. I would definitely move him at this month’s draft if possible – as long as we got a pick or two and did not have to take back any contracts beyond next year. If Howard does indeed walk then I do not believe the Lakers have the luxury of rolling the dice on Pau being part of a future competitive core again.

    Without Howard, Kobe and Pau the Lakers are a 20 win team. With Pau they win what 30 games? Since his presence won’t make much of an impact on what will be a horrible team why not move him and get young talent to develop. I look at it this way – keeping Pau may soften the pain of next year but getting an key asset in return will lessen the pain of the inevitable rebuild. We need young assets and if, using your example, Atlanta gave up either of their 1st round picks (they have #16 & #17) I would make that deal.

    As a side note, the Heat are realizing how draining it is to compete at the highest level. Only Lebron appears to be up to the challenge of three straight championship rums. Bosh and Wade look spent. Makes you appreciate what the Lakers did when they went to three straight finals.

  13. I am in the camp that Darius Morris could be a serviceable backup next year – at 6’5″ he is also big enough to recover and still be able to impact a play. It all depends what he is working on this summer.

    In drafting 2nd rounders we have been only average over the years. That is one reason I can’t get more upset than I am about losing our scouting staff – i.e. exactly who have they uncovered for us? Since Andrew Bynum/Ronnie Turiaf/Von Wafer I think our best pick may be Darius Morris in 2011. I do think we need to add someone before the draft – at least a knowledgeable consultant.

    I think it is important who we hire as assistant coaches, both in recruiting Dwight Howard and in pointing toward how we are going to run our offense next year.

  14. Rusty Shackleford June 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Thank god we got that 7th seed and drew San Antonio in the 1st round….

  15. If DH walks can the Lakers offer a (reduced) “max” deal to anyone else, such as CP3?

  16. By the way, one of the San Jose Mercury News writers suggested the Lakers would take back Harrison Barnes (sic?) and Bogut in a sign and trade for DH.

    Bogut? Sure, just what the teams needs: another slow and injury prone player.

  17. R,

    No way under the new CBA any team trades future all-stars who are still on their rookie deals. Those kinds of players are gold in the new cosmology of crushing luxury tax penalties, arguably more valuable than a top five player unless a team is competing for a ring right now.

  18. Odom was pretty hurt when his name got out during the failed CP3 trade (ironic, since he later went to go play with the guy). Given that, does anyone think he would be interested in coming back here for the vets min? I think it would be wonderful, but I just don’t see that happening with Lamar given his immaturity.

  19. lil Pau – Truly; I’m still fondly remembering what fools the previous W’s ownership/FO was.

    They would be nuts to give up Barnes alone, let alone him and Thompson.

    Say, can the Lakers even do a sign and trade with DH or do they lose out entirely if he doesn’t
    re- sign?

  20. The Lakers can do a S&T with DH, but under the new CBA, there are restrictions. Short version, they can only do a S&T with a team under the cap. Of course, that includes all of Howard’s most likely targets. I personally don’t think this is in the cards, however– it’s difficult for me to imagine any package from Dallas or Atlanta that would be of any interest to the Lakers. Houston is a slightly different story, but the players we would want (young cheap future stars) almost certainly aren’t going anywhere. Consequently, if DH wants to leave, my guess is that the Lakers will refuse to S&T him– freeing up cap space would be more valuable imo relative to the players we could realistically – note: I said realistically – get in return.

  21. Kobe speaks:

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/9339567/kobe-bryant-los-angeles-lakers-aims-opener-wants-last-word-dwight-howard

    ______________
    For me, you kind of let him do his due diligence and then move in and talk to him and figure out if this is a place he wants to be. We all want him here. But then that’s when the selling begins. You don’t start the selling process right before he goes and does all this stuff. You want to get the last word. You want to have the final word and the closing argument. I’ll give him a little opening statement, but then I have to make sure I have the final word.
    _____________

  22. R–

    The Lakers can do a S/T, but the Lakers’ leverage is very limited. Howard is holding all the cards here.

    They are still way over the cap even without Howard, so no, Paul is not coming here barring something very unforeseen.

  23. Warren Wee Lim June 3, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Even the unforeseen (kobe amnesty) will not allow Cp3 to sign in LA. Why don’t these guys rest it? It gets too annoying.

  24. Actually if Howard really wants to go to the Warriors, we have all of the leverage because a sign and trade is the only way the Warriors could get Howard. The Warriors desperately need an offensive inside presence to balance their squad. so I am pretty sure they would give some real value back, because they would be getting an elite player. But the first question is would Howard still be interested in the Warriors if they gave up to much. And the 2nd question is would the Lakers actually want to trade Howard to a division rival. Unless we got a ton back a trade to the Warriors could set them up as in Pacific champs for years to come.

    There is also a chance that the Rockets may have to deal with us as well. They currently do not have enough cap room to offer him a max deal. If they can’t find anyone to help them out, they would have to deal with us and we would have a little leverage there as well.

  25. rr – thanks for the info.

  26. Michael,

    Yes, If Howard says that he will only go to the Warriors, then the Lakers might have some leverage. That is very unlikely.

    And I expect that Houston can find a taker for Thomas Robinson.

  27. The reason I cheer for guys like McRoberts, Billy Thompson, Peeler, Walton, Fisher and Clark is because they are/were Lakers that showed heart. They were not the most talented players but they were players for which one could cheer, due to the effort they played with in games. As opposed to others that have donned the Lakers uniform that were hard to cheer for like, Cook, Smush, Medvedenko, and Benoit Benjamin. There is expectancy with star players, in that one knows what they will do on any given game night. But, the bench players are the ones that you have no idea what they will bring to the game which makes them fun to support.

    Dwight tried to win the Lakers hearts by coming back from surgery before he was healed; because he saw the love the Lakers gave Andrew Bynum for dragging his leg up and down the floor when he was hurt. No one gave him credit for being a warrior like they would have had it been Kobe.

    Howard is going to stay with the Lakers, so he can make us love him! I for one, welcome him as an integral cog to the future of this franchise. He gave all he could this season, next season will be different as he’ll be able to do his normal workout.

  28. ronnie lester fan club June 4, 2013 at 12:50 am

    yeah, the lakers haven’t scouted in the last 2 years. definitely no work done in the trades or the draft. They just picked up some guy named jordan hill and some other dude named earl clark…did they play this year? I guess we should thank the buss family for all the great scouting they’ve done. I’m sure that mitch kupchak guy didn’t have anything to do with either of those guys.

  29. One of Howard’s complaints was that people questioned his heart about playing while injured. The one player who openly questioned that was Kobe. There is no reason for him to come back to a situation where he is not respected for his efforts or properly utilized based on his talents. He will go to Houston, but he won’t win anything until they get players who know how to feed the beast. He will slow them down.

    I bet D12 sees the irony in Kobe wanting to talk to him last. Kobe always insists on the last shot.

  30. Warren Wee Lim June 4, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Kobe saying this on a timely manner is speaking volumes with regards to his heart. There must be something there that would make Kobe say he will be playing in the opener. Him slowing down (understandably due to age and injury) is telling that Dwight can have his team a year earlier… Kobe just wants his 6th and he is willing to ride the giant to get there.

    Kobe taking the last shot is poetic. The Lakers are Kobe right now. Which is why this talk of amnesty insults the very core of being a Laker fan. To entertain such thought is not welcome. However, the practicality of the matter has presented itself. But we’ve nowhere been practical or conventional… we’re the Lakers.

    It might be good for those who entertain Cp3 to LA thoughts to read the CBA thoroughly. We are not signing him unless he signs for the mini MLE. Yeah right. It will be more productive to know what our real options are w/ the mini MLE this year, as well as our share of unrestricted FAs that would welcome the opportunity to contribute to our redemption year.

    PG: Nash, Blake, Morris*
    SG: Bryant, Meeks,
    SF: World Peace, Ebanks*
    PF: Gasol, Clark*
    CE: Howard*, Hill, Sacre*

    * – denotes free agent which we hold full or early bird rights to.

    Safe to say, Ebanks is gone. Clark would make his rounds asking for full MLE and if can’t get it he can sign w/ us via Bird Rights usign mini MLE money. Contract length is tricky, I think getting Dwight Howard back will tell if we offer Clark longer than a 1-yr deal.

    Mini MLE choices are very limited, esp that we are offering a 1-yr deal unless its a major bargain. I like Dorell Wright on this position, I think he is within budget.

    Vets Min will be awarded to the likes of Francisco Garcia and whoever FA that gets amnestied and not claimed.

  31. Chearn: “Benoit Benjamin” Wow – how did you even come up with that. You and rr keep reminding of guys that I would rather forget.
    Busboys: “Kobe always insists on the last shot.” I like it. To continue, my question is whether this pursuit of DH will be a team effort or is this going to be just like the games, where everyone stands around watching Kobe as the clock winds down. If the later then this will be like KB taking a turnaround, double teamed, fade away, at the buzzer.
    Michael H: The Rockets have several guys they can simply dump, because the contracts are not guaranteed. Then as rr states, they can deal Robinson for picks and voila – they have enough to sign DH to the max, without any S+T.
    Ronnie Lester: He has a fan club? How do I join?

  32. Warren Wee Lim June 4, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Everyone talks about 2014 cap space without really knowing what its all about. Its a plan to re-align our payroll, structure it properly under the new CBA. But its not a no-fail plan. You can’t sign players that are not free agents. So I ask, do you have anyone in particular in mind?

    Something I wrote back in February would help enlighten some of you. Please note too that this stance has been written at a time where Earl Clark was at his hottest. So I would have to adjust his purported salary to 13M/4.

    http://warrenweelim.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/the-lakers-the-tax-and-the-2014-cap-space-myth/

  33. Warren,

    I think people understand the concept of cap space, but I agree that some people don’t really get who will actually be available in June 2014, other than LeBron James if he opts out, and again, I see no reason why James would want to play here, as you suggest in the link.

    As I said last week, the best long-term shot currently visible on radar is Howard now, another long-term, good-quality but non-star player in 2014, and Kevin Love in 2015 if he is on the market. Love was born in Santa Monica and went to UCLA, so he might actually want to play here. Love has a player option after the 2015 season.

  34. Warren Wee Lim June 4, 2013 at 7:32 am

    rr, I agree. I was merely reacting in the sense that people seem to think that just because we have cap space in 2014 that it means we are winning a championship that year. Its a myth, as I suggested. Team building has changed drastically because of the new CBA and the Lakers can no longer win according to the “old way”. Your most-realistic bet is for us to get Howard this season, sign someone like a Granger next season and then go for Kevin Love in 2015. Thats what its all about – realistically. Of course alot can change at the onset of free agency or at the draft even. Who knows we might be able to trade Pau for one or two.

    In the end, 2014 is a year we can restructure our payroll. Its not a year where a championship can be summoned. Sure the possibility will always exist, but at best you’d give your group 1 full year to be together before expecting too much. The same can be said with our existing bunch but we’re also trying to do 2 things at once: contend and rebuild.

    Mind you I also made a case of logic for Dwight Howard, and why the Lakers should face the real threat of losing him.

    http://warrenweelim.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/the-case-for-dwight-howard/

    You will not like it.

  35. rr/WWL: People want to believe that no matter what happens – we will be fine. I can’t fault them, if we combine the skepticism of DH signing with us, with the reality of how cap space is no panacea for us, then it becomes a pretty bleak picture. Which is why we must do everything possible to retain Dwight.

  36. For 2014, assuming Dwight walks I would like to see the Lakers re-sign Gasol and Kobe for smaller contracts and surround them with mid tier guys. We do eventually need a center-piece player but, I really want to see Mitch assembly a roster where the pieces fit together instead of trying to plug every hole with min. salary players you pray will work out.

  37. Basketball is a business to many, but for a few players who have secured their future (and their children’s future and their grandkids future), its about winning. Kobe, Garnett, LeBron, Duncan and maybe 4-5 others are on the “winning” column or, as I like to think of it, the side that cares about their legacy and place in basketball history. For others, its about getting paid as much as you can before your time is up.

    Based on the above, I do believe Kobe could be talked into taking a big paycut *if* he is convinced that it will help him get another ring. As far as Gasol, I don’t know. Pau is a true professional, but I don’t know if “winning” means to him as much as Kobe (unfortunately, probably a bi-product of playing for Memphis when he did). So, I am not fully sold on the argument that Pau will do us a solid and take a huge paycut in pursuit of another ring. Hopefully he will, but do not hold your breath.

    On the other hand, it is because of my assumptions above that I believe Howard stays as a Laker. Contrary to what most believe (and Howard has said), I do not believe he is all about “winning” and getting a ring. I just dont see the passion in him that I see in guys like Kobe, Garnett, ‘Bron and Wade. Maybe this will change as he gets older and begins to realize that his career may be coming to a close, but I just dont see that now. I think he is focused on being “liked” and being thought of as a “winner” more than actually becoming a winner. Because of this, I think he will hesitate over leaving the Lakers and becoming “Laker Public Enemy #1″ (remember, the Lakers are by far the most popular basketball team on the planet and likely in the top 10 popular teams for all sports) and he will instead focus on maximizing his earning potential and locking up his future earnings. In short, I think this works favorably for the Lakers.

  38. -@Robert, LOL. These players crawl up out of the abyss of past rosters, every now and again.

    Kobe should have the last word. He’s the only one that can look Howard in the eyes and convince him to stay with the Lakers. Number 24 is the only one that can tell Dwight how fickle the fans are and that they will boo you one minute and cheer for you with a championship win. Kobe’s the only one that can tell him what it means to be in the Lakers fraternity. Lastly, Bryant is the only one that can tell him that he’ll make sure Howard gets more touches in his sweet spots. Last season Howard learned that there he can smile all he likes off court in front of the camera, on talk shows, and in commercials. However, he has to stay in beast mode when playing basketball.

    #HowardstayinL.A

  39. Warren,

    I actually said a few weeks ago that if Howard looks at this strictly in terms of the basketball situation, or mostly in terms of it, he will go to Houston.

  40. Warren Wee Lim June 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    rr, I agree. They are the best-laid out team at the moment. The others have huge question marks and I believe that before Dwight considers Dallas, he would much rather be part of a group that has won so many times over the past few decades… us.

    However, the lure of coming “home” and saving his old team and playing beside Cp3 is a real threat. This is what I would consider a darkhorse offer. This has the Miami blueprint all over it and he knows that if he played with an in-prime premier PG, just about the best PG in the game right now that he is going to have real fun. He planned to play beside Deron Williams, now he gets to play with Chris Paul. That I believe is a real lure for him.

    Consider that the money portion is a mere 2 million to give up in 3 seasons. Consider that he’s doing the exact opposite of Lebron because instead of “taking his talents to south beach” and seeking greener pastures, this time he has decided to “come home” and play for the Hawks. Thats a masquerade of good karma hiding behind the lure of playing beside the best PG in the game.

    In which case then I ask: would you accept Atlanta’s terms of offer?