Dwight Howard Spurns Lakers, Chooses To Sign With Rockets

Phillip Barnett —  July 5, 2013

UDATE #2: It’s official. Dwight Howard has informed the Lakers that he will not re-sign with the team and will instead play for the Rockets. Here’s a statement from GM Mitch Kupchak:

“We have been informed of Dwight’s decision to not return to the Lakers. Naturally we’re disappointed. However, we will now move forward in a different direction with the future of the franchise and, as always, will do our best to build the best team possible, one our great lakers fans will be proud to support. To Dwight, we thank him for his time and consideration, and for his efforts with us last season. We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career.”

UPDATE: Everything written in the post below this update may end up being true. So, just remember that when you read this next sentence: Dwight Howard is, reportedly, having second thoughts about signing with the Rockets and is set to land in L.A. to speak with GM Mitch Kupchak where he may or may not have a meeting with Lakers’ brass before making his final decision. According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, Dwight is having concerns about leaving the guaranteed 5th year and $30 million in salary on the table from the Lakers in favor of what the Rockets can offer. It is said to be a “50-50″ race between the Lakers and the Rockets at this point. If you find all of this confusing or frustrating, you’re not alone. Hopefully we get a final word on this soon so that this entire fiasco can come to an end.

– Darius

This is a tough one to stomach considering what the Lakers lose in terms of building for the future. The 2012-13 Lakers season was one of the most bewildering in recent memory. Mitch went out and fielded a conjectural super team, but injuries, a coaching change and Dwight Howard’s free-agency quietly following the Lakers everywhere they traveled like the ghosts in Super Mario — and every time we stopped to turn around and looked at may happen — it just covered its eyes and ignored the situation.

At some point, the situation had to be addressed. He was asked about his impending free agency in his exit interview and informed the world that he was going to need some time to decide. Then earlier this week, the Rockets, Lakers and a few other teams made a pitch for Howard’s services. Howard told the teams he’d head to Colorado and mull over his options and decide by Friday. And a decision was made, and was first reported by USA Today’s Sam Amick.

The Lakers, who had an extra year and $30 million to offer Howard, were spurned by the big man in news that isn’t exactly shocking, but flummoxing, to say the least. The Lakers have always been one of those teams who get their guy, and they’ve had more success off the strength of great centers than any other team in the association.

Nonetheless, we’re entering an era of Lakers basketball that we’ve been unfamiliar with for the past 15 years. The team, as currently constructed, is going to be good enough to win some games and maybe compete for the 6th through 8th seeds in the playoffs, but this may be a team too good to acquire high draft picks, hoops purgatory, if you will.

It’ll be fascinating to see where the Lakers go from here. Their plan to have an abundance of cap space in the summer of 2014 has not been compromised, so all is not lost, but losing Howard is a huge hit to this team’s ability to lure the league’s top free agents. We’ll have more analysis about what this means for the Lakers soon.

Phillip Barnett

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165 responses to Dwight Howard Spurns Lakers, Chooses To Sign With Rockets

  1. Warren Wee Lim July 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Why am I not saddened by this news? This was reality even despite the non-trade. The outcomes would’ve been identical with Bynum being out for the season last season. Now its back to the drawing board.

  2. Sad day in Laker history. No spin will change that.

  3. To me Dwight never really felt like a Laker. From his lame responses after losses to his lack of effort on the floor; it always felt like he never really wanted to be here. so I’m with all the fans who say “good riddance!”

    I just hate that we had to look silly with those damn STAY banners.

    Andrew Wiggins here we come!

  4. Im about 28 years old, been a fan since 96, and this is the 1st time ive ever felt bad about the team going into the new season.

    I hate Dantoni, and Jim will have a hard time showing his face around LA after not hiring Phil the guy Dwight wanted to play for in the first place. This added with Kobes injury is the outcome of that decision.

    we are now the 3rd team that Dantoni has killed – I do not expect him to be in the league once he is let go by they lakers – which will hopefully be soon.

    what does everyone think if we start a white-house petition asking them to ask Mitch to fire Dantoni – I mean if we get it out there to the point where we get enough signatures that the white house needs to respond even if its a response like ”Thats up to the lakers” I think they would get the point that zero laker fans like mike dantoni

    We could get it started here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/create

    What does everyone think?

  5. i’m not sad.

    i’m a little disgusted, but i have my priorities and Dwight has his. we’ll see how much wining actually happens in Houston.

  6. would it better do s/t with warriors?

  7. errrr….winning.

  8. bill2-

    that is something that would be Dwight’s decision. he would have to choose to go to the Warriors.

  9. Went all in and lost. Happens to the best.

    I’m not sad to lose Dwight… Sad to lose him as an asset. As a person, I’ve complained at how corny he is, how self indulgent he acts, and the way he rubs other players with his persona. Still, a rare talent in the league these days and I expect HOU to be very good for a while. Seems GSW have improved themselves quite a bit today, as well.

    I had been warming to the possibility of Dwight wanting to go to GSW and us getting Klay, Barnes, a pick, and Bogut. I imagined a competitive team with some talented youth that could play with and give Kobe some much needed time to heal. Then maybe Kobe and Pau come back for just enough to sign one more top FA and kabam, a nice final run with the Black Mamba. Wasn’t to be.

    The hardest part of this whole deal is considering how this team can move the veterans that will keep us just mediocre enough to live in that dreaded no man’s land and get good enough quickly enough to make Kobe a part of a resurgence. It’s hard to see that happening but let’s see what Mitch has in mind.

  10. I’m not sad, either. I had very high hopes for Dwight, but I was expecting the Magic Finals version of Dwight. That guy no longer exists. Whether it’s due to the injury or something else, he seems to have a mental issue now. He wants to be happy and I commend him for that. If he thinks going to Houston will make him happy, more power to him. I hope it works out for him. Having said that, I get the feeling that something is currently broken inside him. He was unhappy in a great situation in Orlando. He was unhappy with the pressure in LA. I don’t think Houston will make him happy, though at least he won’t have to deal with tremendous expectations. I honestly believe he needs to get his head back on straight or risk never being a great player again. Just my two cents. BTW, I’m really disappointed in how he handled himself this past season, but I don’t hate him or anything. I wish him the best. I just have a very strong feeling that he’s going to end his career ring-less. I just don’t think he’s got what it takes between the ears. On that point, I do not hope I’m wrong.

    The Lakers will be fine. They’ll figure it out. They always do.

  11. Bill2 – It would have been better, but that wasn’t an option. He’d have to choose to go to GSW, or he’d just walk. As it is, he may well walk, although I’d be happy if we did get picks & a TPE.

    I think the main disappointment for Laker fans is in the 2nd last sentence of the post. Will this tarnish LA as a destination for FAs? Especially next offseason with all the cap room. My hope is that it won’t.

    And now let’s see Plan B…

  12. Dwight Coward will now play second fiddle to James Harden. He will be whining again after next season because that’s what he does best.

  13. Burn his jersey. He will never get a ring in Houston. Good-rittens Dwight-mare!!!!

  14. Howard is smart…D,Antoni doenst like bigs…Kobe has trouble playing with bigs..(Gasol and Shaq)…..Jim Buss has not proven himself to be a good owner….

  15. Wonder if they should blow it up now, trade Nash, amnesty Bryant, etc., load up on assets and tank? Next summer happens either way.

  16. And here I was getting excited, because I thought our worst-case scenario had become a S&T with Golden State and exciting new players on rookie contracts to entice future FAs. That would have been a phenomenal worst-case scenario, actually. I’m surprised the Iguodala/Curry pair didn’t entice Howard more.

    This bites. From a basketball standpoint, I mean. I can’t say that I’m sad or feeling anything emotional; I never liked Dwight and was never attached to him. But this is very, very bad news for the team. Not only do we lose Dwight, but we likely have nothing to show for it.

    Unlike many others on here, I like Asik. He’s a good defensive big in a league pared down at that position, and his salary is fair. Is he worth taking back? I’d have to do the calculations to see how much that would affect our cap space in future years. Lin is most assuredly not worth taking back.

    Things will get interesting now. What direction will the FO take, esp on Pau? As rr has pointed out, 2014 is mostly a mirage. Keeping 2015 in mind will likely be our best bet.

  17. …Kobe has trouble playing with bigs..(Gasol and Shaq)

    Heh.

  18. The fact the Lakers have lost Pat Riley…Jerry West and Phil Jackson ….is something that is mind-boggling….

  19. Gotta say, I’m not all that sad either. Howard never bought into the Lakers history and was never going to be able to stand the pressure. Houston will be a better place for him in that regard, but I think he’s going to have many of the same problems playing with Harden and Lin as he had with Kobe and Nash. Harden and Lin are both ball-dominant pick-and-roll players and Howard made it quite clear that he’s afraid of spending time as a roll man lest Shaq criticize his skills. If you can’t play pick-and-roll with Steve Nash than you aren’t going to do it with anyone.

    All the same, it does put a cloud over the Lakers future and likely ends Kobe’s pursuit of #6 unless Mitch can work some serious magic.

  20. This was a no-win situation for me personally. I know the Lakers are going to take a significant step backwards with the loss of Howard, but I also wasn’t looking forward to rooting for him for five seasons. We’ll just keep our expectations low for this season and come back like a house of fire next offseason.

  21. andrew bynum, you’re our only hope.

  22. Intellectually, I see the looming challenges for team building.
    But, emotionally, as a “fan”, I’m not sad at all. Hard to cheer for that guy.

    The fan in me remembers the fun of the Vlade/VanExel teams.
    Of course, that team was a set up to championships, and ain’t no guaranty that’s coming, so …

    Let’s see what Laker dominoes fall in next few days, as our “plan b”. Maybe something good?? (Please Santa Mitch???)

  23. Well… The Lakers were never on his short list of destinations back when the Irlando drama was unfolding. Also, you can’t blame him for chiding a franchise that “hopes” for championships but is ok with it’s team if they don’t get one. Truth is that if Yao was in the Lakers and retired without a ring, most on this board would have some pretty bad things to say about him.

    In the end, Howard chose not to play with Kobe and not to have to deal with the media and fans expectations of nothing short of a championship that comes with bring a Laker. So be it. We don’t need a guy who wants to be the next Tao Ming. We need the guy who wants to be better than Shaq and Kareem.

  24. how far are we from the salary cap w/ dwight off the books?

  25. not a bad news at all, it just means the Lakers will have to go in another direction..It may take some time, but wouldn’t it be great if the Lakers win another championship before Houston does?

  26. Realy Gene. That is some funny stuff

  27. how far are we from the salary cap w/ dwight off the books?

    ==

    A long way. Kobe, Pau, Metta, Blake, and Nash make about 68M among them.

  28. I was not surprised or upset, this guy did not want to go to LA from the beginning. The serious problem is that Lakers FO should be run by people who has basketball knowledge, not by a rich boy with fantasy stats, Lakers had wasted chances from the last 2 years to improve the team, they refused to trade Gasol to Houston, now we saw the result. The coaching problem is just the excuse of Howard, he wants to be number one, Lakers FO can’t understand the difference between the present and the future, you have only one choice: Kobe (present) or Howard (future).

  29. When Kobe tells another player..”Iam still the number 1 option”….”This is still my team”….”I plan on playing 4 or 5 more years” ……Kobe is hard to play with(his words)……Kobe taking 30 shots and a 7 footer with a better shooting pct taking 7 in a game..should never happen….Gasol has mentioned this and so has Shaq….Sorry Kobe has chased another big from the team….

  30. This whole Lakers courtship of Dwight has reminded me of the scene in “Boogie Nights” when Little Bill (played by William H. Macy) went outside and watched some other guy having at it with his wife, while a bunch of others stood around watching.

    Little Bill didn’t want to see it, hoped with all his heart it would be different. But the wife had other intentions, and all he could do was watch.

    Dwight never wanted to be a Laker, and he’s just left Mitch & Co. in the role of Little Bill.

  31. Howard’s skill set is certainly not easy to replace, but by the same token, having a guy who **thinks** that he’s the second coming of Shaq and Kareem, but then neither demands the ball nor works on his game, and then sulks about it, is not exactly a winning recipe either.

    I guess my point is that no amount of ceremony proclaiming that Howard was “the man” would actually make him the man, especially when you have a city with so many championships, a legacy of championship centers and the specter of Kobe staring him in the face.

    That doesn’t change the other reality that the Lakers are old, thin of depth and in the twilight of Kobe with a stubborn, somewhat one-dimensional coach, and more damning, a tone deaf Jim Buss.

    Chances are, we’ve got some lean years ahead, which sucks, but what separates the true fan from the bandstander.

  32. I’m not sad. I have no attachment to Dwight. It makes sense for him to walk. He doesn’t like the coach, doesn’t like playing with Kobe, doesn’t like the spotlight, the pressure, doesn’t want to pay CA tax. In his shoes, I’d walk too (except for the fact that I hate living in TX, but being able to fly off to somewhere else any time would mitigate that).

    Too bad Mike D isn’t also a free agent.

  33. He just turned down the biggest franchise, the one currently full of Hall Of Famers, more guaranteed money and endorsements than he’d get anywhere else, and essentially at LEAST one sure-fire championship. All because he’s a coward that couldn’t take the pressure.

    I’m going to laugh when the 2014 Free Agency scores the Lakers incredible players and we beat Houston in the playoffs on the way to a ring.

  34. thank you dwight howard.

    thanks for the memory.

  35. Gasol has mentioned this and so has Shaq

    Sure. And the Lakers won five championships with Kobe playing with those guys.

    As I always say, emotions and analysis don’t mix. It’s fine if you don’t like Kobe, but the facts are the facts.

  36. Excellent comments from the Lakers Faithful on DH leaving. From a team standpoint, it was disappointed, but as a fan, totally agree with what many have said — very hard to truly root for this guy. He just never bought into the Lakers’ tradition and what a unique franchise we have. Howard is a very immature guy and the worst free throw shooter I’ve seen. In the long run, we will be stronger. He is impressive physically, but mentally, not so much. Is it true other players hate Kobe and don’t want to play with him? That has been said today more than once. Anyone really have knowledge about that besides speculation?

  37. Most fans here say that D.Antoni is a bad coach…and Jim Buss is a bad owner…So why would any free agent come here??? I dont want to work for a bad coach (manager) or bad owner….

  38. Now is the time to avoid this blog for a while. The trolls are out in force. Bye for a while Darius. Not your fault, just the way the world works. See you later when something involving the Lakers breaks.

  39. Then, DH out means D’Antoni out? That would be the best new since Mike Brown’s dismissal…

  40. I expect LAL to remain competitive with better established role for Pau+contract year, and maybe they’ll actually buy into the DA system.

    First time in a while when realistic goal is not championship, but beating Hou in standings+h2h games.

    FA speculation: I want 2015 space for Max players Paul George+Kevin Love, maybe add a Rondo depending on price or if we still have KB24. Sucks for KB to lose a year but maybe he can take his time rehabbing now. Not enthusiastic about reloading from the 2014 candidates

    Pipe dream: Just stick with the 8 players we got left, perfect rotation for D’A and for a crack at Wiggins. (…or did we trade that draft pick?)

    Disappointed he decided to walk but guessing it will turn out alright, we’ll see how PED testing goes this season as well. Is KB dunking his body in a Lazuras bathe of deer antler serum as I type this?

    When GS got iggy I thought it was over for WC, D12 would have put them over top, not so much on the Rockets, now I’ve got good reason to hate them though. Rockets are gonna take our place in salary cap hell, be interesting if they get Smith as well.

    If PJ was the man behind the curtain, this would not have happened. Big picture, perhaps going in a different direction with players whose priority is doing whats necessary for Championships is the best destiny the Lakers can realize. I can finally enjoy the offseason and I look forward to the next incarnation of the Lakeshow.

  41. While I think the Lakers are going to be worse without Howard in the near future( next 2 seasons), ultimately I feel the Lakers are better off without him. He clearly did not want to stay in L.A due to the pressure of winning a championship so he took the easy way out. Its funny because if he didn’t like to play with a ball dominant guard in Kobe, how would he feel playing with Harden? Not only that, but his free throw issues and lack of post moves don’t disappear by going to another city. Its going to be interesting next season.

  42. Sad day in Laker history. No spin will change that.
    —–
    Truer words could not have been said.

  43. to Craig w …How does your post add to this blog??? Anyone who doenst agree with you is a troll??? SMH….

  44. The name calling is childish. He’s a grown man who made a decision (mercifully quickly this time). While we don’t agree with it as Lakers fans, there is definite logic to his decision. Harden is the best player on any of the teams he was considering, and he’s 23. Morey has a history of finding good role players through the draft. The Lakers are aging and injured. While I think Houston is sorely lacking depth and Howard will find that out quickly, his decision wasn’t an irrational act of cowardice.

    It’s time to move forward with eyes on the future. I’m going to throw myself out the window if we give up our 2014 pick for another short-term fix. We’ve given up enough draft picks. We tried. We went all-in. We tried our best to get Kobe #6. But this team just doesn’t seem like it’s 1 move away. My vote is to move towards acquiring draft picks and young diamond-in-the-rough-type players that could complement our cap space in 2014/2015. (And it’s 2015 we’re aiming for, realistically).

    Because while there are secondary stars (Amare in 2010, Melo) who will come if the money is great enough, the truly special franchise players (Lebron, Wade in 2010, Paul, Howard at his peak) seem to want to go to teams with a proper supporting cast / complementary stars. (This is why I was giddy at the thought of netting Barnes and Thompson from GS – two exciting young players on cheap rookie contracts through 2015).

    The challenge then becomes making this roster attractive to FAs by 2015. I don’t see many ways to do it outside of hitting home runs in the draft (and this would be hard, considering our trade assets would likely net late first rounders at best).

    You can continue to stay the course and stay competitive, but that won’t get you far – trade value for our players will only diminish with time, and if FAs are lining up to play with an aging Kobe/Nash/Gasol in 2013, it’s not going to happen 2 years from now. Getting younger talent – most likely through the draft, less likely through trades – seems to be the only way our future cap space will mean anything.

  45. Now the Lakers can amnesty Kobe, let him recover for the full season

    Tank his year, get the #1 pick (Lakers will demand that of the new commish, who will make it happen or else!). End result, we get Wiggins.

    Then sign 2 superstars next year and bring Kobe back.

    We will destroy Houston!

    I can fantasize right???!!!

    LOL

  46. There are certain moments in life when it’s time to move on. This is one.

  47. This is going a long season but the Lakers if healthy are still a playoff team. Lets hope for the big reload next season, there will be nothing more terrifiyng next summer than a Lakers team with tons of cap space. We will be fine, a sad day but it might be for the best on the long run.

  48. Gene u r making no sense whatsoever.

  49. Can my comments stop being put into moderation for 2hrs at a time

  50. Howard never wanted to be a Laker. He wanted to be a Net. So good luck to him. Would have loved to have him but he didn’t want to be here so I can’t lose sleep over that. LA will be alright.

  51. I dont know, now the reports are innacurate, neither Hou or LA have been told anything and he is fliying to LA to meet with Mitch, could this be a last attempt to stay?Like sitting in front of Mitch and say “ok convince me”

  52. Honestly i dont really care that much. We weren’t going to win anything with Dwight, hes a loser player with a loser mentality. Whose skills will erode rapidly the older he gets. He just doesnt have the mental makeup to win a championship and I dont believe this makes Houston anymore of a contender.

  53. Time to work the sign and trade angle w/ Houston for Asik, before he’s shipped elsewhere. He only has 2 years left on a very reasonable deal at 8 million per, and he’s a solid center who no longer wants to be in Houston with Howard there. That would be sound damage control.

  54. Asik’s contract data:

    His official salary-cap number for this season and next is $8.3 million, but because of an arcane measure the Rockets used to sign him away from the Chicago Bulls last year, he is actually owed more than $20 million over the next two seasons. His salary in 2014-15 is guaranteed at $15 million.

    —-

  55. Its not over yet…

  56. ehhh who cares? dwight is so overated im shocked at guys like robert that act like hes the ultimate winner…now with no money going to D12 doesnt that give us some decent cash to throw at some of the better FA’s?

  57. This situation is getting weird. He’s meeting with kupchack tonight. Maybe to force sign and trade with warriors, to demand that D’antoni be let go, or just say his goodbye in person.

  58. Or to try and get a 5th year in Houston through sign and trade – seems like the most likely scenario based on the information we have seen.

  59. Mark Sigal : ” what separates the true fan from the bandstander.” Indeed – it appears some are already headed for the life boats.
    Nole: “Then, DH out means D’Antoni out?” No – it appears as though my nightmare is coming. DH out; MD in.
    Aakash: “I can fantasize right???!!!” Yes – you may. My personal dream. Jeanie and Phil garner the support for a successful proxy fight. It is the only way.
    Barty: “Too bad Mike D isn’t also a free agent.” He is. Coaches do not count against the cap.
    Fern: Love the never say die attitude. Black Sabbath had an album by that name 30 years ago, and they are back on top of the rock world now.

  60. Good RIDDANCE. Howard did not Appear to have the heart of a champion to me. I would have hated to have his lack of conviction and immaturity be the face of our beloved Lakers for the next 5 years.
    I have faith that Mitch will make good decisions and Kobe will come back to an all-NBA level of play.
    I have a little less faith in Dantoni and Jim Buss though, would love to see PJ have some meaningful input into the crucial next 13 months for the Lakers future.
    I do not want to see MWP waived, we still have a chance to be very competetive next year with Gasol, Kobe, Nash, MWP, Blake, HILL, Free Agent wing X, and I hope Goudlock.

  61. Oops there goes another Jim Buss move. Not sure if you heard Steven A today but he blasted Jimmy and put the full blame on him. Hiring of Mike D and refusing to budge was deal breaker.

    Perhaps Buss Junior should have saved the money on billboards and spent it on books written by Phil.

    Find a few shooters, look for a guard under 40 and let’s at least have a fun team instead of a fumbling, free throws bricking winer who wants his butt kissed.

  62. From now on, let´s bear down and smoke the Rockets every time out
    GO LAKERS!!

  63. Wall,

    The new CBA prohibits the 5th year of an S/T. Here is a summary of the rules from a 76ers blog:

    Here’s a summary of the new rules:

    Sign and trade contracts are reduced to a maximum of 4 years, with 4.5% percent raises. These are the years and raises used for non-bird players. In the past CBA, you could give the player maximum raises for maximum years if you had their bird rights, which would be 7.5% raises over 5 years in the current CBA.
    Teams more than $4 million above the luxury tax cannot receive players in a sign and trade deal. If a team acquires a player in a sign and trade deal, then the team cannot go $4 million or more above the luxury tax for the remainder of the salary cap year. There were previously no restrictions.

  64. Good article by Arash Markazi of ESPN on the fact that the relationship between DH and the Lakers (and, in fact, Los Angeles itself) was never meant to last:

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/9453443/dwight-howard-los-angeles-lakers-relationship-just-never-worked-out

    The signs were there from the beginning.

  65. What’s up with this meeting Alex Kennedy is reporting? Some saying Dwight and team to pitch S&T ideas, others such as Alex and Dave McMenamin think Dwight isn’t a lock to go to Houston. Ninja Mitch gets one more shot?

  66. “Sources” are saying now that its becoming increasingly hard to turn down those 30 mill. Lets stop the bashing for now lol this thing aint over yet.

  67. Mayo to the Bucks. Avg $8 / year for 3 years.

  68. Keno: I am about half way down on a bottle of Purity. Are you stocking that yet? I had to special order this. I need a road trip. This place is depressing.
    Gunslinger: So you have faith in Mitch and not so much in the other 2. Imagine that : )
    Purple: Rock on dude !!
    rr: You can even be logical at a time like this. That is why you are my GM. Then again if you were my GM at this time – then you would be fired – well never mind – in that fantasy world – a lot of stuff would be different : )

  69. Warren Wee Lim July 5, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    It just gets crazier by the minute. Which makes sense coz if Howard chose LA, he’d be wondering alot if he had chosen another team. He can’t make up his mind.

  70. why are there people commenting on destroying Houston when the Heat just won back to back championships?

  71. Thanks RR

  72. Teeceezy,

    I interpret this meeting between Dwight and Mitch as simply Dwight wanting to tell Mitch face-to-face what decision he’s made and why. I think it’s a done deal. Dwight is doing the right thing.

    In the corporate world, when you quit a job, you go into your boss’s office and tell him / her face-to-face. This is the equivalent of that. There’s nothing more to it than that.

    Dwight is gone.

  73. TempleofJamesWorthy July 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Ultimately, I think this boiled down to a mismatch between the Lakers’ culture and their vision for DH12, and DH12’s vision and preferences.

    On the vision front, the Lakers see DH12 as “Amare Stoudemire with (much) better defense”, and not necessarily as someone who should be the key figure in the offense or the face of the franchise. DH12 sees himself as a traditional low-post center and the Alpha Dog.

    On the culture front, the Lakers believe DH12 should embrace the Lakers’ organizational culture and be willing to prove himself and take the hits that playing in LA involves. DH12 sees himself as someone who has proven himself and should have more influence over the direction his team takes.

    I believe that the Lakers have a more realistic notion of the league, their franchise, and DH12’s position in all of that, while I think DH12 has let his ego get in the way of some realistic self-assessment (His post-up numbers are not that great .His turnovers, bad FT%, and poor decision-making are not suited to being an offensive centerpiece. His one Finals appearance was an “Innocent Climb” (tm – Pat Riley) fluke when several Magic players all had simultaneous career years.).

    But if DH12 wasn’t going to buy into what the Lakers are all about (and from Day 1 he NEVER gave any indication that he did), then he’s probably better off in another uniform where he feels more comfortable.

    I think the DH12-centered Rockets will be very good (Top 4 playoff seed) but not great. Unless the Rockets fleece some other teams for depth and shooters, they will be “top-heavy” with some awkward-fitting pieces (e.g. Asik simply can’t play with Howard).

    For the Lakers, I think Pau Gasol at center (instead of power forward, where he no longer has the speed/quickness to be competitive) is not a bad solution for the next few years, and the 2014 free-agent might help enormously.

    We shall see…

  74. I see there is a lot of strong emotion on the board today. I totally get it. I am more upset at the Lakers than I am at Howard. They went about this all wrong. Going back to the Brown hiring, they never even asked Kobe’s input. How do you not give your (at the time) 15 year franchise player a voice in that process? Had they done that they would have saved themselves the headache (and money) when it came time to fire him.

    And when they did fire him they didn’t heed the words of their supposed future (Howard) when he expressed a desire to play for Jackson. They could have signed Jackson to a short deal. There was a workable solution out there to make Howard feel like the team was becoming his. Instead the Lakers give Howard a coach who doesn’t like feeding post. And then along comes Kobe with the “this is still my team” speech during their final “courting” meeting.

    Say what you will about Howard, it looks bad to have a top level free agent walk away from the Lakers. If the Lakers can no longer keep their own free agents, then can they even lure away other team’s free agents? This is a bad look for the Lakers. A really bad look.

  75. I think Tucson is right, but:

    mcten Dave McMenamin
    What’s the big hold up? “It’s hard to walk away from $30 million,” said a source close to Dwight Howard. “Harder than we thought.”

  76. Good post, T Rogers. You have been on the money with the Howard stuff lately.

  77. While I think Tucson is right, this would be the time for the end-this-thing Tweet from Howard himself–but there is nothing like this out there that I am aware of:

    Am playing in HOU. LA trip is 2 show respect 2 MitchK only. PEACE OUT #REALD12

    or whatever.

  78. so orlando howard has made a decision to change his decision? seriously, is there a psychiatrist in the house? to say orlando howard acts like a 10 year old is an insult to all 10 year olds.

    he’s perfect for los angeles….the entertainment capital of the world.

    go lakers

  79. tomhaberstroh Tom Haberstroh
    This is perfect. RT @ESPNNBA .@Chris_Broussard reports Dwight Howard has had a change of heart, is now 50-50 on decision to leave Lakers.

  80. Reports are saying now that its 50/50 lol unreal stuff some Rockets that tweeted welcome to him deleted, this aint over folks!!!!

  81. Lakers been told Dwight havent made up his mind yet.

  82. 50/50: And the reason is money. So can we please do something?

  83. What can the Lakers do? Besides paying him, i think its up to Mitch pulling this

  84. The Dwight Howard indecision 2013 continues.

  85. Im my 30 years as a Lakers fan there is never been a day like this and i went thru the Kobe FA crisis.

  86. Mitch has got to tell Dwight how much he loves him.

    He should say it 30 million times.

  87. Do it, Mitch. FINISH HIM.

  88. I’m not sure the Lakers wouldn’t ditch D’Antoni if that’s what it takes to keep Dwight.
    I get the feeling they felt he was leaving, and why embarrass the franchise more, as well as eat the salary, if he wasn’t going to stay anyway. I’m also not sure that they feel keeping Dwight is the best option, but why not do all the right things and say all the right things. Keep the fans happy that they tried their best, and did all they could, but Dwight made his own decision.

    Even with Dwight the Western Conference is going to be brutal. OKC, Clips, GS (especially now with Iggy), Spurs (until they finally show some decline) are better than Houston. Memphis is still tough and built for the postseason. We’ll have to see how Denver does with Shaw as head coach. Houston has their work cut out for them to even get out of the first round.

    Gonna be an interesting season however all this shakes out.
    -Steve

  89. Hire Phil
    Tell Kobe to table the my team crap
    Sign Howard
    Win games

  90. Chibi: “Finish him” You got that right. I am just not sure we speak about the same person. However if DH is truly coming to speak, a sacrifice at the alter is in order. We can’t just speak about $30 million and Laker lore. We need a game changer. This is so exciting !!!

  91. FINISH HIM!! LMAO

  92. Robert,

    If I were Dwight, I couldn’t care less about the Laker lore. But $30 million is a game changer.

    That’s why he’s talking to Mitch right now.

  93. For the good of the Franchise and the 2014 FA recruitment, this is good news, if it pans out.
    As a fan, it’ll sure warm the cockles of my heart to cheer for the guy who came back here against his desires just to score the extra $30 mil (but, hey “it’s a business” right?)

  94. In a related story, Lakers hurriedly pulling down ‘Bite Me’ banners from Staples.

  95. Wow. D Howard has trumped himself. He would come back to the team only because of the extra money, even though he’d rather play for Houston. Not much heart with this guy.

  96. Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

    Statement from GM Mitch Kupchak: on.nba.com/14ZsLgV “We have been informed of Dwight’s decision to not return to the Lakers.”

    Adrian Wojnarowski @WojYahooNBA

    Dwight Howard’s plan was always to meet with the Lakers a final time and tell MItch Kupchak of his decision.

  97. The following statement has been issued by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

    “We have been informed of Dwight’s decision to not return to the Lakers. Naturally we’re disappointed. However, we will now move forward in a different direction with the future of the franchise and, as always, will do our best to build the best team possible, one our great lakers fans will be proud to support. To Dwight, we thank him for his time and consideration, and for his efforts with us last season. We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career

  98. Statement from Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak
    July 05, 2013 7:25 pm PDT
    The following statement has been issued by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

    “We have been informed of Dwight’s decision to not return to the Lakers. Naturally we’re disappointed. However, we will now move forward in a different direction with the future of the franchise and, as always, will do our best to build the best team possible, one our great lakers fans will be proud to support. To Dwight, we thank him for his time and consideration, and for his efforts with us last season. We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career.”

  99. Wow. I actually posted how this time at least Dwight made up his mind relatively quickly and saved fans extended turmoil. This child is truly unreal.

    —–
    Howard has told the Lakers that because of recent injuries to his back and shoulder, he realizes that the extra $30 million could be crucial if another injury hinders his playing ability or ends his career prematurely.
    —–

    Ayee. That’s my one true fear: his health. That doesn’t sound like the confidence of a man who’s health is improving every day.

  100. Haha! If true, did DH just realize the Lakers can offer him more $$$?

    Money that, you know, you can buy stuff with?

    Earth to Dwight … Earth to Dwight … please come in …

  101. There is a statement from Kupchak up on the team site–Howard is gone. I posted it but it is stuck in mod.

  102. Snoop: “This child is truly unreal.

  103. Ok fone deal time to move on.

  104. The following statement has been issued by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

    “We have been informed of Dwight’s decision to not return to the Lakers. Naturally we’re disappointed. However, we will now move forward in a different direction with the future of the franchise and, as always, will do our best to build the best team possible, one our great Lakers fans will be proud to support. To Dwight, we thank him for his time and consideration, and for his efforts with us last season. We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career.”

  105. Ok done deal time to move on. Dwight leaving is an anomaly not a pattern.

  106. What you are seeing is Dwight’s agent reminding Dwight that an extra 30 million guarantees is a goo thing – oh, and the fact his agent also gets a larger commission out of a longer deal by virtue of it being more money is just coincidence.

    Also DH is having second thoughts bc, as many have pointed out, the coaching and overall roster situations in Houston are not that different. I he leaves, people will say he left bc he does not have the heart of a champion and could not handle the pressure. They will also point out that the Lakers have a better chance of sorrounding him with the right talent given the Lakers financial position after next year. They will also point out many differences such as the following:

    He leaves a team that has missed the playoffs only five times in its 65-year history for a team that has missed the playoffs eight times in the past 14 years.

    If I were advising DH, I would tell him to take the stupid deal from the Lakers to save face, but ask that MikeD be removed or given a very short time period to make me happy. Then after 6 months, iffy still feels like He is very unhappy and there are not enough 100 dollar bills to wipe his tears, I would tell Dwight to ask for a trade to the lowly Rockets or the Clips or whatever other team his heart desires

  107. Snoop: “This child is truly unreal.”

    Talk about hitting the nail on the head. Again, if the report is real …

    What an unbelievable contrast between how KAJ handled the bidding war between the NBA and ABA for his services when he came out of UCLA. He told each league to make their best offer, first. And he stuck to that. Guess that’s the difference between a man and a mouse.

  108. that was entertaining. the lakers almost signed up for 5 years of Peter Griffin.

  109. Stephen A Smith: “Welcome Laker Nation to the era of Jim Buss”

  110. Howard’s Twitter Avatar now has him in a Houston uniform.

  111. Good Luck to Dwight Howard in the future.. Interesting to see how good Houston is.

    Cp3 gone and Dwight gone. Huge uphill climb to get back on top. Nothing is impossible though.

    Either package Metta with an expiring to get a productive, possibly overpaid, star or borderline. If not amnesty Ron. And get a young player this year.

    Can’t rely on an oft injured Jordan Hill to stay in rotation. Have to do it by committee. Jermaine O”Neal should be a Laker yesterday.

  112. Jeanie has got to take over ASAP.

  113. Dwight Howard and his people are not smart. In fact they are stupid. The only thing that would make them half stupid is if the Rockets are reading for Josh Smith.

  114. lmao dwight thinks hes the greatest in the game!

  115. At least he told Mitch to his face. That carries some weight.

  116. I know tanking is not the Lakers way. However, Howard is gone. Their only young player with upside, Earl Clark, is gone as well. Kobe realistically won’t be back until early 2014. I know he says earlier, but I just don’t buy that. In a loaded Western Conference the Lakers will be fighting an uphill battle all season long. By the time Kobe does come back they could be looking at a similar situation to this past season where they are well below .500.

    Why not just bite the bullet, shut it down early, Maybe move Gasol for some first round picks (if thats possible) and try to clean up in what is expected to be a very good draft. Lastly, get rid of D’Antoni. The Lakers need to use this opportunity to completely turn the page and start over.

  117. Paul: Yes – Jeanie and Phil need to take over – proxy fight style.
    Tuscon Fan: I think the guy from Phoenix outweighed the $30 million (and that is heavy).
    MannyP: Tough night for all of us. Forget DH. What is your advice for the Lakers now?

  118. Good night. This circus is over.

  119. Sad day for a laker fan but who would like to play with kobe unless your name is fish.

  120. Now if we can just get rid of D’Antoni!

  121. To whoever ask about NBA players not wanting to play with Kobe…Who was the last significant FA to sign with the Lakers?

  122. Robert: same as always: move on. The future is bright. You can curl up in the fetal position if you like, but this is not the end I the world. And please, Phil is not God. He has zero FO experience. Give it a rest. By that reasoning magic should have been the greatest coach ever or the best FO guy in the history of the world.

    The only thing that I’m upset about is the possibility that Kone may not get one more ring leading this team as the #1 option. Other than that, Jim, Jeannie an the rest of the Buss Family and, more importantly, the people they hire, will lead us to another title. If Mike D is not the coach to do it, so be it. I don’t care. But for the love of God please don’t say Phi Jacksson is the only guy that can do it. That shows you have zero faith in this organization, and there’s 66 years of history that say otherwise.

  123. The whipping boy is gone. Pau will assume this role again.

  124. Artest came here in part to play with Kobe. Pau re-upped to play four more years with Kobe. Pau and Shaq won five titles with Kobe.

    IOW, take it elsewhere, Gene. We get it–you don’t like Kobe. Join the millions. The people here are aware of Kobe’s flaws and he probably should have handled some stuff differently, but Howard probably left for many reasons.

  125. dont underestimate kobe. i still think we will be fine.

  126. Gene. When was the last time the Lakers had significant cap space to hire a top-flight free agent?

  127. @Gene, when was the last time the Lakers had cap space to sign free agents? Please do u know anything about how NBA works?

  128. Dwight reminds my of my wife. Your in, your out, your in, your out. Always keep my bags packed same as Dwight.

  129. http://instagram.com/p/baJkWqxNiO/

    Nice response by Kobe – Gasol said he always wanted to be here – I say we sign gasol to an extension and if possible bring back lamar and sascha – at least we as a crowd will have players to watch that we love

  130. People talking about tanking/rebuilding need to remember that the league has a salary floor. So, the advantage to tanking now is that Kobe, Metta, and Blake get the Lakers fairly close to the salary floor all by themselves. People who are obsessed with keeping the books clean for 2014 should remember this as well. The Lakers really will have to spend money on players, even if they are not that good.

    But there are downsides to tanking. Many teams are tanking this season; losing more is no guarantee of a higher pick. Nash and Gasol don’t have that much value except maybe to certain contenders, and would secure only later picks and it would be hard to keep the cap clean in the deals. And, of course, there is the issue of how Kobe would handle it and how it would affect the fanbase.

    As I have pointed out a few times, the Lakers have never tanked since they got to LA–never had a 20-win team. Deliberately choosing to run one out there when Kobe is killing himself in rehab and is entering what could be his last year in a Lakers uniform, if he plays, would be tough to do, and only one team is going to get Wiggins and only one team is going to get Parker. The draft is supposedly deep, but we are talking about guys who will be 19-20 years old, and established FAs probably won’t want to join them right away.

    I think as we look ahead and get past the emotion of the Howard thing, with this last-second 50/50 stuff being the capper, more people will see how hard the road ahead will be for the Lakers. Many see it already.

  131. rr – I get what you’re saying. But my question is simple: what is the alternative that gives us a higher chance of success? Fighting to compete in Kobe’s twilight to reward him is an emotional decision. How does the team truly benefit (long-term) in simply keeping the band together and letting them play out their contracts until their trade value goes to zero? What good is the cap space if the roster is so barren no FA wants to come here? Even if our trade assets have low value, late first round picks hold more potential than nothing. Investing in scouting and trying to turn those picks into long-term contributors is a definable strategy. One with a high chance of success? No. But I don’t see an alternative that presents any greater chance of success.

    Darius mentioned on his Twitter feed that tanking is a gamble. (As a preface, I’m not advocating tanking and deliberately losing – I’m advocating for trying to turn short-term assets into long-term ones, even if they are weak draft picks.) From my POV – I agree, of course it’s a gamble. Clearing cap space to lure FAs is a gamble. It was in 1996, and it will be in 2014. Trading for MVP-caliber centers with 1 year left on their deal and hoping they’ll re-sign is a gamble. Each of these contains an inherent chance of failure that’s out of our FO’s control.

    I think anyone that presents building through the draft as a surefire thing is being completely disingenuous, agreed. But my simple question is – if not aiming to build through the draft, what better alternative is out there that I’m not seeing? Trades? – with our assets, trades won’t net great long-term players, only possible bit players we may be able to develop. Free agency? – the growing trend seems to be stars sacrificing some guaranteed money to team up. There will always be secondary stars (Amare, Melo) chasing money, but for the last few years, the elite stars have wanted more than simple cap room. The temptation is to then overspend and lock yourself into secondary stars that can’t take you to a championship.

    The only decent argument for an alternative strategy I can currently see: aiming for enough cap space for two max players in a year like 2015, when you can have multiple Plan Bs/Cs/Ds.

  132. Shaun – I don’t see Howard’s national image changing much. The rest of the country has pretty much disliked him since his final days in Orlando. No one feels sorry for the Lakers; if anything, some people are celebrating that we finally lost out on a big player. We’re not the Cavaliers, who were shafted on national television. The vitriol won’t be the same, unless Howard opens up with the media and starts putting his foot in his mouth again – and he’d have to say some incredibly stupid stuff.

    Edit: considering the post I was responding to is deleted, this doesn’t make sense anymore.

  133. Guys we need to thank Dwight for all of the titles he brought us, the trips to the western conference finals and the Pacific Division banners. Also, his relentless competitiveness and willingness to Di anything to win a championship. Right?

  134. “losing more is no guarantee of a higher pick” – amen.

    The road ahead will be rough, no question. But the idea of the Lakers tanking just doesn’t hold water, for reasons others have illustrated – there’s no guarantee of getting a top two or three pick with the lottery in play.

    That aside, the Lakers essentially also have a new de facto ownership partner in Time Warner Cable. Make no mistake, there was a reason it was represented in the sales pitch to Howard. For the past 30+ years, the Lakers have always had one or more marketable stars and/or a team that was fun to watch, like in the Van Exel/Eddie Jones era. When TWC pledged billions to launch this Lakers channel, it did so coming off a pair of titles, and with the idea that Kobe would be around until the next star came onboard. Now it’s in for something much, much worse.

    In the old days, ownership mainly had to worry about losing season ticket holders when the squad wasn’t good. Now you’ve got that concern, plus the pressure from the Clippers gaining credibility (and new fans), plus a new TV partner that clearly isn’t in line to get the ratings and ad revenue it expected when it signed on. Those will be factors in the Lakers’ actions, no question, and for that reason it would be shocking as hell to see them tank on purpose.

    Just a guess, but Plan B could seemingly take on a SSOL-vibe — not something that contend for a title, but enough to keep the fans somewhat entertained until a more long-term strategy can be implemented. If Nash can play reasonable minutes (big if), with Pau at center and maybe the addition of some lower cost shooters, the Lakers could set themselves up in a manner that may assuage some fans fears of being unwatchable in 2013-14. That may or not work. But will they tank? Highly doubtful, if only because TWC will demand — such as it can — something that keeps people interested.

  135. RR, you are right about tanking. Nothing is certain. I just don’t want to see the Lakers in limbo. The crazy thing is it may not actually be tanking. As constructed I am not sure this Lakers team can make the playoffs in the West.

    Interesting days ahead…

  136. @Kenoak -some of it is from immediate emotion but at the same time i do think thay as a fan base we should try amd flex our muscle to show dwigjt what he lost with us so that any future FAs will know what they could gain

    – guys we are going to suck for a while and the chances of us reloading in 2014 are very slim – hoopshype just did a report on 1st+2nd team all stars throughout the years and like 70% were drafted by their team – we only have a pick next year and then we dont have one for 2/3 years after that – even if we try to rebuild through the draft its going to take like 5-7 years+ plus we fired our entire scouting staff so the ccances of us hitting a paul george like pick out of the top5 are pretty low

    We are now in need of a starting pf or c, 2 sfs, a quality sg, a 3rd pg with all of a 3 million exception and the vets min to sign guys after multiple guys in our price range like bellineli, watson, barnes have all signed elseware

    Kobe will be out half the year and when he comes back he could be 70% of what he was or worse , nash is kind of useless – camt guard amyone and is 40 years old at 9 million a year – hopefully toronto will wamt him as a ceremonial gesture otherwise no ones else will take his contract

    If they trade or amnesty gasol for pieces that fit dantonis system they are just lying to themselves and I wouldnt be surprised to see kobe to simply retire after this year

    we will really need to see what mitchs plan b is and soon

  137. Gene, please go away. You are right. We are all Kobe apologists and can’t bear to hear any disparaging remarks about him. Let us stew in a blind love for our heartless loser who can’t get along with anybody while winning 5 championships and as the unquestioned leader of 2 gold medal winning Olympic teams. Let us pretend he has tweeted and commented in support of Pau since he joined the team. Let us pretend that Shaq didn’t maximize his talents and was noticeably slipping before he was traded for pieces that were part of two championship teams. We are delusional fans of the Lakers and appreciate what Kobe brings to the table and your much more informed and thought out view of reality will not get through our Kobe-drunk daze. Go away.

  138. A thought: can you imagine how motivated this Lakers team will be next year?

  139. T Rogers,

    Indeed. If Pau, Nash and Kobe have injury issues, the Lakers could easily be 26-56 or so without trading anyone.

    Snoopy,

    I myself, as I have said, am not totally opposed to tanking. I am just saying that

    1) It guarantees nothing.
    2) It would be hard to do, organizationally and culturally, for the Lakers. Did you click on that link of the pic Kobe posted up there? The Lakers can’t do for Kobe and Pau what Boston did for Pierce and Garnett. It will be uglier than that.

    Emotional? Sure. But there is a place for that in the business of sports since fandom and therefore money is tied to emotion.

    Also, Mike D’Antoni is 62 years old, and the reasons he came here, other than the obvious (money) were to try to win a title with Steve Nash and to make the team attractive to Dwight Howard so Howard would stay. On the day of his presser, MDA said, “We have a two-year window, and I am going to everything I can to help us get through it.”

    Well, the window has slammed shut, the wind and the wolves are howling outside the castle, there are nothing but clouds as far as the eye can see, and the heir apparent to the kingdom has loaded his treasure, his weapons, and his ladies-in-waiting on his ship and moved to a smaller kingdom. The old king is still recovering from his grievous war wounds, and his loyal duke, up there in the photo with him, is all he’s got for this last journey.

    Or, IOW, there is not much point in paying Mike D’Antoni 4M to coach Kobe and the D-Fenders to a 23-59 season while Kobe takes 25 shots a night whenever he gets back.

  140. On another topic – has any celebrity (late to Twitter) mastered the form better or faster than Kobe?

    —————
    From Alex Kennedy:
    Dwight Howard on Phil Jackson possibly affecting his decision with the Lakers: “Well, I asked to have him as a coach earlier in the year…”

    From McMenamin
    Dwight on D’Antoni: “I think that we had our moments, but I think that his style was a little bit different than what I was accustomed to”

    Have a drink, Robert.

  141. “No offense to mike dantoni, but kevin mchale has like a million post moves” – wow big surprise dwight didnt think much of dantoni ….. just like the rest of us

  142. @Snoopy
    This furthers my belief that the Lakers didn’t “really” want to commit to Howard. If they really wanted to bring him back, then D’Antoni would be gone.

  143. Fire dantoni ….. i initially didnt see the tweet from kennedy but now all the pringles apologists can suck it as it has now come out that decision to not name jackson as our head coach as sent us back years and lost us the best center in the league ….. and we all know it was jims call and ego – who wouldnt wamt to play for the best professional coach ever to coach – it was ridiculous when mitch stated that pringles had a better system for this group – what does he have to say now!!!!

  144. man bleep Howard

  145. Many organizations have bent over backwards, trading personnel, firing coaches, in order to appease 1 player. Typically those moves didn’t satisfy the player and the player left anyway. It’s a dangerous game of “what-if” that no one can predict.

  146. I am not worried at all. This isn’t bad news. This is NBA business. Bad News was magic’s announcement and him unable to play anymore. You know what though, I remember those years as a young Lakers fan and had fond memories of Sedalle, Vlade, Elden, Peeler and Ceballos working their butts off every night. I then remember the transition to Nick the Quick, Eddie Jones and then the transition to Shaq/Kobe/Nick/Eddie before the championship years AND IT WAS STILL FUN to watch the team you root for compete. We’re a lil spoiled being Lakers fans with the last decade of amazing championship runs, but if you dont have bad years reminding you how difficult it is to win a championship, then winning one isn’t as glorious.

    i think we’ll have a fun team next year. Cant wait.

  147. @ Snoopy — Exactly. Just ask the Magic how well running off Stan Van Gundy worked in their efforts to satisfy the unsatisfiable.

  148. Dwight has zero post moves. his fundementals are non-existant. i’m glad the Lakers were not depending of Dwight in the post, except in pnr. D’Antoni was a good thing for Dwight, he just has a different vision for himself. now that he’s not a Laker, i hope that he sticks to it.

  149. Take it from someone who has the same issue with his back as Dwight: We have dodged a major bullet by “losing” him to Houston. It just sucks we couldn’t sucker a team into giving us a young talent and a pick for him.

  150. Well, this would have been different than the SVG thing, since it would have been hiring Phil as much as firing D’Antoni–and Brown was gone anyway.

    Again–it is a players’ league, and a stars’ league, not a coaches’ league.

  151. @KenOak – Plaschke nailed it. Felt like a throw-back. Thanks for linking.

  152. Chris J,

    Good post.

  153. Breaking news! Dwight fumbled his new Rockets contract. He blamed it on Kobe.

  154. I agree with those who feel we did well to lose Dwight. I’m more disappointed that management went on not seeing the writing on the wall. Dwight never intended to stay, we could have got some young players in a sign and trade. Roll on 2014 free agency and a $68M war chest to spend

  155. Someone is getting Asik and J Lin for peanuts… Might as well be the lakers? Thoughts?

  156. Lin and Asik are both guaranteed a lot of money and have deals that last beyond this year, so I don’t see the Lakers doing that. The only S/T option would have been with the Warriors.

  157. Get Asik, amnesty Ron, idc abt Lin actually…

  158. Our Lakers only grow stronger from all these ordeals. We have proven time and time again that these are merely challenges that our storied franchise overcomes by winning against all odds.

    So what if Dwight leaves? We will prove again that there is something special to the franchise and something special to LA by winning again, maybe even during Kobe’s tenure as a Laker.

    Go Lakers!

  159. Asik is guaranteed 15M in 2014-15.

  160. Am i the only one who finds it funny, and interesting that Kobe did:

    1. Unfollow Dwight, increasing the credibility of the account being operated by Kobe himself and reinforcing his image of being win-first, friendships second.
    2. Posted a picture on instagram with GASOL, with hashtags of ‘Laker Heart’, obviously meaning to tell the FO again to keep Pau?

    Awesome stuff.

  161. MannyP: “Phil is not God. He has zero FO experience” Correct. Phil should have been coach not FO. In the FO he has the same experience as Jim did. Sorry Manny – I have been against the MD thing from the beginning so I think I have the high ground on this one. I notice you sarcastically thanked Dwight for all his help to get us to the Finals and such. Please apply this logic elsewhere. That Laker history is due to people like Jackson, Riley, Kundla, West, and Jerry Buss. Do not attribute that history to Jim Buss and MD. They are responsible only for our current agony – not our positive history.
    Snoopy: Yes – have had several drinks – it is not helping.

  162. Now we know how it must feel to get engaged, then dumped by your fiance. Love (uh . . . well, that might be a stretch) hurts.

    But on the bright side, to paraphrase KB24: “Everything negative–pressure, challenges–is all an opportunity for us to rise.”

  163. Trying to look on the bright side here … there was no “Decision” type special from the DH crew and no Gilbert style rantings from the Lakers front office, so we see evidence of people being able to learn from the mistakes of others … a very good thing.

    When do the Rockets come to town next year? THAT will be interesting.