From TheGreatMambino, Silver Screen & Roll: In just two weeks, the Dwightmare could reach it’s highest peak. That’s when Lakers center Dwight Howard will officially become a free agent, available to be courted by whomever has the will and the wherewithal to sign the three-time Defensive Player of the year to a maximum contract. Lakers Nation seems to be split on whether or not Howard, one of the most polarizing players of his era on and off the court, is truly worth the money and trouble that seem to follow him wherever he goes. Let’s take the pulse of Silver Screen & Roll:
From Dan Duangdao, Lakers Nation: Metta World Peace, a.k.a Ron Artest, joined a local Houston radio station on Monday to discuss a typical day in the off-season, his thoughts on LeBron James’ play in the Finals so far and Dwight Howard’s impending free-agency. When asked about Dwight Howard’s plans this off-season, World Peace quickly dismissed any possibilities of Howard going to Houston: “Well, he’s not going to Houston. I’ll tell you that.” The Houston Rockets are one of the rumored teams Dwight Howard is interested in as they enough cap room to sign him and a young core centered around James Harden, Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik. Regardless of what the Rockets have to offer, World Peace remained confident with his response and further explained his reasoning the only way Ron Artest knew how to: “The bulls that you bullfight…those things that you tie those things to the bulls that make them go crazy? I got two of those things tied to Dwight Howard’s t——–, so he can’t move.”
From Eric Pincus, LA Times: The Lakers’ final non-Mike D’Antoni assistant coach left over the weekend as Darvin Ham joined the Atlanta Hawks under Coach Mike Budenholzer. “Darvin has a great feel for the game and knows what it takes for a team to be successful and compete at a high level,” Budenholzer said in a prepared statement. “He was a smart player who played with intensity and toughness every night and he has gone about coaching the same way.” Dan D’Antoni, brother to Coach Mike D’Antoni, is the only holdover from last season after the Lakers let both Chuck Person and Bernie Bickerstaff go. Phil Handy joined Mike Brown’s staff in Cleveland, while Eddie Jordan took the head position at Rutgers.
From Brett Pollakoff, Pro Basketball Nation: Phil Jackson is unquestionably one of the greatest coaches of all time, but he didn’t get there by placating people or considering the feelings of others — especially those with seniority or who were holding down a higher-level position within the organization. Speaking at an event last week where Jackson was plugging his latest book, he recalled the time he asked then Lakers general manager Jerry West — also one of the franchise’s all-time great players — to leave the locker room so Jackson and the team could be alone to dissect the night’s troubles in private.
From Dan Devine, Yahoo Sports: Kobe Bryant has ranked among the most popular players in the NBA for more than 15 years now, as his legendary scoring prowess, on- and off-court charisma, affiliation with the glamorous Los Angeles Lakers and near-constant exposure to massive audiences through nationally televised games and deep playoff runs have combined to make him one the sports world’s highest-profile figures. He’s also donequite a bit of work over the years to extend his mega-star status into the massive and hoops-mad nation of China — he’s made annual offseason trips there to meet fans and host camps, and appeared in commercials airing in the nation. He’s participated in exhibition charity games and even reportedly briefly entertained the idea of playing in China during the 2011 NBA lockout. He’s built a Chinese social media presence and launched multiple charitable initiatives in the Far East. And so on.
George Best says
Dwights not resigning because the legacy of the Laker franchise does not register with him mentally. He can get his money anywhere and wants to feel like a new girlfriend. 10 years in Orlando is like 1 year in LA for a guy like him. He simply couldnt handle the adversity that came with increased expectations in Orlando that were not met and he couldnt handle the Lakers facing adveristy when nothing less then a championship creates question marks. Its not about his talent. Its his mental makeup. Hes a cancer to a team and there are very few players so talented that this characteristic does not matter. Once the expectations are high he folds mentally and the enitre team is affected.
Short term the Lakers are not better without him but in the long term they will be. We need to move away from this guy.
Chris J says
The one name that’s been flying under the radar amid all the Howard speculation belongs to another faded former All-Star center who’ll also be on the free agent market this summer.
To be clear, I am not suggesting this be a move the Lakers pursue. But here will be some GMs out there who may be willing to make Andrew Bynum their Plan B should Howard not come their way.
For everyone who may conclude his career has gone Greg Oden and ended early due to injuries, there could be someone else who sees a guy who’s still 25, has two rings, had a year off to heal, and may be obtainable for less-than-market value given he comes with so many question marks, be it attitude or past injuries.
It will be interesting to see where he ends up next season, as well.
I remember reading that LA was not in Dwight’s top choices when he asked for a trade from Orlando two or more years ago. At the time, his preference was Brookly and New York.
Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I think DH would rather play with players of his generation who have similar goals (be famous, make coin, have fun and wear high fashion after games) than players like Nash and Kobe who are from an earlier generation of the NBA and have different goals in mind (championships, legacy, championships, winning and championships).
I really think that the mis-match here is not soley because of FO missteps, or playing behind Kobe or wanting to play for a championship-ready team. I think this is similar to the generational gap between Magic and Bird with Pippen/Barkley and MJ. Like for example, could you ever picture Kareem playing happily along side MJ? I know I can’t. That’s the same feeling I got about CP3 playing with Kobe before that deal was 86’d and that’s the feeling I get with DH now.
I dont buy that generation stuff, i mean after next season the Lakers will get younger thats a given, the real dilemma is: Does he wants the keys and the pressure the rewards,and expectations that comes with this set in particular? Or does he want to go somewhere else where the expectations are lower and he dont have to be a leader? This situation in LA is a once in a lifetime for him, the pressure is great but the rewards of sucess are even bigger, i still believe he stays. I dont rhink he wants to be known as a 2 time franchise wrecker. Well see
T. Rogers says
Maybe Howard doesn’t want to go through what will surely be a rebuild with the Lakers. Howard will be 28 this year. He is in his prime now. Maybe he doesn’t want to wait anywhere from to two to five years while the Lakers retool around him. I really don’t see why that is so hard to understand.
@ Chris J – I don’t thinkthe Lakers will kick Bynum’s tires. However, I could see a club take a low risk approach to him, For example, two years guarenteed with a team option for year three.
Under the circumstances I can’t see a team going all in with Bynum. Its too bad as he is a very gifted player when healthy.
SSR is polling their readers; 57% say they think Howard is leaving.
My guess is that the Clippers are his first choice at the moment.
The Lakers while they are in a transicion phase, they are not in rebuilding mode, compare the Lakers to the Celts, how come you dont read a single report of any big time FA interested on going to them? Nobody wants to play there, in the Lakers case FA wants to come here, thats why you have a Monta Ellis opting out bc he hopes to play here, i know its doubtful that we get him but that is the mistique of the Lakers, i dont hear Ellis salivating to go to Boston. What i mean to say that even in the worst darkest times in Lakers history there is only a gap of 4 or 5 years tops before becoming relevant again. And with the team poised to make a big splash next summer this will be one of the shortest reloading periods in Lakers history.Howard or no Howard the Lakers will be a force to be reckoned with in less than 2 years.
We cant afford Bynum. Giving his injury history, he needs to get paid as much as possible, as soon as possible. Plus, he has skills. He’s going to look for a near-max contract or something above $10mm a year. Will he get it? Probably. There’s plenty of suckers in this league.
George. Very good post. I agree.
“4 or 5 years tops ” The Lakers have missed the Finals for 3 straight years. They have only had 3 streaks longer than that in their entire history (think about that). They had one streak of 4 years in the 50’s, a streak of 5 years in the 70’s, and a streak of 8 years in the 90’s. I hope the every other decade symmetry doesn’t continue as the length of these streaks seems to be getting longer as time goes by. In any case we have made the Finals 31 times and won it 16 times. In Japan if you took over a corporation like this and rather than adding to the 31/16, you presided over one of the bad streaks, there would be a honorable course of action for the corporation’s leaders. I am not calling for anything nearly that drastic.
Ypu forgot tomention the streak of 7 years in the 00s so thats shorter. And if you take away those losses against the Celts almost 50 years ago its actually 16 championships in 23 tries. The Lakers would have over 20 chpionships if it wasnt for Bill Russel. So what if the Lakers have miss the Finals 3 straight years? Im looking and i cant find the panic button yet, looks like you found it.l
Fern: You are reading my streak the wrong way. I am referring to streaks where we “did not’ make the Finals. Yes we made it 7 times in the 2000’s. With reference to the Panic Button. I hit that the day we traded Lamar Odom. That was also the day I made my first post to this board.
Well the statue looks really half-made…
It’s very surreal to see Lebron James not getting all the calls like he usually does. I’ll never understand NBA officiating…
Chris J says
Again, I wasn’t suggesting the Lakers could, should or would look to bring back Andrew. I merely said it will be be interesting to see where he lands, especially since so much focus has been on Howard and the Clippers/Celtics talk this offseason.
I can see tomorrow’s headlines already. ‘Duncan Spurs Team To Victory!’ If the Spurs win tonight he will get MVP and get ready for the media onslaught of comparisons. This after he has had a rather lackluster finals and Danny Green has been the MVP…
Btw- I claim Bosh is getting traded after his poor play in these playoffs. If Bosh is gone and the Heat can’t win next year either, then LBJ is probably leaving in 2014.
Duncan showing how to carry a team on a pivotal away game. Dang, if the Spurs win, I’m going to have a really hard time arguing that TD isn’t the best player of this generation, especially if he closes out the Miami Heat with 25 points 8 rebounds… oh wait he already has that.
Can he steal the MVP trophy from Green if TD gets something like 30-15? (I know, very premature and Miami can still very well storm back to take this game).
This reminds me of the ’08 series against the Celtics. Refs have completely taken Miami out of the game and it’s now in their heads.
Look for LeBron to get calls in the 4th for an unbelievable historic comeback.
Pretty insane how Miami’s only in it because of the 3 point shooting from NONE of their Big three 😉
Manu should have gotten a flagrant foul there. That was LBJ. The poster-child for the NBA getting elbowed in the throat and they don’t call a flagrant there?
Joe M says
Spurs totally blew this game. Get a freaking rebound, and freaking guard the 3 and you win. Just freaking horrible. I am pissed off.
Finally we have an OT in the finals. I guess you can’t count the Heat out until LeBron decides to drive every single possession and fails.
2 rebounds away from triple double for Lebron.
Will Popovich get grilled by the media for taking Tim Duncan out on that pivotal play that allowed the offensive rebound and 3 by Ray Allen?
This game went from “Duncan has throwback game to show LeBron how it’s done, to, Lebron regroups and delivers with a near triple double.”
I do not like either team, but what can you say at the end of that, other than:
This game is FANTASTIC
Well, so much for making fun of Bosh’s stating the very very obvious.
Couple of interesting story lines for game 7.
1. Duncan’s knee. Bosh fell into him towards the end of the game and he looked gimpy afterwards. Will he be alright for game 7?
2. Manu’s elbow to Lebron. Will the league review it?
This kind of loss can suck the wind right out of your sails…can the Spurs get it together?
This is the reason I hate the NBA! Miami allowed to absolutely MUG the spurs in the overtime. Foul after foul not called, it’s obvious the NBA wants the 7th game.
Joe M says
Refs do not call fouls in the final minutes of games. It has never happened, it will never happen. you need to punch the other player in the face and kick him on the ground to maybe get a foul called. Besides that, the Spurs lost this game, it was theirs for the taking and they let it get away. I am no Spurs fan, but I hate the Miami Heat. Game 7 on the road, in the finals, the Heat are the obvious favorite.
The Spurs chocked and Ginobli was flat out disgusting.
Hope game 7 is just as exciting.
Straight filthy game. Amazing to watch. You could see the ESPN mob’s storylines changing 5 different times. From Lebron’s 2 TOs and missed 3 to his make on the 2nd 3 attempt, Parker’s ridiculous fall-away 3 and reverse pivot J in the lane, Bosh’s huge rebound and Allen’s clutch 3, the missed FTs …
It’s generally poor form to go back and find flaws based on the result. But with other coaches (e.g. Vogel) the media would definitely go after them for the Duncan removal and the decision not to take a timeout to get Parker back in the game (even if he wasn’t being effective, Ginobili was worse and out of control and generating nothing). This game was fascinating from the standpoint of how even the smallest tactical decisions had huge effects on the overall tide of the game. 1 more like this, please.
I’m happy that there will be a game 7 for a couple of reasons. First, I think that the Heat can pull it out at home in a game 7. And secondly, I don’t think that Timmy will have nearly the game that he did tonight in the next one. I have a feeling that his knee is going to limit him. So, if the Spurs do win, then perhaps the MVP will go to Danny Green or whoever else steps up next game.
Kenny T says
Ginobli was brutal in this game… 8 turnovers that were just deflating. I’m not a big fan of +/-, but his -21 was indicative of how poorly he played. And Popovich’s decision to remove Duncan in the final sequences of regulation will be second-guessed ad infinitum. Miami wriggled off the hook in game 6.
Props to media whipping boy, Chris Bosh, as well. He played some serious defense in the 2nd half.
i thought that stats are nothing but just the numbers during the game, it does not tell the story of this game. i mean the Spurs got tired in the 2nd half, with some bad breaks on the waning moments of the game. i even thought that Pops would be called for Technical after Ray hits the clutch three.
anyways, the best team will prevail and after six games, I find the Spurs being the superior team.
The Heat has homecourt advantage and the momentum on their side, however they still lack the killer type of player that could easily win this series for them. im still rootin for them to win – Heat, but will not be sad if Spurs takes this on their home turf come game 7.
(this was the closes game that we can get from both team, hopefully the last game will be the best game of this season)
Amazing amazing game, a great reminder why we love basketball, i doubt the Spurs eecover from this, my hat’s off to Tim Duncan, he left everything he had out there tonight, the Heat should won game 7, i doubt Timmy has another monster game like this left, what a waste of effort.Manu was just beyond putrid if i were a Spurs fan i put the blame squarely on him and his 8 bonehead turnovers. I guess we are going to endure a Heat back2back.
@Robert i understood perfectly,Lamar Odom had to be traded after the CP fiasco. we knew Lamar was going to be what he became, he is still butt hurt about that trade he has never got over it. Like ibsaid on my earlier post, the Lakers are in a state of flux but not at the level of 2004 or worse 1992, nothing was more devastating that Magic retiring suddenly, compared to that we are on great shape, and on a position to no matter what happens this summer the Lakers should be able to reload fairly quicky, more so than before bc the FO say what ypu want about them they had the foresight to line up their duck all in a row for 2014. Tje Lakers dont stay out of contention for long and certainly would not emdure 22 yearsnof mediocrity like the Celtics did. Im spoiled as a Lakers fan bit not to the point of expecting them to be on the Finals every single year, reloads take time but the Lakers do it faster and better than anybody else. We be fine.
I think that regardless of who wins, Danny Green should get the Finals MVP.
helluva series; still, I feel pangs stinging me knowing we´re not there, and when the trophy is hoisted up towards the rafters, I´ll have already taken my aspirin & turned the darned tube off.
Darius Soriano says
A new post is up.