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The Inbounds: Dwight Howard and the NBA’s arms race gone too far

Aug 10, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard AP

“Weapons are like money, no one knows the meaning of enough.”

– Martin Amis

In 2008, it was the Celtics getting both an aging Kevin Garnett and an aging Ray Allen. Then it was the Lakers getting Pau Gasol, commonly a sub-star due to his market at the time. Then came The Decision, Melodrama, the Joe Johnson trade, Deron’s choice, and Steve Nash becoming a Laker.

And now, this. Dwight Howard will be a Laker. The Lakers will start Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard.

This arms race has gone too far.

Maybe it was always too far. Maybe the Decision really was the worst thing that could ever have happened to the sport, maybe it was the Celtics that started all this and it was unavoidable thereafter. Maybe it was New York’s opulence and brazen assault on the cap that lead to this. But either way, here we are. It was always going to be like this, from the moment Howard made his list of teams he wanted to play for, following Carmelo Anthony‘s model of electing where he wanted and then maneuvering to get it. He was going to go to a big-market team with talent.

But this much talent?

The Heat have the best player in the game, a Hall of Fame shooting guard, and a hyper-versatile power forward. That’s an amazing team in its own right. But it has weaknesses. It relies on role players. The Lakers, even without a great bench, have a Hall of Fame point guard whose passing skills are bested by no one, the second-best shooting guard of all time, the best center in the league, and a hyper-versatile power forward. Who’s also seven feet tall.

The city of Los Angeles now features two teams with the following players on roster: Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Blake Griffin, and Chauncey Billups. This is out of control.

The rest of the league can’t compete with this superstar accumulation, but then, we’re really just talking degrees, aren’t we? There have really only been about five teams in title contention each year. But the differential is so much greater now. Since 2008, the following players have moved to the small selection of cities: Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen (twice), Pau Gasol, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Steve Nash, and Dwight Howard. That’s an absolutely insane amount of star power to shift towards a handful of cities.

What may be even more stunning is that this was Howard’s second choice. He wanted the Brooklyn Nets, and had to settle for the Los Angeles Lakers. But it doesn’t change the trend. And while the Hornets have done a masterful job at rebuilding, the league is still divided into haves and have-nots.

And this may be too much.

It’s not even the on-court results. We expected mind-blowing things from the Heat, and they were only very good their first season together, and great their second. The Lakers have a lot of miles and years on the bones, and will have severe problems with any injuries. No, there are a great many ways this team can fail, and no need to start the count towards 73 wins yet. But the idea is the same.

And we’re running out of weapons for teams to accumulate.

There are only so many stars in the league, and most of them have headed to one coast or the other. Eventually we’ll run out of stars and things will solidify for a while. Teams will be capped out and unable to make moves for a while. But after the lockout of 2011, which was supposed to help teams with retaining their stars and minimizing the damage to small markets, it would appear that plan has failed. The Hornets can be a good team, but will they be better than they were with Chris Paul? Will the Magic, even if everything goes right, be better?

No, but league ratings will be higher, jersey sales will skyrocket, ticket prices will soar. The league will be a bigger, more profitable place for everyone, and maybe that’s better than market equality, since it’ll at least stabilize the market. But if any other teams are to even compete for a championship, they have to do with efficiency and smart, under-the-radar moves that surprise. Development is a bigger element than it ever has been. The missing pieces is never going to come, because they’ve all already moved to their new location.

There just aren’t enough players left out there to share with the rest of the league.

The Lakers have more starpower than they’ve ever had in the history of their franchise. Think about that. Teams with the Captain and Magic had less star power than the currently assembled team. They managed to send out Andrew Bynum, to get Dwight Howard, and not give up Pau Gasol. The NBA’s premier franchise has not only put itself back in orbit, it’s the biggest ship in the cosmos. The NBA’s arms race has reached a new level, and it was all done within the confines of a new, more difficult CBA.

For two years, the Lakers have been embarrassed in second-round exits. You can consider this the reckoning. The Lakers don’t rebuild, and they don’t reload. They just absorb the brightest stars and add their shine to their own.


  1. bankai78 - Aug 10, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    I don’t even think I could pull this trade off in NBA 2K12….

  2. terraj35 - Aug 10, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    I wish just one time the NBA wouldn’t make it so predictable. This coming season only has three teams that matter. Miami, OKC, and LA. The NBA needs to learn from the NFL and not let the players control the league and which team they play for.

    • lmoneyfresh - Aug 10, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      This is the thing that gets me about all these stars being signed/traded for to the few big market teams. The teams like OKC who try to build a team in an admirable, traditional way through the draft are getting passed up. They got outclassed in the finals this year and I can’t imagine they are going to take enough of a step to pass MIA, the Nets and now the Lakers.

      • Kurt Helin - Aug 12, 2012 at 9:23 PM

        For the record, saying teams traditionally built through the draft ignores much of NBA history.

    • aboogy123456 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      I think what it comes down to is the NBA has 5 players on the court, while in the NFL you have 22 starters, not including special teams. Players are more valuable to their teams in the NBA just because of that, and there is nothing the CBA or anybody can really do to change that.

      • aboogy123456 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        I think LA now has the most dominant teams but it’s still very hard to put that together. Being in a big market helps, but they traded for pau, they drafted Kobe, and they’ve managed the team extremely well since.

        Also, while I think LA has put themselves above the rest of the league, there is more competition than just 3 teams. I think Boston has had a great offseason and they will be a legit threat to miami. The west is very good and there are a bunch of teams like the nuggets, clippers, grizzlies, etc. that are maybe just one good move away from being a contender. The Nets also matter because they have a good team and a destination where players will want to go, plus a lot of money and willing to spend.

      • jpinmass - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM

        Kobe was drafted by Charlotte and then traded to LA…they saw talent and TRADED for it then…they do not grow talent…same as the Yankees…buy buy buy…but it works

      • jwreck - Aug 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        Are you kidding, or are you 13 years old? First off, Los Angeles did not draft Kobe, but that’s just semantics.

        Boston lost the player who, when hot, was the only thing keeping them in the playoffs last year to who? Oh right, Miami. The C’s did draft well but both Sullinger and Fab Melo have high bust potential. Pierce and Garnett are a year older and a year slower. The return of Green is huge for the franchise’s future, but for right now he’s just kind of a Paul Pierce body double. Courtney Lee was probably Boston’s biggest offseason acquisition, but he’s just another 2/3 swingman like Green and Pierce, but a worse shooter than both. Boston has a shocking lack of talent and depth at the 2; and while Rondo, Pierce, KG, Bass, and Green should be able to get them into the playoffs, and probably out of the first round, the idea of them posing a threat to Miami is laughable.

        Lastly: the West is very good? Really? OKC and LA are obvious title contenders. Iguodala will allow Denver a strong playoff push; the Grizzlies and the Clippers are competitive. New Orleans is an up-and-coming powerhouse, and San Antonio still has a couple years left, but that’s really it. Seven teams worth talking about: only six of them actually good teams in 2012, and only two seriously competitive.

        Boom. Roasted.

        And just so no one’s feelings are hurt: OJ Mayo and Dirk will definitely be grabbing a playoff spot as well, but like the other teams in the West not named the Thunder or the Lakers, they’re really just an afterthought in this conference.

    • mavajo - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      Maybe. But the NBA is more popular now than it has been in years. As much as fans of other teams complain about these super-teams, it’s compelling television and it pulls in fans that might not otherwise be interested.

      The fact is, sports fans love greatness. The NBA right now has multiple teams attaining to greatness. This is a great time for the NBA.

    • 1historian - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      Why shouldn’t someone be able to say where he goes to work, to make his living?

      • nightman13 - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:23 PM

        Because this isn’t a computer programmer or a welder we’re talking about. In order for sports leagues to survive they have to work as a comunal organization. Fair distribution of talent is the most critical aspect for sustained success of a league and without it the whole system is destined to fail. Plus these aren’t at will employees, they are paid millions of dollars and sign contracts to participate in a league. A league that cannot survive if the employees collude.

        There’s a reason why the NFL is the most successful league in the world, it’s because they have mastered talent distribution. The only chronic losing franchises are the ones that are poorly run. If you have a capable front office in the NFL you can compete with anybody. Teams like the Bucks or the Kings will NEVER EVER be able to compete with the Bulls or Lakers no matter how good a front office they have.

    • saint1997 - Aug 10, 2012 at 9:41 PM

      Really though?! I don’t mind this trade from a basketball standpoint as a fan. The Clips could contend as Griffin gets better, Grizz and Knicks have a fairly formidable front court big 3 whose kinks will get worked out after training camp, Boston took Miami to game 7 without their depth (yeah i know Heat were injured too, doesn’t take away from Boston injuries). New look Nets are looking good and are you leaving out San Antonio with a top 3 PG in Tony Parker?? NBA can never have a superstar per team due to the no. of players in a basketball team, but 9 contending teams is pretty impressive

  3. dls612 - Aug 10, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    One thing for sure there gonna be a lot of great games! And I hope everybody stays healthy ! Can’t wait! LJ6-DW3-CB1!

    • eerock41 - Aug 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      so watching the lakers, or heat blow teams out by 30 points makes a good game. sounds very boring to me.

  4. mctyboy35 - Aug 10, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Whos this writer? Why does he hate on the Lakers so much? He should be a poster like the rest of us because he is clearly no professional. What a jealous joke.

  5. bucrightoff - Aug 10, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    The next few NBA seasons have been made pointless, as LAL and MIA are the clear top 2 and will almost certainly be playing in the next 2 NBA Finals. Wanna guess who’s playing in the Super Bowl this year? Could be anyone of course. Wanna guess who’s going to be in the NBA Finals? We basically already know. Where exactly is the incentive to watch if you aren’t a fan of those two teams?

    The next CBA negotiations will be critical to the future of the league. Since the last one did literally nothing to change the competitive balance of the league, the next one will decide whether the NBA can be a big time sport, or whether its destined to become baseball, popular, but mostly ignored. If there aren’t serious changes to ensure stacked teams in major markets aren’t the norm, then they might as well contract half the teams in the league and go with 12-16 superteams to at least make it interesting. But 2 or 3 superteams, all in mega markets, will destroy the league.

    • mavajo - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      BREAKING NEWS: Stacked teams are GOOD for the NBA.

      • bucrightoff - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:21 AM

        Based off what? That I can confidently put a wager down on the Lakers and Heat being in the Finals? Seriously, tell me why I should watch the NBA until June next year? The league is boring, its becoming more boring with these stacked teams. You do know the peak of the NBA, the 90’s, had really no stacked teams? The Bulls won a lot because they had the GOAT, but Utah, Indiana, Houston, the Knicks, Miami, Orlando, Sacramento, Portland, all these teams were competitive and could have won rings (or more in Houston’s case) if not for Mike. The league is getting worse, and if you don’t agree then I guess you like having movies spoiled for you before you see them.

      • blueintown - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:20 PM

        bucrightoff – you completely refute your own point with your example. The Bulls dominated the 90’s not simply because of MJ, but because they had MJ, Pippen, Phil Jackson, Horace Grant, Dennis Rodman, and Toni Kukoc (not all at once, of course). They were absolutely STACKED with talent. Could all those Eastern Conference teams have won championships if not for the Bulls? Yes. But that’s the point. They didn’t BECAUSE the Bulls were that much better. I fail to see how the Bulls stopped Houston or Sacramento from winning any.

    • aboogy123456 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      Miami really isn’t that good as people think. They have lebron, then no frontcourt and a bunch of holes. They are good, but people need to stop acting like they are that good.

      Last year they got through a mentally weak pacers team, an injured boston team, and then Oklahoma city completely choked in the finals. I give Lebron a lot of credit for playing amazing throughout the playoffs, but he really didn’t get that much help. Oklahoma City is much better than they played in the finals, but they choked, both playing and coaching, and surely did play like it was their first finals. I think Miami would have lost to either the lakers or the spurs last year, two teams that have been to the finals before and wouldn’t shy away from the moment.

      • scalfor3 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:27 AM

        i agree. for a team as supposedly stacked as the heat were, lebron really had to carry them by himself at times.

      • blueintown - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:32 AM

        You’re joking, right?

      • heat256 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM

        @ aboogy: Well, chief, since you want to find whatever rationalizations you could for the Heat winning, remember Bosh and Wade were injured for large stretches of those playoffs, and they won it all without a traditional C or PG. They are good enough to make it into the Finals two years in a row, so, yes, they are that good. 2010 showed you don’t instantly crown a champ based on offseason moves (yes, I am referencing the Heat). LAL still has to make it work, and quick. Nash isn’t getting any younger, nor is Kobe, and Howard can choose to leave if he so desires. So they will have increased expectations to put it together and soon. Can they do it? I have no doubts they can.

      • aboogy123456 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        @ heat idiot, I know the heat were injured as well, look at my post again. I actually would pick the heat to reach the finals again, but why is it a foregone conclusion? I’m sick of hearing writers and fans think it’s not interesting. Heat should be better this year, but so will the celtics and other teams.

      • blueintown - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:07 AM

        You didn’t address the matter of it being a “forgone conclusion” in your original post. Probably because no one assumes it to be a forgone conclusion. You said Miami really isn’t that good. You said the one team that remained standing at the end of the regular season and playoffs, the one team that eliminated every single opponent in a series (not a single game tournament, where upsets can and do occur quite frequently), wasn’t that good. Think, then type.

    • nyyankeedave - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:07 PM


    • itsonlyaspeedbump - Aug 10, 2012 at 7:50 PM

      So guessing you didn’t watch basketball when MJ was playing? Because the championship was practically a lock for the Bulls every year in Jordan’s heyday.

      Oh, and as for your ‘stacked teams in major markets’ argument, here’s your top 10 markets in the US and their associated NBA franchises

      1.NY–largest by a long shot, not a title contender since the 70s
      2.LA–The Clips, with the same market advantages as the Lakers are historically one of the worst franchises in the history of North American professional sports
      3.Chi–Mediocre to bad since Jordan era, fortunate to draft D.Rose but they have not been a magnet for big name free agents
      4.SF–The Warriors? Really?
      5.Dal–Won a championship through smart play and management, not throwing money at free agents
      6.Hou–not been relevant since the mid-90s
      7.Wash–not been relevant since they were called the Bullets
      8.Phi–Allen Iverson’s teams were infamous for their dearth of talent to pair with A.I
      9.Atl–Barely relevant in Dominique’s era, never a championship contender now
      10.Boston–see # 5

      The lesson? Well-run franchises (San Antonio, Miami, OKC, Dallas, Boston, and yes the Lakers) are a much better predictor of success than just saying “players only want to play in big cities.’

  6. jedifriedchicken - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    You lost me when you said, “the Lakers have more starpower than they’ve ever had in the history of their franchise.” There’s a reason they called them Showtime in the 80’s. Actually, this whole article is pretty stupid. That this super team being allowed to form is going too far. That the Lakers were embarrassed being knock out in the second round the last two years. Hey, I’ll take that kind of embarrassment, over what the Knicks and Clippers have suffered over the past two decades, any day…

  7. blueintown - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    This isn’t rocket science. Teams have and always will seek to acquire and maintain elite talent. The Celtics, Lakers, and Pistons did it in the 80’s, and won championships because of it; the Bulls did it in the 90’s, and won championships because of it; the Spurs and Lakers followed suit, and won championships because of it; all of a sudden we’re astonished and perturbed that teams want better basketball players? If you want a great team, hire someone who drafts great basketball players. Then either grow that talent yourself, or move the assets for better players.

  8. magicbucs - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Exactly! The stacked teams are good for the nba not the fans! If its a hear/laker final. I’m not watching. I know I won’t make much of a difference but I’m still not watching. GO F yourself NBA!

    • manchestermiracle - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      And yet you made the effort to come on here. Another hit for NBC’s ad department. Mission accomplished.

      • badintent - Aug 11, 2012 at 1:37 AM

        Nice one !!

    • brianforster - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      you must not be a fan of basketball then. heat/laker final would be a goddamn work of art.

      • badintent - Aug 11, 2012 at 1:38 AM

        Like Graffiti !!

  9. stoutfiles - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    I’ll admit that power teams are good for NBA ratings. Whether you love or hate teams like the Lakers and Heat, you’re watching.

    However, it’s NOT good for the league down the line. How long will small market fans put up with this?

    Small Market Team:

    1) Win the draft lottery and hope to get a game changing player (Lebron, Durant).
    2) Bend over backwards to make them happy.
    3) When they hit their prime, they leave anyway.
    4) Start sucking all over again
    5) Repeat

    Big Market Team:

    1) Compete for championship
    2) When team gets shaky, pick up 1-2 good players from small market teams at little cost.
    3) Repeat

    Must be fun to root for a team that has to get super lucky in the draft and then wait for the inevitable day when that player leaves for greener pastures. Durant seems to be the only outlier, but only because OKC has done a practically flawless job filling out the rest of the roster. Otherwise, he’d be leaving like all the others, and he will if they ever go downhill.

    • manchestermiracle - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      Oklahoma City seems to have some good players and made it to the finals. Last time I looked they weren’t located anywhere near an ocean. And Durant has made it plain he loves it there and wants to spend his whole career there. Don’t forget that OKC was once the Seattle Supersonics. Seattle is a nice place to live and is on the west coast, yet poor ownership doomed them. Perhaps the larger (unsolvable) problem is that talented front office folks (just like players) prefer certain cities. If you have a good GM it doesn’t really matter your location. Blaming a small market team’s lack of success on its location ignores the real issue.

      • bucrightoff - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:04 AM

        Which is what? Adidas paid Derrick Rose $250 million dollars. You think he’s getting that much if he plays in Indiana or Sacramento? Large markets offer players the chance to maximize their revenue through endorsements, because what do you know, ESPN and the league tend to cover the larger markets substantially more than the smaller ones. Outside the playoffs, can you name me the last time an NBA highlight package didn’t begin with a team from Los Angeles, New York, Miami or Boston?

      • manchestermiracle - Aug 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM

        Thanks for proving my point, buc. The unsolvable issue is that the majority of the population in this country is located on either coast. Thus the teams that represent those areas have much larger bases from which to draw. In addition, most players and executives are drawn to these areas. Sports broadcasters are in the business of making money, just like teams and leagues, so of course they are going to showcase successful teams to large markets. Duh. Sorry I didn’t explain the obvious to you.

    • hystoracle - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      That is because the Lakers and the Heat will be the only teams we will be able to see. Look at the national schedule it will be comprised of about 6-8 teams. We will be left wondering.. “Are the Bucks still in the league?” “Whatever happened to the Grizzlies?” “Have the Magic been relegated to the D-League?”

      • manchestermiracle - Aug 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM

        Once those pathetic teams you mentioned start winning they’ll be broadcast nationally. Why would any network schedule national telecasts of teams that can’t sell advertising? Networks, like teams, exist to make a buck. That’s a corporation’s only reason for being. If you aren’t in a team’s broadcast area, then shell out the money for a TV package that lets you watch them lose.

        Is it just me or are some of the commenters on here completely clueless about how business works? Rest assured, despite your rabid support of your team of choice (and good for you for that) the free market, as well as virtually all participants, are in it for the money.

      • Kurt Helin - Aug 12, 2012 at 9:09 PM

        Correct. Oklahoma City is the smallest NBA television market yet they are on a max number of times because people tune in to watch them. The teams you see the most are the ones that get the highest ratings when on. This is basically a true democracy — your viewing is the votes that determines who gets on.

  10. manchestermiracle - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Great way to start off an opinion piece about a (relatively small) section of the entertainment industry: A quote about money and guns. Sheesh. A whiny screed about how just a few elite teams are dominating a league. In the 50’s and 60’s the Celtics owned the NBA. Other teams caught up. The Lakers and Celtics have, what, 33 titles between them? Yet the NBA is healthy enough to give multiple star players $100+ million contracts. And the last two NBA champs weren’t from either Boston or L.A. “Running out of stars?” What drivel. When has that happened in the last 50 years? Yes, many (certainly not all) star players end up on one coast or the other. One of the appeals in that is it gives the other teams the opportunity to draft and develop the next stars. That’s why the draft is set up the way it is.

    Either sports leagues are profit-driven, free-market enterprises like virtually every other business concern in this country or they’re the NCAA, which isn’t really all that different. (Just because you delude yourself that your players have some sort of amateur status doesn’t make it so.)

    Complaining about teams that routinely find ways to win is like pissing and moaning about conglomerates that post healthy profits every quarter. What, exactly, is your point except to identify yourself as someone who just can’t come to grips with reality? If you aren’t the premier team (or corporation) then you either find a way to compete or you fall by the wayside. It’s the American way. Well, unless you’re a financial institution with friends in (very) high places.

  11. unxpexted1 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Basketball just has a different history. Football franchises have always been built on teams. Teams like the Packers will always be somewhat relevant because of their football franchise more so than any players. Basketball is just a different game. But this is nothiing new. Outside of the spurs, I cant remember small market teams ever being consistent champions in the last 25 years.

  12. paulhargis53 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    abooger: You’re wrong, the Lakers shied away in the 2nd round the last 2 years, to the tune of 1-8. They were beaten by better teams both years.

    • aboogy123456 - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      Hey paul, I agree, the thunder and the mavs were better than the lakers the last two years. But the NBA playoffs are about MATCHUPS, the thunder have a strong defensive frontcourt and they have sefolosha which allowed them to single guard kobe, they were the ideal team to beat the lakers.

      You can beat the heat if you go down low, just like the lakers did in their second matchup last year. The thunder have nobody to dominate inside, but the lakers do. Ah why am I talking actual basketball with you, it’s pointless.

  13. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    As a Sixers fan, I am thrilled to get Bynum in here and to shed Iggy’s contract. Giving up pretty much 3 mid-first round picks is a steep price to pay, but worth it.

    However, I have to ask…how in the world did the Lakers get Howard for Bynum STRAIGHT UP??? Geeze. And don’t even mention the 2017 draft pick. This trade makes the Pau Gasol robbery look like an even trade.

  14. nyyankeedave - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Unless you’re a Lakers, Heat, Celtics, Spurs or Thunder fan – why even bother anymore? Seriously, make this an 8-team league already and let’s call it a day. R.I.P. NBA.

    • Alex K - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      That is rich coming from a guy with NY Yankee in his handle.

      • nyyankeedave - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        Yes, the Yankees are great every year, but most seasons they don’t even reach the World Series or even the championship series. And, contrary to today’s NBA, in baseball, teams like the Cardinals, Giants, Pirates, Diamondbacks and A’s and others can compete, get hot, and win it all. That doesn’t happen in the NBA…and by the sad look of things, it never will. I love rooting for my Yanks, but I enjoy the fact that they have to legitimately have to contend every season because good teams are sprouting up all around them (Bal, Tor). Alex K, Do your homework before piling on the Lakers bandwagon like the rest of the sheep.

      • Alex K - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM

        I’m fully aware of the differences in MLB and the NBA so save the pedantic lesson. The NBA has never really been a league where a team can get hot and win a title like in baseball. Seriously, when was the last time a team did that in the NBA? There is a lot more randomness and luck in baseball, so it’s easier for a team to win 4 of 7 (or 3 of 5).

        Do you not see that you are saying the almost exact same thing that people say when the Yankees sign or trade for a great player? Is that honestly lost on you?

      • nyyankeedave - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        Forget baseball then. What about the NFL?! What about the NHL?! My point is, Einstein, that even with the power teams in all other sports – almost EVERY OTHER TEAM has a chance to capture a title! We know who’s gonna win the NBA title now, the Lakers, Heat or Thunder! And that’s a guarantee! You think my Yanks are a shoe in this year? I don’t. What about the Pats or the Steelers or the Packers? We don’t know in those sports! But we do in the NBA, and that’s pathetic.

        I’d gladly spare you the lesson, Alex K, but me thinks you need it.

      • Alex K - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        First, way to keep it mature with the name calling. You are aware that people can have a discussion where they don’t agree and not call each other names, right? Can we try and be grown-ups here?

        You also forgot to argue my point. When was the last time we didn’t have a pretty good idea who would be in/win the NBA finals? The NFL is a one game playoff so that could possibly be the worst example to use. In hockey style of play matters a lot more than it does in basketball, so that is a big factor, as well. Also, a goalie matters more than any single player on a basketball court. So you have to take into account a hot goalie. If you want to keep arguing apples and oranges I can go all day….

      • nyyankeedave - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        You’re an NBA apologist and that’s cool – all I’m saying is I’m personally tired of the NBA being soooo predictable. Something has got to change, it’s boring! So yeah, today the NBA is growing ever popular etc. but if it keeps excluding the fanbases of the other lesser squads there will be serious problems. we’re talking the contraction of multiple teams. You don’t think David Stern knows this already? Remember the Chris Paul deal? Why do we even need a team in Toronto? Sacramento? Milwaukee? I can go on – I just don’t find it as compelling as the other sports.

        I know the NBA is a separate entity, but darn, it’s getting boring! I want some parity, just a little. Please! I don’t care about Kobe going for 6 or the asine argument that without a ring, Lebron is not on the greatest ever. I want to see some new blood, I want to see something different. The NBA needs to evolve like all the other leagues – so make it an 8 team league and cut the dead weight or evolve and spread it around – that’s all I’m saying. I want to see a better product – I want every team in it! I know that’s unrealistic, Alex K, but geesh, is that too much to ask?

      • Alex K - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        I’m actually far from an NBA apologist. All I’m saying is that there has never really been that much parity in the NBA. In the last 32 years only 9(!) different franchises have won the NBA Title and the Mavericks and 76ers are the only teams to only win one in that timeframe. So you’re basically asking for something that hasn’t been around for a very long time. Trades like this aren’t the only reason why certain teams continue to win.

        And orginally all I was saying was it is rich to hear a Yankees fan complain about teams having too many great players since, you know, people complain about the Yankees having too many great players.

      • nyyankeedave - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        Me being a Yankees fan aside, can’t we agree that it’d be nice to see more teams involved? It seems to me that some clubs in the NBA exist only to be the punchline of some Kenny Smith or Charles Barkley TNT halftime show joke. I know the NBA has been like this for the last 30 years,unfortunately it seems all but impossible for it to change now, but that doesn’t mean it has to be that way for the next 30 years. I’d just like to see the NBA take some proactive steps in boosting the overall competitiveness of the entire league insted of wilting every off-season to the demands of its spoiled employees. I just think it’d be a better product, but again, that’s just my opinion. And for the record, I think the Yankees don’t even make it to the ALCS, they’re the 4th best team in the AL.

    • aboogy123456 - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      so do you also have to hate on tennis because that’s fairly predictable as well??

      basketball is a beautiful game to watch, stop hating.

      • nyyankeedave - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:34 PM

        Do you watch Tennis? There’s more upsets in that than the NBA.

  15. cosanostra71 - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    well, I agree. but seeing as I’m a Lakers fan I’m not all that shook up about it right now

  16. hojo20 - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Hopefully D12 will blow out his back in the preseason.

    • eerock41 - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      i hope the same thing. hope D12 is never the same. ohh and by the way the way to beat D12 is to put him on the free throw line. watch the lakers pull him out of the game as fast as they can. he is following shaq’s lead, lets change his name now to baby shaq.

  17. 1historian - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Let’s not forget – Nash is closing in on 40 and his best days are in the rear-view mirror.

    Kobe ain’t getting any younger.

    Howard is a certified hot-dog and – his impressive physical skills aside – ain’t never done NOTHIN’ when the pressure is on, which it most certainly will be in lalaland.

    Do I hate the Lakers? Yes. I am a Celtics fan and for me to be able to say that I must hate the Lakers. Hell – I have a 30 year old t-shirt that says that.

    I only wear it on special occasions because a 30 year old t-shirt is – a 30 year old t-shirt.

    Congrats to Lakers management for pulling this off,and I sincerely hope it blows up in your face.

    One more thing – I would LOVE to be there when Kobe loses it and gets in Howard’s face.

    And it WILL happen

  18. detlefschrempfriedrice - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Note: The sky is not falling.

    You guys all complaining about stacked teams, does anyone remember how terrible the NBA was from 99-06? I embrace stacked teams.

    Celtics don’t deserve to be grouped in the upper echelon.

    Don’t forget injuries.

    Trust, the Lakers starting 5 has a lot of prestige and even more miles on them.

    Nuggets still slipping under peoples radar is crazy to me.

    GSW, BK Nets, Toronto will all be much better.

    Don’t know too many teams that would wanna play Memphis in the 1st round, same with Minne if Rubio comes back even at 80%.

    Look, we all know who the main title contenders are, but you guys complaining for the sake of complaining and acting like the leagues 85% scrubs, relax

    • nyyankeedave - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      I don’t totally disagree with you, but I got to see it before believe it. Right now, from the looks of it, only 3-4 teams can legitimately win the championship. Until GSW, Brooklyn or Toronto roll up on a title I’ll believe otherwise.

      • detlefschrempfriedrice - Aug 10, 2012 at 5:28 PM

        Oh don’t get me wrong, GSW, BK, Toronto are probably winning a combined 0 titles over the next 20 years but theres been a ton of teams that were good-to-stellar teams that never won a title. I get what you’re saying tho, and you’re right 100%, until they produce anything they’ve produced nothing.

  19. paulhargis53 - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Check me if I’m wrong booger, but I don’t think the Lakers played the Heat in the 2nd round last year….

    Also, you’re assuming the Lakers get by OKC this year. I don’t see that happening.
    The starting 5 has never been the issue for LA. It’s been the rancid bench. I’m sorry, Jamison, Hill, and Blake aren’t scaring anyone. Howard is going to be a liability with his free throws. Nash can’t play much more than his average of 28 game. Are they going to continue to push Kobe, Pau, and now Howard at 40 minutes a game?
    Depth is what did in the Lakers 2 years running, that situation hasn’t changed.

    Yep, that’s a great starting 5, its improved, but they can’t play all 48.

  20. lakerluver - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    This is a GREAT day!! There is absolutely NOTHING the haters can do to spoil it!! Mitch is a phukin genius! The Buss family are the best owners in all of sports!! If healthy, Kobe’s gonna get no.6 and the franchise is gonna hang its 17th banner!! I FREAKIN LOVE MY LAKERS!!!!

  21. giantssb42champs - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    I blame Danny Ainge. This nonsense all started with his Celtic “Big three” when his BFF Kevin McHale virtually handed Kevin Garnett to the Celtics for nothing.

  22. lakerluver - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    To SHOCKEXCHANGE, PAULHARGIS53, ISUJAMES and all the other clueless nitwits who have vainly attempted to disparage my LAKERS and the fans, I only have one thing to say–kiss our PURPLE AND GOLD CLAD ARSES!!!!!!!!!

    • 1historian - Aug 10, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      could you be a little more clear on that?

  23. lakerluver - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    OBVIOUSLY, you haven’t been following this blog very long. If you can’t take the heat stay the phuk out the kitchen!!

  24. paulhargis53 - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Boy, I bet lackersuckers blowup doll with A picture of Kobe glued to it took a beating last night. Lord knows he’s never seen a grown woman naked outside of books and the internet.

    You are in for a huge suprise when this ends without a title, junior.

    • aboogy123456 - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      this is coming from the guy who said lakers won’t get out of the first round..

  25. 1historian - Aug 11, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    nightman13 – your response to my question.

    It was a rhetorical question but I appreciate your taking the time to respond. I was just making the point that everyone should be able to decide where he/she works. I realize that the realities of competitive balance and the like make this impossible, but the fact is still that people should be able to choose where they want to work.

    IOW the draft – in ALL pro sports – is inherently unfair. It is necessary, which I realize, but it is unfair.

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