Thursday, April 18, 2013

The One and Only Certainty for the Lakers: CHANGE

As I sit at my desk writing my first article after the longest break I have ever taken from this blog, I amreminded of the first time I took some time away from writing. It was back in June 2012. Here is the first article I wrote upon returning. At the time, I strongly felt the urge to drain my man period, or manstruation, if you will, by cursing, ranting and raving. This time, it is different. I don't feel the urge to spend an entire paragraph saying the word "fuck" or call people retards or make racist comments. Don't get me wrong. I still have those feelings. I am still the same angry racist asshole you know and love. But I just don't feel the need to go out of my way to express my inner asshole. (Instead I just vent my frustrations through my outer asshole sitting on the toilet.) Maybe I am getting old. Maybe my testosterone levels are slowly declining. Or maybe I am just getting fatter and lazier. Whatever it is, here is the point:


Brace yourselves Laker fans (and haters). Changes are coming. BIG TIME! If there is one thing we can all learn from this Kobe Bryant injury, it is this: Kobe Bryant will rehab and work his ass off and be back and he will be a top tier player when he returns. No doubt. He will be ready. But will the Lakers be ready? I am more worried about the rest of the roster hell of a lot more than I am worried about Kobe Bryant with a torn achilles.

Back in 2009, I was talking with a friend of mine from pharmacy school. We were discussing the upcoming NBA playoffs. I casually mentioned to my buddy that I didn't think Dwight Howard was serious enough to win a championship. I thought he goofed around too much. I thought he liked to laugh and smile and make jokes just a little too much. Then a few weeks went by and Dwight Howard single-handedly carried a weak Magic team to the Finals. "I guess I was wrong," I said to myself. In reference to that thought, today I sit here saying "I guess I was wrong," once again. (I am sticking to my original thought of Dwight not being serious enough.) So here is the bottom line: Unless he dramatically changes his on-court personality(not impossible), Dwight Howard will never win a championship being the best player on his team. 

I think whether Dwight Howard resigns with the Lakers or not is irrelevant. Here is why: Whether he resigns or not, the Lakers are not going to be good enough next year to win a championship. Due to the contract and cap situations, the Lakers will be limited in what they can do to their roster. And whether he resigns or not, after next year, the Lakers will be contenders. Why?

Because they have only one player signed for the 2014-2015 season. Wait. Let me repeat that. The Los Angeles Lakers have only one player signed on for the 2014-2015 season!!! That player is Steve Nash at around 9 million. That means they have more than 80 MILLION DOLLARS coming off the books in the summer of 2014. Now of course some of that money will be used to resign Dwight, Kobe (at a much lower price) and maybe Pau (also at a much lower price). Regardless, they will have more cap room than they have ever had in the modern free agent era. And being the Los Angeles Lakers, they will attract some big time free agents. Here are some POTENTIAL free agents in the summer of 2014:

Dirk Nowitzki
Tony Parker
John Wall
Dwayne Wade
Lebron James
Chris Bosh
Luol Deng
Paul George
Carmelo Anthony
Zach Randolph
+ A bunch of other really good young role players and upcoming players that can be available.

With all the good team trying to limit their spending in order to avoid the luxury tax bill, and the bad teams not being as good of a destination as LA, I think the Lakers are going to revamp their entire team with a  bunch of new free agents in that summer. I am not saying all of these players I listed want to come to the Lakers. The Lakers may not even have a shot at some of these players. But if they can just sign a couple of those young big names, or maybe three, put them along side some sort of combination of Dwight/Pau (will be getting paid much less than now if he sticks around/Kobe (will be getting paid much less than now)/Nash, and recharge their bench with some young athletes, the Lakers will be contenders again...soon.

Lakers being contenders is not so surprising. Almost everyone can predict that will happen, just because they are the Lakers. But whether or not they will be perennial contenders on a verge of starting another dynasty will all depend on the coaching situation. I have been frustrated with the Lakers coaching situation for a while now. Every day I go to a wishing well near my house and through in loose change wishing the Lakers would fire Mike D'antoni. Lately I have been throwing in hundred dollar bills. Short of winning the first round playoff series against Pop (The best coach in the league) and the Spurs, I don't there is anything D'antoni can do to save his job. The problem is, I am not running the Lakers. Jimmy Buss is.

And as far as all the Laker haters are concerned, laugh it up right now. You have this short window until the summer of 2014 to clown on the Lakers all you want. They may be down right now, but the greatest franchise in the history of sports will rise again. Change may be inevitable when it comes to their roster, but one thing that never changes and never will, is that the Lakers will always be good again... 
...and that's just the way it is...

Thanks for reading!
Yours truly,
The King of Nothing