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For Irony's Sake...

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Lakers, if you have any sympathy for me as a fan you will do one thing--trade the house for Dwight Howard. I know, I know, it is already popular belief that this trade is imminent because Dwight loves “the spotlight” and the Lakers always attract “the star free agents”. But that’s not the reason why I want Dwight Howard on the Lakers.

I want it for the pure irony, the irony that somehow has gone completely unnoticed, the irony that completely saturates the entire situation.

No, it’s not because it would mean that Dwight Howard has completely gone all-in on the hijacking of Shaquille O’Neal’s career, despite the fact that this means that Dwight Howard literally hasn’t ever had an original thought in his head. A freakishly athletic center who thinks he’s insanely hilarious but maintains a “tough guy” persona on the court, drafted by the Magic but bolts for the nicer beaches of LA once things begin to look bleak? Come on Dwight, been there, done that.

But, no, that’s not the reason why I want, rather need, Dwight Howard on the Lakers, though it does revolve around this concept of been there done that.

Kobe Bryant paired with the league's most dominant big men? We have been there done that with Shaq and Kobe, and it created more drama than anything we’ve ever seen in the NBA with the exception of The Decision. The facts of the case were this: Kobe Bryant couldn’t handle being the number two option on a team, couldn’t “feed the big dog”, and couldn’t have long term success with this dual-alpha dog set up.

History repeating itself into disaster. That, my friends, is irony, perhaps even cliché.

Sure, the tandem won three championships, which makes it hard to call a failure. Yet, there is one unmentioned truth in the Dwight Howard-Lakers saga--Dwight Howard ain’t Shaq. He simply isn’t as dominant. Even in these past playoffs after a season when the advanced stat guru’s were outraged that Howard didn’t win the MVP, he couldn’t carry his team out of the first round and created a “Dwight Howard stopper” in Jason Collins. True, he did average 27 points and 15 rebounds per game. Yet, let us look at Shaq in the 2001 Finals against, perhaps, the greatest shot blocker in the league at the time, Dikembe Mutombo. 33 points per game along side 15 rebounds en route to 4-1 thrashing of the 76ers.

Like I said, Dwight ain’t Shaq.

Still, the situation gets better. If the Lakers were to acquire Dwight Howard, he would automatically become the best player on the team because Kobe just isn’t Kobe anymore. It’s true. If one is to look at Kobe Bryant’s stats over the last three years, they have gotten progressively worse, beginning with his points, then his field goal percentage, and then his three point percentage, which was particularly abysmal in these past playoffs. Of course, Lakers’ fans come rushing to his aid like a mother after their third grade child gets yelled at in his first soccer game, saying he’s more of a distributor now, more of a team guy. Once again, let us go to the stats, where his assists drop slightly and his usage rate has risen. No, Kobe is not this distributor; rather one could say he is gunning for his shot more than ever.


Kobe Bryant just isn’t the same, and needless to say if the Lakers are trying to replicate the Shaq-Kobe years, you wouldn’t want to do it with a lesser version of Shaq and a lesser version of Kobe. This is what the Lakers would have--a non-contending duo.

What could this lead to? Only the most ironic aspect of the entire situation. If the two don’t get along as history shows they will not, Kobe Bryant, who kicked out the just past-his-prime Shaquille O’Neal, could be run out of town by the man who is doing an impression of the same guy Kobe kicked out. Finally, the circle is complete.

But, you know what? I would still do this trade. I would do it because this current Lakers team isn’t contending anyway--the sweep, the lack of trust, the softness, and the erosion of Kobe Bryant. It’s not happening. Sure, they will continue to make the playoffs and maybe make it past the first round, but that’s not good enough in this organization. The Lakers need some youth, some change, and an overall makeover. Of course, the Kobe-Dwight duo won’t win a championship alone and may even lead to a repeat performance of the Kobe-Shaq drama, but the team would merely be a B-list star (say Andre Iguodola or Kevin Love) away from contending for a championship, which the Lakers can’t say now.

Associated PressAccording to Chad Ford from ESPN, the Magic hold all the power and may be demanding a blockbuster along the lines of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom for Dwight Howard and the awful contract of Gilbert Arenas. Strategically, this actually might make sense. The Lakers, who allegedly are moving away from the triangle towards a pick and roll offense, would be the perfect fit for Dwight Howard. Gilbert Arenas would even make sense, as Derek Fisher inches toward retirement, and Arenas is an attacking point guard who can get his own shot. The Magic, surely tired of the Dwight Howard project that peaked three years ago, would get three hardened playoff veterans who would be playing with a chip on their shoulder.

It makes sense, as long as Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant don’t kill each other. Kobe, use this as an opportunity to show that you have, in fact, morphed into a team player.

So Lakers, please send that trio to Orlando. Kourtney and Khloe have already taken Miami. Now let Khloe and Lamar take Orlando. Isn’t Florida where old people go to retire? In that case, it sounds perfect for oft-injured Andrew Bynum. I don’t even have a Pau Gasol joke.  The dude is just soft.

Let Mike Brown coach the man who crushed him in the 2009 playoffs. Better yet, bring back Phil Jackson to keep the Kobe-Shaq comparisons coming. If you remember, it was none other than Phil Jackson who said in 2009 that he would choose Dwight Howard over Lebron James to build a team around. Time to prove it.

Because that’s the thing, I want this trade because I want to satiate my greedy desire for the circle to become complete. I want Kobe Bryant to have karma staring him in the face, his role as “the guy” to be questioned, the potential for a ironic implosion of a team. But I want him to conquer these obstacles. I want him to prove that he has changed, that he can finally admit to being the second banana on a team.

But if he can’t, I will full-heartedly cherish the soap opera that will be the 2011-2012 Lakers. Either way, I win.


0 sonny 2011-06-24 19:17 #3
Closet Laker hater.
0 Sean Steven Spiece 2011-06-24 19:09 #2
Quoting john:
you are a true moron

elaborate upon that
0 john 2011-06-24 18:55 #1
you are a true moron

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