Almost as tragic as Kobe Bryant’s Achilles tear, something devastating happened yesterday on the final night of the 2012-2013 NBA regular season.
The Lakers squeaked into the playoffs! And Laker fans should be cursing and crying instead of bragging and celebrating.
GET REAL, HOLLYWOOD!!! Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers should not be celebrating last night’s so-called win over the turnover prone Houston Rockets.
This Lakers team will not win the championship. They will be fortunate just to get past the San Antonio Spurs. But do you really believe their backcourt has the stamina to carry them past the Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Miami Heat?
What a nightmare! All this for a first-round upset leading into an off-season as painful as Kobe’s early physical rehab will be.
Face it: this Lakers team needs to be in the 2013 NBA Draft lottery.
Just like the passing of the torch from the late Dr. Jerry Buss to his yet-to-really-arrive son Jim Buss, the Lakers need to rebuild—starting next fall.
Kobe Bryant – If you’ve never ruptured your Achilles tendon before, then you really have no clue what you’re talking about. Flaming Bag of Poo suffered a complete Achilles tear years ago, and ever since, Poo has been unable to repeat as Slam Dunk Champion on the home office nerf hoop.
It’s in everyone’s best interests for the Lakers to “amnesty” Kobe’s $30 million in his final contract year. Yes, the Lakers need to take emotion out of the equation. Forget loyalty. Can the Lakers franchise really afford $30 million sitting in the training room until the prime Christmas Day matchup? (Can ABC really afford to put the Lakers on Christmas Day without Kobe???). Kobe is no longer the high-flying juvenile that the Lakers first drafted. This season was a grind on his aging body, and his Achilles won’t allow him to be the Kobe Bryant that fans will expect back from the minute he does walk back onto the court. Look at other basketball stars like Elton Brand and Chauncey Billups who have been a shadow of their former greatness since returning from Achilles injuries. Sir Charles Barkley didn’t even try. Kobe will be thinking about re-rupturing his Achilles every time he jumps. For $30 million, at best, you’ll get a ball-hogging jump shooter. Have you already forgotten Michael Jordan in his last season with the Washington Wizards? When the clutch, aerial moves ceased to exist…
Amnesty Kobe! Spare Kobe (and Laker fans) the torture of trying to live up expectations that he’ll return as the same Kobe Bryant that we’ve been spoiled to depend on all these years. Set him loose for his own good. He’ll come back when he’s good and ready. (Really, do you think Kobe would really sign any other team other than the Lakers?) The Lakers could re-sign Kobe for the 2014-2015 season at something far less than $30 million because Kobe knows he wouldn’t look good in a Washington Wizards jersey.
Dwight Howard – The only guy not named “The Situation” who thinks that life is better in Jersey than in Los Angeles. Superman is saying all of the right things (OK, maybe not ALL…but SOME) right now. But wait until his exit interview with Mitch Kupchak once the Lakers get bounced from the playoffs. Dwight ain’t staying if Kobe isn’t coming back. And worse yet, Dwight ain’t staying if Kobe does come back!
Sign-and-trade. Everyone better get used to Brook Lopez in a Lakers jersey.
Pau Gasol – During offseason trade talks, Gasol’s name will be thrown around more often in than the words “salary cap”. The Lakers should trade Gasol for a couple athletes who can jump higher than Steve Nash and Steve Blake.
I wouldn’t even attempt to summarize the soft cap vs. the hard cap on team salaries. I couldn’t explain it better than Wikipedia.
Steve Nash – It’s painful enough to see this hobbled future Hall of Famer get through this season. Next season, Nash will only be another year older. Fans’ expectations may as well be the basketball rim—because “White Men Can’t Jump” Nash will never come close to touching it.
Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks, Darius Morris – Laker fans, these are your likely options to start in place of Kobe Bryant alongside Steve Nash throughout the 2013-2014 season.
It’s like finding out that you’re getting to sit beside a Jack Nicholson impersonator in the nose-bleed seats—instead of courtside with the real deal.
Ben McLemore – In this draft, McLemore is the next coming of Kobe Bryant. Because the old Kobe Bryant will never be back, the Lakers needed to get themselves in the lottery in hopes they land one of the top two picks. (Conspiracy theorists remember Patrick Ewing and the frozen lottery envelopes!)
Come on, Laker fans, let’s make a parade toward the NBA draft lottery!
AMNESTY KOBE BRYANT!
TRADE PAU GASOL!
THROW ALL THAT MONEY AT DWIGHT HOWARD SO THAT HE’LL STAY.
RETREAT TO THE GENTLE EMBRAE OF THE DRAFT LOTTERY SO THAT YOU HAVE A CHANCE AT WINNING BEN MCLEMORE, MERLENS NOEL, OR TREY BURKE!
START REBUILDING NOW FOR 2014 AND BEYOND!
When winning is actually losing…Your Los Angeles Lakers.
As always, major props to Hoops Hype for such a great breakdown of NBA salaries!