Before you start shouting "5 Rings!" at me, please just hear me out. Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard don't seem to mesh well, something has to give, likely this summer.First of all, the Lakers aren't amnestying Kobe - it just isn't happening - so you may as well just perish that thought. That said, and more to the point, I really think the jury is out on this whole "Kobe and Dwight don't seem to mesh well" argument.
First of all, the Lakers aren't amnestying Kobe - it just isn't happening - so you may as well just perish that thought. . . .Way to dismiss 8 rational, logical points with a childish "Because I said so."
There will be no amnestying of Kobe Bean Bryant, sorry to disappoint you.
Interesting perspective and post, BLR. But I don't think that we will ever see Kobe play in another uniform. There might be a slight window when his contract ends. But I still see Kobe retiring in a Laker uniform. I think he's the type of guy who cares about his legacy. And I believe that he will love to say he retired playing with one team: our beloved Lakers. And I think ownership will respond in kind, valuing what he has meant to this team.
However, I am much more inclined to accept your caveat as proposed. I think the jury is still out on how well Kobe and Howard can mesh. We never have seen an injury-free Dwight Howard. That said, I don't like hearing constant reports that they can't play together; Kobe talking about him in the media; or frankly Dwight's attitude; I really didn't like him smiling after that last blow out, making allusions that he may want to play for another team, and saying how he is not happy here. In addition, I'm also apt to believe that, as Jefe said, this has been an aberrant year filled with injuries and coaching changes more than anything.
Also, let's say we sign Dwight long-term. He still is looking at surgery at the end of the year for a torn labrum. An injury that will likely sideline him for 6 months. Matt Kemp had that surgery, and his estimated recovery time was around 6 months. So, we would likely not see Dwight , if ever healthy, till at least January 2014. It's basically going to come down to a gamble on whether Dwight can recover and return to his former self when he was with Orlando. Do we use 20 million towards Dwight, or do we turn to other players to help us. That's another thing to consider. I must admit that I'm leaning toward cutting our losses and going into another direction all together. I proposed a Kevin Love for Dwight Howard deal about a month and a half ago, and I stand by it. This has been such a mess that I'm thinking the whole Dwight experiment isn't gonna work out. But as Jefe said, it's a wait and see at this point. Let's see what happens after the All Star Game.
Lastly, one thing that has come from all this drama and injury filled year is the importance of Pau Gasol and how much he means to this team. We were starting to look good before Pau's torn fascia. Btw, he was still playing injured. And the team play was considerably better with Pau at center, without Howard, than Howard at center without Gasol. Gasol wouldn't be smiling after that last Clipper loss. I can't wait to see Pau come back with his push and jump returning. I'm convinced that we'll see the Pau Gasol who helped us win 2 Championships, once again. The guy has played through injuries, has said all along that he wants to remain a Laker, and has done whatever the team has asked of him. I hope managment finally sees this, too. I'd much rather see Pau stay and D'Antoni go if it comes down to a decision being made. Or, as I've said before, perhaps a lightning bolt will strike D'Antoni's head, and he will come to the realization that Howard and Pau can co-exist together. You just have to know how to use them. I'd love for both Howard and Pau to stay with the team. But right now, if it came down to a decision between Pau and Dwight, I'd take the Spaniard and see what we can get in the off season without having Howard's hugh contract and questional back as a burden. We'll see.
Howards cap hold is about $20.5M (105% of this years salary). Pair that with Nash's $9.3M and that's already $30M dedicated just to two players. Now add Gasol's $19.2M and that already takes you completely out of max offer range. LA would have to effectively dump Pau for literally almost zero financial return to a team significantly under the cap (no team has a trade exception that big), attach either Blake or Artest in that deal, amnesty the one who isn't involved in the deal and decline Meeks' option just to enter the max offer range. And they'd still have Hill's $3.5M, Clark's $2.35M cap hold, $1.5 guaranteed for Duhon and minimum roster charges in between $3-4 million. Thus, if LA can do all of the above, which is borderline impossible, they could have about $19M to throw at the Maestro. This is all incredibly far-fetched (and that's kind of the point), but would be the one scenario I'd entertain amnestying Kobe. Saving money to accomodate Clark as well can be accomplished in other more justifiable ways, such as amnestying MWP.They teach you this stuff at Marquette? Man, I got robbed in my Sports Law course.
Reading between the lines of your post it seems you believe Dwight will re-sign (that was explicit) but at the same time would amnesty Kobe to ensure he stays (less explicit).Yeah, sort of. See my caveat. I'm cool with the "nice" Kobe, and judging by Howard's comments this season, he is too. I just don't see Kobe sustaining it, to the detriment of my favorite team.
It's an interesting subject to discuss, but being entirely realistic not a subject that will even cross the minds of Lakers brass.Really, you don't think the idea of using the amnesty on Kobe's $30M has crossed their minds? I dsagree, for all the reasons I already stated.
It's a tough sell to your fanbase amnestying Kobe with no superstar replacement. Even though Kobe fans would likely storm the keep and kill everyone regardless..Winning fixes everything. Also, keep in mind we're talking about the franchise that ignored two games of an arena literally chanting for Phil Jackson.
Also, let's say we sign Dwight long-term. He still is looking at surgery at the end of the year for a torn labrum. An injury that will likely sideline him for 6 months. Matt Kemp had that surgery, and his estimated recovery time was around 6 months. So, we would likely not see Dwight , if ever healthy, till at least January 2014.I don't get the impression Howard has seriously considered having the surgery. Odom had it, tore the tendon, had the surgery again, tore it again, something like three times and gave up. A lot of athletes forgo the whole surgery because it isn't all that effective nor necessary to play, plus the 6 months you mentioned.
Lastly, one thing that has come from all this drama and injury filled year is the importance of Pau Gasoland how much he means to this team. We were starting to look good before Pau's torn fascia. Btw, he was still playing injured. And the team play was considerably better with Pau at center, without Howard, than Howard at center without Gasol.I agree wholeheartedly, DA! I wouldn't expect Pau to always outplay Howard though, obviously. We just need a better coach, like you said.
Red, speaking of your allegiance to the Lakers, I suppose the premise of your thread authoring post that irked me the most was the manner in which you seem so casually quick to simply write Kobe off...basically dismissing him as a really expensive, ultimately expendable, volume shooter. Surely, as a long time fan, you can appreciate not only everything that Kobe has contributed towards the Lakers championship legacy, but also the extend to which Kobe remains a superstar in this league, a top 10 player in his own right, the team's most marketable player, and STILL the face of the franchise.Absolutely. Thing is, presently (as has been since the '80s when my dad started explaining the game to me) my allegiance is to the Lakers, as was his. What most people nowadays don't get is that I could not care any less whether Kobe Bryant gets his, so long as my team wins. Too often I see Kobe get his and my team loses. I see the pattern, because I've been taught how the game is supposed to be played.
(5) We don't need Kobe as much as we need team basketball. Look at the Lakers record from the first 42 games when Kobe shot 20-30 times a night and compare that to the last 12 games when Kobe suddenly started shooting less and passing more. For those keeping score it's 17-25 versus 8-4.
Is Howard's main beef with D'Antoni or Kobe? His dad's comments made it seem like both but more directed at D'Antoni. I can't image D'Antoni being able to outlive both Pau and Howard with the Lakers.BRS, I think the Kobe/Howard beef is more media hyperbole that fans react to more than the athletes. But they have to get listeners and viewers, so I guess it works. Fans buy the out of context comments.
I just have to wonder if we are all making more out of being able to give Dwight the max contract terms than we should be. In terms of actual take home $$$$$$, we may in fact be offering him a contract that would be less valuable than what other teams would be willing to offer. I have no doubt Dwight has a very capable tax attorney, who has advised him on this matter. However, I believe we, as fans may be overlooking this aspect of his next contract.