A Change From The Guard
With the approaching 2012-2013 NBA season, all eyes are on the new look Los Angeles Lakers. With newly acquired starters Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, along with bench standout Antawn Jamison, the Lakers head into the season as vaunted favorites to emerge out of the West. On paper the Lakers are seemingly unstoppable… with 2 time MVP Steve Nash quarterbacking the offense, expect the Lakers to put up points in excess this season. Although the team was built to win now, what will the Lakers look like once all their veterans [Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pao Gasol, Ron Artest, Etc.] move on from the team? …Kobe is on record stating [that he hopes Dwight will assume the leadership role when he retires]… It all sounds very storybook, the Lakers win their championship(s) and their veterans ride off into the sunset while Dwight takes control of the team for the future. Well something tells me that it’s not going to happen quite like that. The fact that Dwight Howard had indecision on going to LA in the first place, mixed with him not signing an extension yet seriously makes me doubt his commitment to the Lakers franchise. A nightmare scenario for LA would be not winning the championship this season, or at least making it to the Finals. If the Lakers fall short in the playoffs or fail to make to make it to the playoffs at all, I find it hard to believe Dwight Howard will sign an extension. On a team with the majority of the players on the back-end of their careers, Dwight is at risk of going through another rebuilding process in the near future. Even if the Lakers were successful in winning a championship this season, Howard, I’m sure is weary of the teams short window for success with an aging roster. I could see a scenario where the Lakers could win the championship this season and Dwight would still not sign an extension. Howard could earn his coveted ring and then have the ability to choose his own situation the following season. Either way, I feel Dwight’s future with the Lakers is directly linked to their success this season.