The Clean Slate
Thats all I can say. For all thats wrong about what today represents, to me it also represents a new dawn/age in the NBA. The Big Market LA gets scorned/spurned/rejected in favor of a smaller one. Everyone that was looking for a tingle wanted Dwight to choose Houston. Later, when all else fails or very little works, everyone would simply say: He should’ve chosen the Lakers. No one walks away from the Lakers.
In this day and age, where a homegrown band that plays music from garages and thinks they are the next Beatles, its hard to separate the wannabe from the real thing. Today, the Lakers have a unique opportunity to address a problem as it should be – head on. Today, we face the team’s real needs based on our needs and not to cater for Dwight’s deficiencies.
Its hard when you try to insist/instill/inculcate the principles of Kobe and winning onto a personality that views the NBA as a “game” rather than his work. Such is both, but your inclination will determine where you reach. Lebron did not magically become a champion. He worked hard. He realized the value of the criticisms that he had in the past, mind you they are a million times worse than that of Dwight, and made an effort to find his glory. In the end, or atleast as far as 2013 goes, he is the world’s most dominant player, the current, reigning and undeniable champion. Much will still be said about the path he chose when he left Cleveland, but now that he has the goods to show, everything will be a murky memory.
Dwight, on the other hand, chose an easier path. He claims he has bet 30 million on this decision. While we know thats not necessarily true, we give the guy his due. “Whatever Rocks your Boat, Dwight” …
The team, the Lakers brand, as maligned as Jim Buss is and as unrecognized his feats are, he is once more given a great opportunity to prove his doubters much like Lebron had. He has a unique opportunity of making good out of a bad situation and coming out on top. And when he’s up there, he can remember a fellow from the southern part of the Philippines that grades him a solid A in his performance so far when the rest of the world can only muster a C-.
Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol… to a certain extent. Metta World Peace. These are great names, while you can say that their best years are behind them, their greatness are unquestioned. Their resolve, despite their bodies are resisting, remain ironclad. Motivation can be a very bad thing for angry great players.
Before you suggest the 4-letter word that insults the laker brand, or use the 7-letter word that blasphemes the Lakers’ greatest SG, think again. And then think some more. Give these guys a chance.