The Los Angeles Lakers are one of two most premier franchises in the National Basketball Association, the other being the Boston Celtics. For years, The NBA was dominated by the two organizations.
In 1979, one of the greatest business men to have lived purchased the Lakers’ organization and seemingly took them to arguably the greatest time period of basketball, the “Showtime” era with stars such as Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar and highlight offense. On February 18th, 2013, Jerry Buss died of kidney failure and with his death. With his death, any chance the Lakers had of reclaiming those glory days has passed.
Jerry’s son, Jim Buss, now has control of the Lakers and essentially will ruin the franchise. With his stubbornness to higher the greatest coach in basketball, Phil Jackson, earlier this year, the first act was in place. Now with complete control of the organization, Jim’s refusal to trade Dwight Howard will put full control of the business to Howard, a player who has no idea what he wants as of right now. The current situation is no different than what Dwight did previously last offseason to the Orlando Magic organization.
The Orlando Magic essentially followed every whim this summer to try and convince Howard to stay, even firing their long standing coach Stan Van Gundy who Howard was not fond of from his system. Still without receiving a full commitment from Howard and needing to reestablish the team, the group finally was forced to trade him knowing he would leave in the offseason for bigger, brighter lights and money while the team would be left with nothing to rebuild with.
Jim Buss’ refusal to trade Howard puts the ball in Howard’s court essentially. Now, Howard will choose where he goes at the end of the season but, with his list of demands a higher priority of the Lakers if they choose to extend and offer and “woo” him. Howard passionately hates current head coach Mike DanToni, so to resign Howard to a contract, the Lakers will most likely have to fire him for a better system involving Howard. Howard also wants to be paid the Max Contract, which will drastically put the Lakers over the league cap room baring a huge penalty fee, all in order to keep an overrated star. Howard may be worth the money for the contract but, the 30 Million fee is hopefully not in the Lakers best plans.
Trading Dwight, even if you couldn’t get fair value, would have eliminated the money situation holding the team hostage as well as the requirement of a new coach. Finally, the Lakers could easily rebuild attracting new free agent players in the offseason to a historic franchise in Los Angeles!
If Jerry Buss were here, would he have traded Dwight? We will never know, however we do know this, by keeping Dwight, showtime is over in the city LA.
R.I.P Jerry Buss