March 25, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) shoots the ball against Golden State Warriors point guard Jarrett Jack (2) during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Lakers 109-103. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Aura of the Lakers Still Exists


When Dwight Howard left the Lakers, only a fool would tell you that he didn’t leave a bit of sting with the Lakers. It’s a fact that he’s the first “big” free agent in almost 20 years to spurn the Lakers in the manner he did. The Lakers, hell Los Angeles, wasn’t used to losing a superstar talent. Hell, they’re not used to losing period when it comes to the Lakers (sorry Clippers).

 

What Howard did leave in Los Angeles was a lot of uncertainty and questions. Was Howard’s loss the sign of the future? Did free agents care about the history of the Lakers? Could the Lakers adapt to the younger generation of talent?

 

The answer then and now is a resound yes.

 

Wants some evidence? Take a look at the three signings the Lakers have made this off-season in Chris Kaman, Jordan Farmar, and Nick Young. Last season, Kaman made $8 million. This year, he takes a pay cut down to $3.1 million. Jordan Farmar had a lucrative contract overseas in Turkey, worth about $5-6 million depending on where you look over his last two seasons. He also happily took a pay cut to the vets minimum, which is $884,293. And today, Nick Young went from a $5.6 million deal in Philadelphia to the vets minimum himself, totaling at $1.2 million.

 

Clearly, players are willing to make sacrifices to come to Los Angeles. You want to tell me the aura of playing in the gold and yellow Lakers jersey doesn’t mean something to this generation of players? PLEASE. This generation watched the twilight of Magic’s career, which faded into the early days of Shaq and Kobe. You mean to tell me all those championships still don’t resonate with them? Even during their playing days, the Lakers have three Finals appearances and two titles in the last six years.

 

Players want to play in LA. Success comes when you play with the Lakers. Take Bill Simmons, the ultimate Celtics fan and Laker hater, who talked about the Lakers success in his most recent post:

 

Since they moved to Southern California in 1960, they’ve won 63.3 percent of their games, appeared in 25 Finals, missed the playoffs just four times, and never won fewer than 30 games. They haven’t picked higher than 10th with their own pick since 1975, when they selected Dave Meyers second and promptly traded him in a megadeal for Kareem. No professional sports franchise has been this consistently good for this long: not the Yankees, not the Canadiens, not the Steelers, not anybody.

 

This isn’t being cocky, this isn’t being arrogant, and this isn’t bragging. It’s facts. You can hope and pray that we fail, and you just may have that wish fulfilled this season, but we are the Lakers, and we always will be.

Tags: Decision Dwight Howard Los Angeles Lakers NBA

  • OC_ute

    wow those are some big names beating down the laker’s door. whew they’ll be fantastic next year errrrrrrrrr.

    fact: the kobe era of winning championships is over
    fact: the lakers will be stuck in mediocrity until kobe is gone and they put a new puzzle together.
    fact: no one wants to play with kobe
    fact: kobe is too arrogant to pass the torch
    fact: derek fisher is available
    fact: kobe pissed off dwight with his arrogance
    fact: still old and slow

    time to start over. we’re just prolonging the agony

  • Jim213

    Agree, but Jim bust and M Kupcake haven’t made the acquisitions today to stay competitive and keep the tradition up to par which puts our future in limbo?!