Tag Archives: kobe bryant

Waiver Wire: Is Dwight the Problem?

Many thought this Lakers team was a mortal lock for the Western Conference Finals, if not the NBA Finals. I had them losing to Oklahoma City in the West Finals, primarily because of the Steve Nash/Russell Westbrook defensive matchup, but why quibble – even projecting them to make the conference finals was a gross over-estimation of their collective ability. They stumbled out of the gate, getting Mike Brown fired in the process, and have yet to show any sign that they’ll turn things around.

The Lakers have a host of problems, but many of them can be traced back to Dwight Howard. He’s been an awful fit playing alongside Kobe Bryant. He doesn’t like being a complementary player on the offensive end – even though he’s probably the Lakers’ fifth-best scorer. His presence has pushed Pau Gasol out of position. Gasol has been ineffective playing the four, fallen out of the starting five, and like Howard, taken to sulking about his role.

What’s Mitch Kupchak to do? He may have an out. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but according to reports, Dwight Howard is unhappy, isn’t sure what he wants to do with his next contract, and may be traded at the deadline. It might make an awful lot of sense for Kupchak to cut his losses and see what he can get for Howard, rather than risk losing him for nothing in the offseason. A deal sending Howard to his hometown Atlanta Hawks could bring back Josh Smith, a deal that might make sense for both teams.

Of course, there’s a very real possibility that Jim Buss was the real force behind the Howard trade, which could complicate matters significantly. Not to mention Howard’s lingering shoulder injury, which caused him to leave Wednesday’s game. (He should be back in action on Friday.)

via Waiver Wire: Is Dwight the Problem? – RotoWire.com.

2012 NBA All-Star Trivia

Some thoroughly useless 2012 NBA All-Star factoids. Darren Rovell, eat your heart out.

  • Steve Nash – who celebrated his 38th birthday on February 7 – is the oldest player on either all-star roster. Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki are the only other 2012 all-stars with birth dates in the 1970s.
  • Blake Griffin is the youngest star. He’ll turn 23 in March.
  • There are seven first-time all-stars this year, including one starter – Western Conference center Andrew Bynum.
  • Kobe Bryant will be making his 14th appearance. Nowitzki (11th) and Pierce (10th) are also in double-figures.
  • The Heat are the best-represented team with three all-stars. Miami, the Lakers and the Clippers all had multiple players voted into the starting lineups. Oklahoma City and Chicago are the only other teams with two all-stars.
  • UCLA is the only college program with more than one all-star this year; the Bruins are represented by Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook.

More, along with a complete rundown of this year’s selections and snubs, at About.com Basketball – 2012 NBA All-Stars.

LeBron’s “Retarded” Comment

LeBron James took exception to a question posed to teammate Dwyane Wade after Saturday night’s loss to the Celtics. But he could have chosen a better way to express that. Wade was being questioned about the play that ended with Rajon Rondo hitting the court and dislocating his elbow. Some were accusing Wade of a dirty play, though the replays clearly showed Rondo making as much, if not more, contact. James wasn’t the only one displeased with the question.

He was the only one to call it “retarded.”

via About Basketball – LeBron’s “Retarded” Comment.