Is it time for the (short-lived) Dwight Howard era to end?
After last night’s blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs, cementing the Lakers’ exit from the playoffs in an embarrassing sweep, columnist Bill Plaschke has some tough words for the highly-touted center.
“This is like a nightmare,” said Howard later. “This is like a bad dream and I couldn’t wake up out of it.”
Here’s how that nightmare can end. The Lakers don’t re-sign it. The Lakers walk out on Dwight Howard the way he walked out on them. The Lakers shake themselves awake after watching Howard’s pathetic performance Sunday and have the courage to move forward without him.
Yesterday’s loss marks the first time the Lakers have been swept in the opening round of the playoffs since 1967, something fans won’t forget as the team decides whether or not to re-sign Howard in the offseason.
So what do you say, Lakers faithful: Should the team stick by Howard, or move forward without him?
Photos: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times, Joe Klamar / AFP/Getty Images
I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.
I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, “I’m different.” If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.
Mapping out the trajectory of a possible NBA star
How do you make a basketball legend? Ron Holmes, who played at UCLA but never made it to the professional leagues, has been wondering for years, spending his life trying to turn his son, highly-touted UCLA star Shabazz Muhammad, into NBA royalty.
From Ken Bensinger’s report:
As a student, Holmes said, he found himself fascinated by the careful breeding of thoroughbreds, the way that two fast, powerful horses could be crossed to create an even faster, more powerful colt.
Around that time he met Faye Paige, a point guard, sprinter and hurdler at Cal State Long Beach. Spotting her at a summer league game, Holmes recalled saying to a friend: “See that No. 10? She’s going to be my wife, and we’re going to make some All-Americans.”
Read the entire story, complete with a birth certificate discrepancy and the fate of Shabazz’s siblings, here.
Photos: Luis Sinco, Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times
Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers dunks on a fast break against the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center on March 6, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Clippers may be under the microscope at the moment, after Charles Barkley accused them of being “fool’s gold,” but how many teams have a maestro of dunks on par with Griffin? Admittedly, we’re a little biased.
test reblogged from nba
It’s still hard to believe this happened: But Dennis Rodman visited North Korea this week, vowing his eternal friendship with the country’s dictator Kim Jong-Un.
In case you missed it, Rodman was brought along as party of a VICE documentary on basketball diplomacy, and spoke at length with Jong-Un, who is reportedly a massive basketball fan.
Photos: AFP / KCNA, Associated Press /Kyodo News
Remembering Jerry Buss: Longtime L.A. Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke doesn’t hold back in his accolades for Lakers owner Buss, who passed away at the age of 80 yesterday.
Jerry Buss was one of the greatest owners in the history of professional sports, the creator of the most entertaining championship teams ever, a fearless pioneer who bonded a giant and disparate city under a brilliant blanket of purple and gold.
Look back at Buss’ life, weigh in on his impressive NBA legacy, or read the rest of Plaschke’s eulogy for the man who brought 10 championships to L.A.
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)
Longtime Laker owner Jerry Buss, who brought Showtime to the NBA and 10 championships to Los Angeles, died this morning. He was 80.
From our obituary:
When Jerry Buss bought the Lakers in 1979, he wanted to build a championship team. But that wasn’t all.
The new owner gave courtside seats to movie stars. He hired pretty women to dance during timeouts. He spent freely on big stars and encouraged a fast-paced, exuberant style of play.
As the Lakers sprinted to one NBA title after another, Buss cut an audacious figure in the stands, an aging playboy in blue jeans, often with a younger woman by his side.
“I really tried to create a Laker image, a distinct identity,” he once said. “I think we’ve been successful. I mean, the Lakers are pretty damn Hollywood.”
Read the full obituary: Jerry Buss dies at 80; Lakers owner brought ‘Showtime’ success to L.A.
Photo: Jerry Buss outside the Forum — the Lakers’ former home — in 1979. Credit: Dave Gatley / Los Angeles Times
Getting Steve Nash is a steal for the Lakers: Lakers shouldn’t stop with the acquisition of the future Hall of Fame point guard. This makes them more attractive to Dwight Howard.
Photo: The Lakers sent point guard Derek Fisher packing in a trade earlier this season and have now brought in Steve Nash. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times
This felt like the end of a Lakers era: The playoff loss felt like more than the end of the season. For a team that is 9-13 in the last two postseasons, the question is “What now?”
Photo: Thunder point guard Derek Fisher gets past Lakers guard Kobe Bryant after faking a shot during Game 5 on Monday night in Oklahoma City. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times