Only the Los Angeles Lakers can find a way to put the NFL opening weekend and the world’s fastest man on the headline news backburner. The Lakers did it again-never mind everything else going on in the sports world. The rapid expectations for Robert Griffin III will have to wait. Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles and his hand injury can wait another day.
Who cares if Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos consummated their relationship with a blowout rout of the Chicago Bears? So what if rising icon Usain Bolt became the first person in track and field to win double gold in the 100 and 200 meters in back-to-back Olympics when he showed off his warped speed in running down the field in the latter race to claim gold one more time.
The Lakers acquisition for perennial All-Star center Dwight Howard have stopped the presses. In a four-team trade that sent center Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia, the Lakers proved once again they have that Midas touch when it comes to pulling off the unthinkable. Somehow, someway, the Lakers always seem to find a way to get the players they want.
The Lakers don’t just get any kind of player. They add stars much the same way the late great Elizabeth Taylor used to immerse herself in diamonds. They are good and plenty. After all, Los Angeles is where the stars roam and where the landscape of Hollywood is intertwined with showmanship. Howard has just been officially added to that roster.
Just like when they got Magic Johnson in a coin flip, traded away six players for Kareem Abdul Jabbar, chose to go with James Worthy instead of the high-flying Dominique Wilkins, ceremoniously brought in “The Diesel” in Shaquille O’Neal and trading on draft day to get Kobe Bryant, the Lakers seem to always get their man. In Howard, the Lakers landed the best center in the NBA without having to give up Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace or anything else significant.
Much has been made about the Miami Heat and their Big Three players, comprising of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Well, the Lakers just supplanted the Heat trio in star power and overall talent. The Heat does not have a dominant center. The Lakers do. Miami doesn’t have a real top notch point guard. The Lakers do now since acquiring Steve Nash earlier this summer in a trade.
Finally, the Heat do not have the mercurial Bryant, who is now in the best position of reaching that elusive sixth title he’s been chasing for the last couple of years. The lights just got brighter in Lakerland. The expectations to claim another championship just went through the roof with the Howard trade.
Though the young Oklahoma Thunder team claimed the Western Conference crown this past NBA season and with James finally winning his first league championship, the Lakers just sent a memo out that let’s everyone know that they are now the team to beat.