All this summer’s hard work has been paying off as the Los Angeles Lakers are trying to build another dynasty and secure the future in the post-Kobe Bryant era. Even though Dwight Howard is still out with his back injury, his back rehabilitation has been looking very good while he works with Lakers trainer Gary Vitti. Howard had his first session with Gary Vitti on Monday. At only 26 years-old, Dwight hasn’t had injury problems throughout his NBA career, but the recovery from this surgery is a long process.
Even though the move to acquire Howard was huge for L.A., the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade was more surprised by the acquisition of Nash. Wade acknowledges that in the Lakers play towards a championship, getting big names, like Howard, was expected. What he didn’t think was that a player like Nash would have come to Los Angeles. Bringing in the best player from the division rival Phoenix Suns for virtually nothing was shocking to say the least. Even Mitch Kupchak was surprised. Wade said that he believes the Lakers have greatly improved their chances of competing for a title next season, but thinks they need to make things work in terms of chemistry.
Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks also doubts the Lakers over concerns of the team chemistry. He mentions the past Laker failure with Gary Payton, Karl Malone and Kobe and Shaq. Now that Cuban cannot tell Stern to veto the Lakers’ additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, he has used the media criticize the Lakers. Classy.
Another controversial ranking has come about from the TrueHoop Network and ESPN.com player rankings. The websites team up to rank every player in the league from No. 500 all the way up to No. 1 via Twitter with 104 experts using the hashtag #NBARank. Last year, Kobe Bryant was labeled seventh in the league behind these six: Kevin Durant (6), Dirk Nowitzki (5), Chris Paul (4), Dwyane Wade (3), Dwight Howard (2) and LeBron James (1). Many would disagree with that list, especially L.A. Lakers fans.
Part of this year’s lists have been completed; of those ranked are Metta World Peace and former Laker, Lamar Odom. World Peace comes in at 137 with a score of 4.94 after poor numbers last season with 7.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 39 percent shooting percentage. Odom was ranked 130 with a score of 5.00, edging out World Peace, despite a rocky season with the Mavericks. Check out the rest of Ryan Ward’s article to see where other players stacked up.
Even though we are in the thick of NFL season, my mind is still wandering to the upcoming NBA games about to hit us all in a few months. Los Angelinos definitely take our sports seriously and with that, our sports gear. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Lakers Nation T-shirt store, where you can wear “The Crest of the Black Mamba” or a picture of Jack Nicholson’s mug. My favorite? The “I Bleed Purple and Gold” tee. Plus if you use the code LNSUMMER, you get discounts on merchandise. Stock up before the season!
Lakers Nation News
Shaq Doesn’t Want to Talk Howard Until He Wins Three Rings [ProBasketballTalk]
Dwight Howard Photo Gallery [Basketblog]
What Difference a Few Months Makes [ESPN]
Rehabilitating Dwight Howard Progresses to First Lakers Training Session [OC Register]
Lakers Understand It Will Take More Than Offense [The Purple and Gold Blog]
LAL Assistant Coach Roles [Basketblog]
NBA Rivalries: Who is the Suns’ Greatest Nemesis? [SB Nation]
Big Market Rivalry: Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Lakers [Mavs Moneyball]
The Inbounds: Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and the Actualization of Scorers [Pro BasketballTalk]
The Nightmare Offense? [The Purple and Gold Blog]
The Forum: Who Takes the Last Shot? [ESPN]
Photos: The Brookyn Nets’ New Herringbone Floor Is Here [SB Nation]
The New O.J. Mayo Could Mean Big Things for Dallas [Mavs Moneyball]
NBA’s Players To Watch for 2012-13 [NBA Galleries]
Utah Jazz History: Overall Playoff Success [Dunk]
LeBron and Durant Are Working Out Together. Again. [ProBasketballTalk]
Dominic McGuire Reaches Agreement to Play for Raptors [Yahoo Sports]
Patrick Ewing Declines New York Knicks’ D-League Offer, Source Says [ESPN NY]
The Mavericks Are Not Better Off Without Deron Williams [SB Nation]
Ricky Rubio To Return In December, Brandon Roy Ready Now For T’Wolves [NBA.com]
NBA 3on3: The Odds Are In [SB Nation]
Enes Kanter is Loving Los Angeles [The Basketball Jones]
How Jordan is Stepping Out of Bobcats Basketball Decisions [ProBasketballTalk]
Who’s the Most Hated Player in Orlando Magic History? [Orlando Pinstriped Post]
Brand and Kaman on Playing Together [NBA.com]