The Los Angeles Lakers went all out before heading into the 2012-13 NBA season. GM Mitch Kupchak pulled the trigger on two blockbuster trades to acquire two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash and arguably the best center in the game, Dwight Howard.
Unfortunately, neither trade worked out long-term with the Lakers losing Dwight in free agency and Nash only playing 60 games over the course of two seasons.
Although Nash’s short time in Los Angeles has been disappointing with the veteran dealing with multiple injuries, Dwight leaving for the Houston Rockets was a severe blow. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year was being groomed to be the new face of the franchise in the twilight of Kobe Bryant’s career, but it just didn’t work out that way with him. Howard never really fitted in or wanted to play second fiddle to Kobe.
Apparently, Nash and the majority of his teammates knew Dwight and Kobe coexisting wouldn’t work long-term as he told Bill Simmons of Grantland.com:
“I think everyone could see it was going to be tough from the start. As the season went on, I think Dwight didn’t hide the fact that he didn’t like it. You’ve either got to decide, ‘I don’t like this so I’m going to say I don’t like it and move on,’ or you could just eat. And you could tell that he wasn’t committed to moving on. He was stuck in ‘I’m stuck and I don’t like it’ mode.”
One of the major problems with Dwight throughout his short time with the Lakers was the fact that he wasn’t 100 percent healthy. Dwight felt as if he had to come out and prove himself while the team was dubbed a legitimate title contender.
As a result of Dwight’s health issues and rocky relationship with Kobe, the attempt to build another dynasty in Los Angeles failed miserably. All the right moves were made by Kupchak and the front office, but it just never came together and now the team will basically have to start from scratch this summer.
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