Those who repeat history are doomed to ignore it.
The Lakers managed an immense upgrade to their point guard position without giving up much in the way of assets. I think it may have been subtraction by addition though.
Even though Lakers' fans may be salivating at the fact that they now have four bona fide All-Stars in their starting lineup, they may be forgetting that they have been here before.
In 2003-2004, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton all stepped on the floor to represent the purple and gold. This particular incarnation of the Lakers have more bragging rights than today's team, as all four previously mentioned players will make the Hall of Fame. (The jury is still out on Andrew Bynum's chances.)
That team did not produce a title. They made it to the Finals, but no title.
Ask anyone from Woodland Hills to Baldwin Hills and they will tell you no one throws a parade for the Western Conference Championship in Los Angeles.
Which brings me to this year's team. They have the potential to be regular season monsters. They can make some noise in the playoffs, maybe even ascending to the 2013 Finals. But, in all likelihood, there will be no title.
Steve Nash will provide easy buckets for Bynum, allowing him to bang in the post without having to beg for the ball.
Nash will reward Pau Gasol for running on the break, as well as compliment the league's best passing big man, making for great two-man basketball.
Kobe Bryant can rest easy knowing that a capable ball handler will allow him to move (or stand at the three point line) without the ball to knock down shots. This gives one of the leagues most dangerous scorers the ability to maneuver with impunity through opposing defenses.
Where's the downside?
Well for starters, Nash's age.
Steve Nash will be 39 in February.
As dynamic as he is, no one defeats Father Time (Jordan and Jabbar excepted). Nash's chronic back pain will cause a significant reduction in time that he is on the floor making all those wonderful things I mentioned earlier happen. With rare exception, 39-year-olds do not go the full 48 minutes in crucial games.
Steve's scoring has suffered somewhat as well. According to ESPN.com stats, Nash's three point percentage has dipped each year since 07-08. His scoring average has also decreased six out of seven seasons since '05-'06. This may prove to be a moot point though as the Lakers need him to create easy shots, and let Kobe take the tough ones.
The real area Nash has the potential to hurt his new team is defense. This has always been his Achilles heel and may burn LA in a major way.
Chris Paul, Goran Dragic, and Stephen Curry are all ready to test the Laker's new point guard. All of them can take over a game in a hurry and score points in bunches. Add to that the physical brand of ball the CP3 and Dragic play, and the former two-time MVP may find himself in trouble during long stretches this season.
In short, the trade for Nash make the Lakers a great pick to contend for a title, but as the 2004 Finals proved, nothing is assured.
They would do well to remember that, now that they've repeated history.
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