Dwight Howard Deal Proves Again Why Lakers Are Both Elite and Hated

Trevor MedeirosCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic and the Eastern Conference laughs during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It’s pretty safe to say that the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees and New England Patriots are easily the three most hated professional sports franchises in all of American sports these days, no?

There are two reasons for this. First, all three of these teams win, and win often. And second, they all do whatever it takes to make sure that they keep winning, and winning big.

The Lakers proved this latter sentiment once again late Thursday night, when they pulled off the biggest blockbuster of the NBA offseason in acquiring the chiseled drama queen Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic in an epic four-team trade.

It’s no coincidence as to why the Lakers have won an incredible 16 NBA titles in their existence. Led by owner Jerry Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers do what it takes to make sure they’re in contention to win that  17th title sooner than later.

Just when you thought the Lakers were rendered irrelevant in the current NBA landscape, thanks to the upstart Oklahoma City Thunder and LeBron James and the defending champion Miami Heat, Kupchak again pulls off a mega deal that catapults the Lakers back into the championship picture.

In essence, the Lakers gain the drama-filled—but dominant—Howard without losing center Pau Gasol. If you thought the Gasol-Andrew Bynum (who is now a 76er) duo was dominant in Los Angeles, wait until you get your first dose of Gasol and Howard.

It’s shades of a few years ago, when Kupchak pulled off his first major coup by trading then-irrelevant Marc Gasol to the Memphis Grizzles for older brother Pau. As a result, the Lakers went on to three straight NBA Finals, winning two of them in the process.

And while the Mavericks and Thunder spent the past two seasons winning the Western Conference, the Lakers spent this past offseason assuring that they’re primed to get back to the NBA Finals this season.

We thought that acquiring veteran point guard Steve Nash was the biggest move of Los Angeles’ current offseason; it turns out it was just setting the stage to getting Superman in Laker purple and gold.

Moves like these are why the Lakers are the Lakers. Much like moves like signing CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira and trading for stud Curtis Granderson are the reason why the Yankees are the Yankees.

And much like moves like grabbing Randy Moss and drafting overlooked tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez (not to mention that little fiasco known as Spygate) are the reasons why the Patriots are the Patriots.

All three franchises are astute and bold when it comes to making their respective teams better. In nabbing Dwight Howard, the current Lakers are only further proof of this, and why they’re among the most hated—and most shrewd—of teams in American pro sports these days.