Joyful shouting. Random outbursts of break dancing. Champagne. Confetti. Excessive high-fiving and hugging. Some people probably cried.
But it wasn't just the fans who couldn't contain their excitement when the news broke. Even head coach Mike Brown was giddy, as general manager Mitch Kupchak told reporters.
Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times recounts the priceless exchange between Kupchak and Brown immediately after the deal was done:
"We have a deal," Kupchak said.
"Who are we getting?" Brown asked.
"Dwight Howard," Kupchak answered.
"Who's going out?" Brown asked.
"Andrew [Bynum]," Kupchak answered.
"That's all?" Brown asked.
"That's all," said Kupchak. (As Medina notes, the trade also sent Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga and protected first-round and second-round picks to Orlando for forward Earl Clark and guard Chris Duhon, but honestly, nobody really cared).
"No Pau [Gasol]?" Brown asked.
"No Pau," Kupchak said.
It was at this point that Kupchak told reporters Brown jumped out of his chair and gave the general manager a hug.
I love that enthusiasm from Brown. What fan wouldn't have done the same exact thing? Who wouldn't be thrilled to learn his team gained a player like Howard and didn't have to completely sell the farm to do it?
Besides, it's not Brown's job to worry about the downsides of this deal, like the fact that Howard could sign elsewhere after 2012-13, leaving the Lakers high and dry.
It's Brown's job to be thrilled over the fact he know has a team with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Metta World Peace, Antawn Jamison, Gasol and Howard. Sure, trying to build an offense around these big names and figure out how to keep everyone happy with touches will be a challenge, but Brown dealt with World Peace for a season.
He can handle challenges.
If I were a Lakers fans, I would love the show of exuberance from my coach. It would prove to me he was as passionate about success as I was. It would show a child-like love of the game, and an enthusiasm for what should be an exciting season at the Staples Center.
The Lakers will ______________ in the 2012-13 season.
Brown will need to maintain that spirit this season. There is now immense pressure on this team to win a championship, and that means there is immense pressure on Brown to make sure this star-studded roster comes together and produces.
Brown will have to figure out how to treat both Bryant and Howard like top dogs. He'll need to coax Kobe into allowing Nash to control the offense more often. He'll probably need to keep Gasol interested, as the talented Spaniard is likely to lose even more touches with Howard in town. He'll need to keep World Peace sane.
There are plenty of challenges. But more importantly, there is a lot to get excited about. I think we can all agree that Kupchak deserves a hug for his work this offseason.
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