Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
The sound you just heard was the sound of 2,764 Starbucks Chai Lattes being angrily hurled against the wall by enraged Laker fans.
No title for the Lakers after they acquired Dwight Howard AND Steve Nash to play alongside Pau Gasol and Kobe freakin' Bryant? How can this be?
It's certainly not for a lack of talent. Frankly, the Lakers' potential offense scares me. Picture a pick-and-roll featuring one of the best passers and shooters of the past 20 years and the biggest athletic freak of nature in the NBA, with Kobe Bryant as a third option and Pau Gasol, a superb interior player and shooter, as a fourth option? How is anyone stopping that?
There are only two people that could stop that: Father Time and Uncle Injury. (There wasn't really an established euphemism for injury like there was for time, so I just made one up.)
Kobe Bryant has logged well over 40,000 NBA minutes, a point which statistics suggest a player starts to noticeably wear down after reaching. He's already dealing with a sore foot that has caused him to miss practice, and we haven't even played any preseason games yet.
Nash is even older than Kobe, though his diet and workout regimen have him in unbelievable shape all the time. Still, it will only take one wrong turn of the ankle or wrenching of the knee to sideline Nash for an extended period of time.
The mercurial Howard is coming off major back surgery, which greatly increases the concerns about his long-term health prognosis.
Aside from health concerns, are we sure all these egos can co-exist? What if Kobe is unwilling to defer to Nash and Howard even when the matchup dictates it to be the prudent choice? What if Kobe lacks the self-awareness to realize he's lost a step and can't do what he once did?
Considering the litany of potential problems I've outlined and the stiff competition they'll face from the Thunder and Spurs for the Western Conference title, I'm selling every last bit of Lakers stock I have.