Kobe has been that man for the last 14 years, after joining the Lakers in 1996.
But the Lakers organization can't deny that Kobe is getting old. He is on the wrong side of 30, with his 34th birthday approaching fast.
Kobe can definitely hold the fort down for the next couple years, but what happens after that?
Enter Dwight Howard. Dwight Howard is a superstar. It's hard to believe that he is only 25, it's almost scary.
If Dwight Howard were to join the Lakers this year, he could gel with Kobe for a couple of years and get used to playing on one of the most storied franchises in sports history. When Kobe retires in a few years or so, he can pass the torch to Dwight Howard.
Even if Kobe were to play four more seasons, Howard would still only be 29 and still in his prime.
The Lakers definitely want Dwight Howard more than Dwight Howard wants the Lakers, but if the Lakers are serious about being competitive after Kobe retires, they should do whatever they can to acquire him.
The Lakers aren't known for being a team that has a lot of balanced stars like some of the other smaller markets, such as Milwaukee or Golden State. They usually have one legend and surround him with a couple of small stars and then some average pieces.
That formula should continue with Dwight Howard. Give Dwight Howard some decent pieces to work with and let him do his thing.
If the Lakers want to continue the dynasty into the next decade and beyond, they should do whatever they can to acquire Howard.
It may not look good on paper now, but it will pay off in the long run.
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