With the Los Angeles Lakers whiffing on Dwight Howard, next year becomes sort of a throw away year for the organization. The fans might not notice because their team may hover around a playoff birth or even flirt with the seventh spot. You have to give their star’s will to win, at least, that much credit. But the team will be focused on retooling in 2014.
And by all accounts, the Lakers’ eyes will be fixed on a few South Beach stars and one New York Knick.
But before all you Miami Heat fans let the Stephen A. Smith’s of the world get you ramped up a year in advance, you should probably know that losing your players to Los Angeles is very unlikely. The main reason being, Kobe Bean Bryant.
“I feel like how I was playing last year — I know I’ll be healthy and I’ll be ready to go this year — I know what I can bring,” said Bryant to Lakers.com. “And I think I can easily do that for another three years. I think the (Achilles) injury has something to do with it.”
To me, that Achilles injury is the key. It took Kobe from talking about retiring at the end of his contract to being capable of suiting up for a few more years. And I can’t imagine most of the superstars on their docket signing up to play with a guy who strives to be the man more than Michael Jordan.
None of them actually need that.
Bryant would abuse Chris Bosh with his drill sergeant nature and Dwyane Wade wouldn’t put up with it. It also doesn’t help that they play the same position and that Wade takes pride in trying to show Bryant that he was never comfortable being known as the league’s other shooting guard.
Which leaves LeBron James.
Common sense tells us that James wouldn’t trade a best friend and two championships for a change of scenery. But sometimes, common sense isn’t that common in the NBA — like Andre Iguodala waiting to accept an offer sheet from the Sacramento Kings.
But let’s get back to LeBron. While it could, stylistically, work between him and Bryant, James would have to take a back seat to the Lakers’ shinning star.
So why would he go from being the main man in Miami to Kobe’s sidekick? Especially when he wouldn’t be handed the team.
Unless the unthinkable happens and Jim Buss prematurely let’s Bryant leave the — like Jerry Krause did to MJ. And I still couldn’t picture him pulling a power move to get somebody like James together with a Carmelo Anthony.
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Richard Nurse is a Miami Heat columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr.