It's looking more and more like the Los Angeles Lakers and their insanely revamped roster are going to be the new Miami Heat. The hate was flowing strong when LeBron James and Chris Bosh signed to play with Dwyane Wade two years ago; everyone outside of Miami wanted them to fail. I'm thinking that the Lakers are going to be the new most vilified team in the NBA.
Yesterday was media day for the Lakers and Kobe Bryant wanted to makes sure that everyone knew something; even though the Lakers got Dwight Howard, it's still his team. In fact, Bryant made sure it was crystal clear:
I don't want to get into the, 'Well, we share ...' No, it's my team. But I want to make sure that Dwight, when I retire, this is going to be his. I want to teach him everything I possibly know so that when I step away this organization can ride on as if I never left.
Got that? Good. Then the media circled Howard like he was the most famous person in the greater Los Angeles area.
The Lakers are a big draw on the road anyway, but now with Howard and Steve Nash, they're going to be the hottest ticket in the league night in and night out. The Lakers are going to face loud, hostile crowds, and teams are going to be more pumped to play them than anybody else every single game.
For his part, Howard sounded like a guy who knows that Kobe is still the man in L.A.
I'm willing to go through that process, learn from one of the greatest to ever play the game and I think it will be great," Howard said. "I think learning from a guy like Kobe, I know he's going to be tough on me but I expect that and I want him to do that. So, I'll take all the heat that he's going to give me because I know at the end of the day that's going to make me a better player and a better person and it's going to make this team better.
The Lakers first preseason game is October 7 in Fresno, CA.