The never ending quest for supremacy
With the NHL facing another lockout, most sports fans have a hole needing to be filled. Football is well on their way and Baseball is nearing the playoffs. But who will reign as supreme champion in the NBA? There are many, many well balanced teams now, here are some of the favourites.
On the East:
- The Celtics
- The Heat (current champs)
- The two New York teams ( The Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets).
Los Angeles, known for their Hollywood tabloids, had no shortage of PR spin this year. Two years ago the most villianized athlete was LeBron James for his world wide broadcast, "The Decision". Since then, he has done everything to gain favour in the publics eye. He's won a championship, fired his PR Team and hired his friend as his agent, and won an Olympic Goal Medal to boot. However this year, the NBA's pariah was non other than Dwight Howard.
Dating back two years ago there was much speculation on what team he'll be on. He himself said he would stay in Orlando. Then rumors swirled it would be New Jersey (now Brooklyn), then Atlanta, then Houston, then Dallas, and then The Lakers. People got so sick of his flip-flopping ways, they made him a villain. Reporters, fans, and management started to share this idea about Dwight, then finally a decision was made.
Here comes The Lakers
The Lakers, prior to acquiring Dwight made a blockbuster signing in two-time MVP Steve Nash. That trade alone made them contenders to the title. But then, to add three-time Defensive Player of the Year to the lineup, made them the favourites. After the trade, the Lakers now boast a lineup of; two-time MVP Steve Nash, five-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant, former Defensive Player of the Year Metta Worldpeace, seven-time European Player of the year Pau Gasol, and three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard.
|The new look Lakers|
As a whole, The Lakers will have to play as a team to beat other top contenders. But no one's play will be more scrutinized than Dwight Howard's. This is his contract year, meaning his play will affect how much he gets paid next year. While many people are cheering for him to do well, many want to see him fail. His PR Team worked hard this summer to clean up his image around the league, but can it be repaired? It took LeBron James two years to do so. Dwight went from "Superman" to "Dr. Evil" in a few short months. I know PR Firms in LA will have their hands full, regardless of his performance, having just won The Stanley Cup. So, perhaps being in Tinsel Town will bring him more popularity, but the pressure will be on and eyes will be watching.
I know somebody who will be giddy about this pressure on Dwight. His name, is The Black Mamba-Kobe Bryant. People have constantly asked the question, "Is Kobe better Than Jordan?" . For years Kobe has been the catalyst for The Lakers scoring, but now with a supporting cast, he has options. Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest player ever, has six NBA Titles, to Kobe's five. Now more than ever, at age 34, the window of opportunity to get that ever so elusive sixth title is open.
This season is very important for so many reasons:
- The Lakers new-vamped roster
- Can The Heat repeat?
- Will The Thunder win the west?
- How will the new look Brooklyn Nets fair in the big city of New York?
- Are The Celtics past their prime?
Ill leave you with the top highlights from last year.