Lakers Know Painful End Is Upon Them


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol seemed to be reading the 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers their inevitable last rites on the eve of Game 4 of their first-round series against the overpowering San Antonio Spurs.

“I’m proud of the team because we’ve been fighting so much,” the proud Gasol said following what most likely was the Lakers’ final practice of the season Saturday. “We earned the right to be in the playoffs. We competed really hard the first two games in San Antonio. We gave ourselves a chance against a a very tough team and deep team. So I’m happy and proud of how the guys have fought through what we’ve been through and what we’re going through, and that’s what I like to see, that’s what I’ll keep in my mind and in my heart.”

A subdued Howard expressed a similar sentiment the day after the most disappointing team in franchise history experienced its worst home playoff loss ever.

“Despite all the injuries, as a team we’ve stayed together,” Howard said. “When most teams fall apart and blame each other, point the finger, we stayed together. We’ve become a closer team throughout all the adversity.”

Does such a statement signal that the chronically indecisive Howard sees his future in purple and gold?

“I haven’t thought about it,” Howard said.

Gasol or Howard or both might be playing their final game as a Laker. Howard, as a free agent come July 1, controls his future. Gasol, owed $19.3 million next season as part of an $83.1 million Laker payroll before potentially re-signing Howard, does not. Gasol could be traded or set free via the amnesty clause.

“What happens next,” Gasol said, “is totally up to the team and management.”

Gasol has seen it all during this often torturous season. He was benched in the fourth quarter by coach Mike D’Antoni in just the coach’s third game at helm, and then embarrassed by D’Antoni after the loss at Memphis. D’Antoni explained his decision to sit Gasol with this infamous statement: “I was thinking ‘Oh, I’d like to win this game.'”

Gasol played in just 49 games this season, knocked out by a concussion, by plantar fasciitis and by degenerative tendinosis in both knees that he said he’ll tackle this summer. Still, Gasol, along with Howard, is the last of the Lakers starters still standing heading into Sunday’s closing act against a Spurs team determined to put L.A. out of its misery if only to assure itself an extended rest before beginning round two.

Gasol has soldiered on, averaging 13.3 ppg, 10.7 rpg and 6.7 apg in the Lakers’ three opening losses in this series.

“It’s been an emotional roller coaster this year,” Gasol said. “It’s been a very challenging season in different ways. Injuries, ups and downs, just a lot of things that had an effect on our team. We can’t really think about all that right now. It’s something that we’ll probably go back and go, ‘Wow all those things really happened,’ and those things happened for a reason. But again, it has been a difficult, challenging season.”

D’Antoni on Saturday acknowledged that he has regrets from his early, defiant takeover of the Lakers, likely the way he humiliated Gasol and tried to force his run-and-gun system on a club better suited for slow-it-down. He wasn’t ready to talk about those with faint hope for a miraculous comeback just 24 hours away.

“There’s a lot of regrets right now,” D’Antoni said. “But let’s talk about that later. Let’s try to win.”

That’s not likely considering Howard and Gasol will be the only starters in Game 4 that the Lakers figured to have in the playoffs. Joining Kobe Bryant on the injured list Sunday will be Steve Nash and Metta World Peace from the starting five, plus backcourt reserves Jodie Meeks and Steve Blake.

RIP, 2012-13 Lakers.


  1. Ken_LakerFanPhilippines says:

    Lakers management should keep most of the roster intact. Pau, Kobe, Metta, Jamison, Nash, Blake, Meeks, Goudelock, & Dwight if he opt to stay. Release Clark, Morris, Ebanks, & Sacre or trade them for (back up) either a Kobe-Like player who can make plays and score or a Steve Nash-Like player who can score and has excellent court vision…

  2. Eaglos says:

    Things went as expected. A bad team with battered veterans for starters, bad coach, egoistic Kobe,
    bad bench. The best thing was Kobe’s injury which forces the team out of its lethargic slumber
    and into future planning.

    You cannot build a team with 35, 37 39 year old veterans for starters. Nor can you force multi-injured
    stars to play 40 minutes each and every game. Kobe is on the brink of retirement, Nash should follow
    Fisher’s example and play less, Gasol cannot function with D’ Antoni and Howard is a lost cause.

  3. TheRealVelabahleke says:

    well ,since my original comment was not aired ima put it this way.dwight should go out and sign with dirk and mavs.that way cuban can keep his team as is with the addition of dwight and have a shot at it.houston would be another good option.or he could face the truth ,the west is a tougher conference and head out to brooklyn or bulls (pending a few shifts in some contracts via trade or waiver) if he wants a contending team room in knicks or pacers rosters.gaso; should beg to stay or seek to team up with his brother like the morris twins have..if not he can try boston or houston to boost the young guns is done and asik is jus not cuttin it as a big man there .kobe should just lay low and come back in the 2nd half of next season at the earliest after checkin who’s on the roster doin what so he can adjust and add to the team not deny others a shot as he does from season start to fishing season.dantoni should resign or admin fire him and get a coach like sam mitchell or mike fratello.get new gm in sir charles barkley(he has such vision in players like no other,cut above the rest in noticing talent and character.).then trade for the whole wolves bench in its entirety ,(they got kobe from
    on a real though ,lakers were unfortunate to go through all these injuries,who knows what kinda beast they woulda been if they were healthy all season?a ndebele saying says “ukuwa kweyinye indoda yikuvuka kweyinye” literally translated to say (when one man falls ,another rises)this time 7 other western teams have the opportunity to take the west and the finals due to the lakers’ a spurs fan i must say congrats to lakers for puttin an effort in getting to the playoffs after a bad start and keep your heads up.being swept didnt start with you and doesnt end there.its not the end of the world laker fans.its the beginning of fishing season,searchin for pieces and rebuilding.shorthanded or not yu were worthy my spurs i say lets stay focused and keep on with the drive to five.go spurs !!!

  4. Richard says:

    This season has been ral tough and challenging for your Lakers… We just hope they make wise moves this offseason. Starting at their main concern: Injuries. I do hope Bryant comes back, but I’m not expecting the old Kobe.. Maybe a role player type of Kobe, a mentor, giving, teaching the next guys on the bench some lessons and advises. Nash will be another guy who could help this way. With half of their roster expected to be gone for Free agency, i think the LAL would make a bold move to acquire heavy talent from this years Free Agent list. They may start out by considering Buck’s PG Brandon Jennings, Big man Paul Millsap, and some other big names on that list. If they do decide to trade Pau, i hope they get a younger, much healthy and strong player in his place. Maybe a stretch four would help a lot if in case they’re able to keep D12. But if Howard’s going away, they should look to acquire Josh Smith and pair him with Brandon Jennings.. Get a solid C, a good shooter at SG and defender at SF…and of course a new, defensive minded coach. Things will be hard at first, but I’m sure they’ll break thru, with Kobe and Nash in the lineup,..Lakers should look to move for a new face of the franchise.

  5. KB24 says:

    They need to get younger to that team.

  6. Dimas says:

    Well, this is inevitable, they entered playoff by luck and deserved to be swept away by spurs, to complete their miserable season. Time to rebuild the team, fire d’antoni, get a good player get a deep bench and maybe in 2-3 years they will once again be a team that is worthy of playoff.

  7. Spurs fan says:

    I personally detest the lakers but you cannot deny their relevance..gotta respect em…and they may have 16 titles…the celts still have 17 and the celts and lakers have been around since the dinosaur age..Im sure if some of the other teams have been around longer…..they would have more rings….Kobe…great player..can’t stand him though……….future HOF……btw if Kobe played My spurs would still have won…it’s just our time..My boy Tim Duncan turned back the clock and is destroying Howard…yall proved yall could beat us with out Kobe at the end of the regular season..yall still can push it to 5..

  8. Danny says:

    This freaking team is darn old. Time to rebuild with young guns. Get rid of the entire bench. Amnesty Metta. He’s worthless to the team. Trade Pau. If Dwight signs with a new team, it’s still good. He’s a franchise killer and can’t make free throws down the stretch. Trade Nash and get a young PG or allow him to retire. He’s old and the age tells all.Try and sign some top picks from the European league.Have Kobe and Earl Clark in the starting lineup. Andrew Goudlock is a good backup PG. Try to sign Randy Foye from the Utah Jazz and get Kyle Korver if D’Antoni remains as coach. However, it would be good to get Brian Shaw or Phil Jackson. The Lakers can still fire D’Antoni because they don’t have to pay Mike Brown anymore since he got his new gig with Cavs. If they don’t make major changes this summer the Laker team will be eliminated from the first round or will not even make the playoffs….

  9. mm says:

    Te drama continues in Lakerland, Kobe’s comeback timeframe, Howard’s future, Gasol’s future.

    Kinda sad at this point. The way this season went, who would want to play for the Lakers next season. Cant see anyone turning free agent after this season returning.

    Kobe’s eating much of salary cap is also hurting the team, they desperately need good players comin off the bench.


  11. Denise says:

    why does everyone keep mentioning the 16 championships?
    What does that have to do with today’s game?

    Good bye lakers. Over hyped since the start of the season.

  12. dreday says:

    all these laker haters….yall talk bad about kobe cuz he can score 40 pts a game? if you were that good you would do the same thing… Lakers is a franchise team and if howard decides to come bacy they’ll bring players around him…unless trades get blocked like last year..if you cant do what kobe do stop bitc*in

    • Common Sense says:

      trades didn’t get blocked…this is crazy. Stern didn’t agree to a deal that wasn’t good. Why would a western conference TEAM trade their best player to a TEAM with 16 championships for a whiney center in Scola, Odom(who wouldn’t play for anyone other than LA), Kevin Martin who is nothing more than a bench shooter, Dragic who is an excellent bench guard, and a 2012 1st round pick. They ended up getting Kaman(an all star center), Eric Gordon, a bulldog of a shooting guard, and Aminu(granted, he has potential, but not the greatest on the planet) but also an unprotected 1st round, which proved to be very important. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY THEY TRADED HIM TO THE LOWLY CLIPPERS, GIVING THEM A CHANCE TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP THAT THEY HAVE NEVER WON BEFORE IN THEIR FRANCHISE, LET ALONE A DIVISION CHAMPIONSIP!!!Please… that was a good trade for the Hornets. Bad for the Lakers, especially since their Staples Center buddies just got a whole lot better, but IT WAS BETTER FOR THE HORNETS!!!

  13. As everyone know, the lakers this year, have not been spared from injury but it must be recognized that they were not at all good. This is in my opinion the worst season but hey it is important not to criticize the players and the staff, it turns out that this is sport, you can not always be on top. Ups and downs, everyone knows. Now, we should now rebuild, recruit new players to better address the next season. Courage guys, next time will be right.
    They have merit as they reached the play-off, which was not obvious at the beginning of the regular season.

  14. jerry says:

    Lets go fishing LAKERS boys, all fans are now in panic to buy a fishing rod in walmart.

  15. pumba says:

    gasol has averaged 12.7 RPG and not 10.7

  16. busa-boss says:

    yeah right…here we go again…pointing all the blames on d’antoni…typical faker nation…can’t accept the fact that the other teams are better than they are at this point…where is the 73-9 that worldwar has predicted??? rule out the west in playoffs and face the miami heat in the finals??? with or without kobe the spurs will still win the series…take note of that!!!

  17. G-LOCK says:

    I’m still dumbfounded as to how the Lakers’ management could have ditched Andrew Goudelock at the beginning of the season, a player who would have been perfect under D’Antoni’s offensive schemes. He is a future all-star kind of talent, and deserves to start for that team alongside Kobe or at least be Nash’s back-up. How can allegedly talented scouts and management types not see Goudelock’s potential, and still get paid millions? The guy is a stone cold scorer. Yes, he might need to work on his defense, but he’s quick, athletic and has a high basketball I.Q. The defense will come. If the Lakers want to have a future, they need to start developing and promoting the career of Goudelock!

  18. gary says:

    the haters against the lakers are the people who doesn’t know a lick about the game of basketball or they are heat LeBron james fans the dif between kobe and LeBron is kobe would never have went and join wade and bosh to take the easy way out the problem with the lakers is management jim buss is a idiot a pure moron brian shaw should have been the coach but to much ego I don’t know if he is mad at phil cause is is putting it down on his sister but the share holders need to step in and put jenni in charge

    • Common Sense says:

      you are a clear fan of the lakers and I understand your anger. Kobe wanted to leave LA but the entire Lakers organization got down on their knees, and convinced him to stay. Regarding Jim Buss…too much blame and everyone needs a scapegoat for such a let down of the season. You actually might remember when Brown was fired…their interim coach did a great job because he didn’t say anything. If the Lakers could play like that without a coach, they can play like that with a coach. Everyone wants to blame the coach, but these are professionals that whine when things don’t got their way. It makes since why it didn’t work. Without a coach, they dove for balls, with a coach they waited for the balls to roll to them. Give credit to Kobe, but the entire team was dragging him down. NBA teams win because of their spirit, not talent, not management, not money, it’s drive!

      • It Wasn't The Coach...It's The Team says:

        You took the words right out of my mouth, Common. There was a time when Kobe was trying to get out of L.A. to go join Deng in Chicago, but the Lakers wanted Deng in return for Kobe, so the deal never happened. Lebron and Bosh both ran there, I will give you that, which makes any remark about how hard they have it, irrelevant to me.

  19. noyb says:

    Time to clean house (including dumping terrible coach) and rebuild around Howard. Trade Kobe too, his injury finished his career.

  20. oldandmad says:

    The difference in the Lakers and the rest of the league is they always fix a bad team. Other than the Celtics, the chirping always makes me laugh from the teams that have 0 titiles or even 5, 1, or wow 6. This wasn’t a championship team from the start, but they made the playoffs and the whole team came up lame. Hate on now, cause they will be back and your team needs to win 16 to talk very loud.

  21. CHINA MAN says:

    Good bye howard and gasol hope see u soon wearing china jersy

  22. Alex says:

    16 Championships and the greatest player of our era…all you haters can eat balls.

    • Common Sense says:

      definitely one of the greatest players of our era, but you’re gonna have to give Lebron, Melo, Durant and a few others 17 years to make that comparison. 16 championships is good. And thankfully, since I’m not a hater, I don’t have to eat balls, but I will say, people aren’t ragging on their past, they’re commenting on their present and future, and in that regard, they are right

    • kevin says:

      The greatest player to ever play in NBA is his AIRNESS MJ

  23. coaching was the main cause of the laker let-down…shouldn’t have fired mike brown since he is a defensive coach cuz the team doesn’t need offensive coaching since they are filled with offensive players…should’ve taken phil…or a different coach…d’antoni coached the lakers horribly

    • One of the king's subjects says:

      Yes the coach was a let down, but the main cause was the lakers put too much money in their starters, they did not search hard enough for role players. There were guys that could contribute in the market, but the Lakers did not focus on the little things, that is what killed them, not the coach, not kobe jacking 60% of their shots (but that did help), not howard being reluctant to touch the ball, and not age (but that was a major factor thatin the lakers’ losses ) they just put no effort in getting solid role players to step up.

  24. Anthony says:

    Next year,2013 / 2014 they will be a giant on the west coast,
    I’m dying with you l a L A Lakers

  25. Chris says:

    At this point a sweep would be a mercy killing. Aside from maybe Morris and Ebanks, I’d like to see this whole squad return healthy. They seemed to have found a formula that worked at the last minute. But you can’t just beat a healthy spurs without Kobe lol

  26. The Oracle says:

    Lakers should trade Gasol for a $19m trade exception and 1 or 2 draft picks to a team looking to shed salary and use Gasol as a 1 year rental to help it’s big men get better with veteran help. Teams like Detroit Pistons or New Orlean Pelicans or Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors or Washington Wizards fit this criteria.
    Lakers can then use part of the trade exception to sign Josh Smith (he delivers the same stats as Gasol) but plays better defense and is more athletic. Josh Smith is like a $65m or $68m over 4 years contract player. Trade Steve Nash away, get rid of Chris Duhon, Devin Ebanks, Goudelock etc
    Metta will not opt into his $7m player option as he wants to renegotiate for a longer tterm deal, so Lakers can offer him a $3m deal per year for 3 years.

    • It Wasn't The Coach...It's The Team says:

      We don’t want Gasol in Detroit.. We have 2 budding big men in Monroe and Drummond. Why would we give them up for a fading Gasol? Who do we look like the Orlando Magic? Lol. Try again…

    • olrem says:

      And how do you propose the Lakers create a 19M trade exception by trading Gasol to a team looking to SHED salary? And why would a lottery team trade a draft pick for an aging player who’s not gonna lead them anywhere?

  27. Patty says:





    • Common Sense says:

      Their team is a TEAR DOWN…they must rebuild from scratch

    • Nixon says:

      The lakers need a coach! I’m baffled at their decision to hire D’antoni because he’s not a winner and he’s never won a championship. Why not sign Phil Jackson? Kobe proved this year why Lebron is a better player and why he’s no Jordan. He chucked the ball up 20- 25 times per game regardless of having howard available. He lacks team play and he only appears to respond to Jackson. He should retire!!!! He’s only playing to increase his overall numbers on the all time points steals etcetera charts.

  28. allen Iv3rson says:

    So much for the hype before the season started, biggest fail team. Amnesty kobe, send dwight on his way, hes not the guy you want to build around, too much drama.

  29. stone says:

    Celtics and Lakers about to get swept, LOVE IT. Lakers definitely got bad luck this year. Knicks are just as old and they are doing just fine.

  30. Amused says:

    Goodbye, Lakers. What a delight to see the most arrogant franchise in NBA history so thoroughly humbled…

    • Common Sense says:

      Arrogant – Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities
      Brandon Jennings was arrogant. The Lakers believed they could CONTINUE winning championships, maybe optimistic, but not arrogant.
      I would say it another way;
      Goodbye, Lakers. What a delight to see the one of the most exciting, winning franchises in NBA history so thoroughly humbled. Rebuilding will not be easy, especially with the thought that even when Kobe comes back next year, he’s already promised that’s the last one. Ouch!

  31. Patty says:


  32. Patty says:




  33. lakers4life says:

    DEFENSE..morris and goudelock showed that they can score and hit 3 point shots however they need to step up when it comes to defense. Earl Clark is SHOULD STEP UP also..Right now, he is the x factor for the lakers because the can drive to the lane and make circus shots because of athleticism, he can knck down 3 points and also he can shoots perimeter jump shots. Moreover he can defend star players because of his length and speed. The problem with Earl Clark is that, he has no confidence, he can’t deliver and he cant make shots because of maybe first time in the playoffs.

    Chris duhon perhaps should also step up even he is just a thrash player. He is the only backup pg. AND ANTAWN JAMISON youshould bolster our second 5 unit players. Make 3 point shots and drive to the lane. Don’t hesitate to take big buckets and be aggressive..

  34. James says:

    It does not take an genius to see that Boston and Laker need 90% overhaul their team. No Laker players can shoot and no Boston players can walk

  35. dan'o says:

    Sad that injuries proved the coffin nail in a season bogged down by disappointment, yet always seemingly on the cusp of a turn-around towards real contention. Here’s hoping that they go out swinging, and that ailments heal for the 5 Lakers too beat down to play!

  36. iceboat says:

    i am a kobe fan because i like how kobe play on the court because how bad he wants to win every game, but still alots people will can him ball hogging and selfish. so after i watched KD last night scored 41 pts with 13/30 shooting, everyone call him the hero, the super star and when Kobe scores 47 pts with 15/30 shooting everyone will called kobe selfish and ball hogging…

    I Loughed….

    • Ker says:

      The difference is the need. I am not a fan of Durant, I prefer Kobe, but that has nothing to do with play. However, Durant put up 30 shots because he needed to, with no Westbrook Durant is now the only shooting option in OKC. For Kobe, he had Gasol, Howard, and Nash. They can all shoot, look at Nash’s 3 pt pct. So Kobe shouldn’t make that many shots.

  37. Shawn says:

    This is the big difference between the Lakers and Chicago. Noah is playing hurt, not complaining, and they are without their star player — and they are winning against a healthy team. The lakers have two all-star 7 footers and veteran players. they have at least four of their starters, and Nash wasnt playing well all season. But, that should not stop them from winning. It is the attitude from the top. On the last blog you reported DAntonio said he was “crying like a baby”. He laughed when asked if Nash and Blake could not me compensated with the bench younger players. really? does that build morale, does that develop the young players, or show respect for the entire team effort. Make them want to go out and play harder, or is that kicking them when they are down, and maybe apprehensive? When he had all his players healthy, they lost… Come on. Antoni even said that Kobe was now a “fan” on television…. Nuff said.

  38. Rusty says:

    GLORIOUS end for the Lakers!

  39. neilthaheel says:

    D’antoni is a jerk. you don’t allow players to tell a coach how many minutes he wants to play. Kobe very well might be playing in the play-offs right now and the team might very well have won at least one game to date; I say the RIP should be for dapper D’an and not the team

  40. iceboat says:

    D’antoni is not a good coach, good coach will not just one style offense and no any defense. Nash too old to run, too slow to defend and not the best shooter as couple years ago. get ride off these two, lakers will be better next season

  41. W/E says:

    Dwight and Gasol should play together for the D-league next year. D12 was always a loser Gasol became one the last 2 years.

  42. iceboat says:

    Lakers is not gonna win any more title if Labron is on other side of the court just like jordan era.

  43. Thaddeus says:

    I wouldn’t think I would hear a truly biased article against the Lakers. The articles on the blog these days tend to be more one sided than ever not that the Lakers proved otherwise

  44. johnny dawson says:

    Well that’s what happens when you go cheap. If they had spent some real money on their payroll they might have had a chance.

  45. jackson says:

    the most overhyped, overrated team in recent history! if phil jackson wasn’t blowing smoke i’m sure he would have come back for one more season to push the pace & add another championship to the resume with this specific roster

    • Rajay says:

      Phil Jackson couldn’t win no Championship with this team. This team is to slow and old they can not stay on the court with arunning team that why they wanted to play the spurs. A running will this team out of the gym

  46. javone says:

    the most overhyped, overrated team in recent history! they were better off keeping mike brown instead of hiring mike d’antoni matter of fact, if phil jackson wasn’t blowing smoke i’m sure he would have come back for one more season to push the pace & add another championship to the resume

  47. Willy says:

    Ya boo hoo hoo trade em all start over. They won’t win next year as well right so why listen to it all again. Soap opera.

    • lakersfan4ever says:

      No Team Will win anything when 3 or 4 of starters and key players are injure, No MIami, OKC, Spurs, No matter if they had 82-0 Record. Mention a team that has won a Championship that with their team is without the Best players and has Won.!!!!!

      • Andy says:

        They didn’t win anything when they weren’t injured. Dwight is a big baby, Kobe is old albeit he was still putting up big numbers, Gasol has bad knees. That’s three out of the four core players. It’s time for a Lakers rebuild. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kobe was traded, although they would talk to him first.

  48. Johnny says:

    To all the Lakers fan boys who screamed “Lakers champ 2013 book it!” or ” better than 72-10″. RIP indeed!
    Now the lakers have fallen, I guess you all be either heat/okc fans right?

    • lakersfan4ever says:

      @ all haters you haters wish Kobe would be in your team

      • Rajay says:

        Kobe want to be MJ but he don’t trust his teammate at end of games. He will love to take 50 shots a game. I wouldn’t picked Kobe to play on my REC.TEAM

    • Common Sense says:

      I’m not even close to a Laker Fan, but this comment goes two ways…. You’re either a Heat/OKC fan and you are no better than any fair weather Laker fan that stops liking the TEAM the second it starts losing. Or you are a fan of another team, making a point that most Laker fans only like the TEAM because they can tell all their friends that they like a team that wins, in order to avoid an actual intelligent discussion of why one likes their team in spite of a losing streak or record. If you are the first, go watch football, because we don’t want you here. If you’re the second, then point made…And my response will be…What happened to real fans??? What happened to the people that stood by their team because that’s where they grew up, or that’s where they went to college, or their favorite players, or underdogs fighting through adversity, or because they’ve always stood by their team. Too many people, that are not fans of the sport, simply pick the winning team to cheer for so they don’t have to be disappointed. Give me a break! We need more teams with heart, and less stacked teams…

    • pinoylakersfan97 says:

      big NO dude, still a Lakers fan here. win or lose.

  49. silencio says:

    I was happy to see lebron wade and bosh joined as a team, because that meant that the lakers would not win another championship until that hogball kobe bryant is out of the league. rooting for tim duncan and the spurs vs miami for the finals.

  50. Pete says:

    The lakers would be stupid to get rid of Gasol

  51. Kilroy says:

    Bring out the broom. its sweeping time in LaLa land…