The Western Conference Gets Tougher At Top, But Is It Really A Power Shift?

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HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – Dwight to Houston and Iggy to Golden State. What a day. So, how much did Friday’s free-agent action shift the balance of power in the Western Conference? Perhaps the biggest shift will be the return of a healthy Russ in Oklahoma City come November.

The West certainly got more top-heavy and more intriguing on a wild day that finally delivered Dwight Howard‘s decision, however awkwardly. The big man is leaving the domineering Kobe Bryant and his rapidly aging Los Angeles Lakers to join The Beard, James Harden, and his young-and-gunning Houston Rockets.

While Howard spent Friday in Aspen, Colo., surely studying the California state tax hit on the $30 million more the incumbent Lakers could pay him, the Golden State Warriors’ aggressive front office was busy selling off expiring contracts to create the cap room needed to reach a rather stunning agreement with Denver free agent Andre Iguodala. It positioned the Warriors perfectly to craft a deal if the desperate Lakers bellied-up seeking a sign-and-trade for Howard while simultaneously strengthening their club for next season if not.

Still, did Dwight to Houston and Iggy to Golden State boost either team to the level of the West champion San Antonio Spurs, to OKC with Russell Westbrook returning or even to the Doc Rivers-coached and Chris Paul-led Los Angeles Clippers?

The West is so stout at the top that while Houston and Golden State began to emerge last season with Harden coming to the Rockets and Steph Curry rising to star status in the playoffs (and both teams will co-chair the NBA’s committee for must-watch teams next season) they might find themselves battling it out for homecourt advantage in the first round. And that’s having not even mentioned the post-Lionel Hollins Memphis Grizzlies now under rookie coach David Joerger returning as a top-five team.

But back to Iguodala and his one-year stopover in Denver. If there is a power shift in the West it’s the potential for a Nuggets avalanche down the standings to open a spot in the top four. Denver finished the season as the No. 3 seed, but since Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL in early April it’s been a steady stream of body blows. Denver lost to Golden State in the first round. Coach of the Year George Karl was fired and executive of the year Masai Ujiri left to run the Toronto Raptors. Now Iguodala is gone and Denver might be on the playoff bubble.

As for the Lakers, it’s disingenuous to talk about the loss of Howard as creating a major power shift within the conference. L.A. hasn’t escaped the second round in three years and with Howard last season it squeaked into the playoffs in the final days of the season as the seventh seed. Kobe Bryant hopes to be back for the start of the 2013-14 season, but there’s no guarantee as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon.

With a roster badly in need of patching all over, might the Lakers, who — ready for this? — apparently chose a future with Mike D’Antoni over the 27-year-old Howard, be the most likely candidate to fall out of the top eight and open a playoff path for a lottery team such as the loaded — and presumably healthy — Minnesota Timberwolves?

Huh, the Timberwolves passing over the Lakers? Now that would be a power shift.

95 Comments

  1. Lakers4life says:

    Haha… Rockets are a joke along with the Mavericks. San Antonio is the only team in Texas I have respect for… A little for the Rockets but Dallas is @#!$. They should just go to seattle…

  2. kenny says:

    whait for Westbrook to come back the Thunder will win the championship if the NBA doesn’t screw them like they did 2 years ago

  3. qqq says:

    I think that all of you have forgotten that Lebron james is not even close to the player he was in cleveland, he is 10 times better, he can dominate the game with 13 shots, thats how effective he was this year. And for him going to Miami was the right choice. 2 rings in 3 years? ring a bell, and still people are hating on him for being a great player.

    just GET OVER it and let him play the game on the highest level like he has done for 2 years now.

  4. I still see the Spurs winning it all in the West. I’m confident that the Wolves will finally make it to the Playoffs this year as either the 7th or 8th seed.

  5. LA-Supporer@Manila says:

    Yep!! LA would always be a contender.. Get Andrew back and dish in Monty.. Good luck DC!!

  6. Julius says:

    I´m a Lakers fan though

  7. Julius says:

    nah I´m actually glad that D12 is gone since he´s immature
    of course Lakers won´t win this season or the next one since the Heat still has James,Wade,Bosh and Allen it´s kinda obvious who will win the next season …

  8. Billy Jones says:

    New sheriff in town is james harden, first 3 games with houston he scores 46 points, 37 the next, and 45 the games after, and that’s from a player that came off the bench for okc, first time all star, and he’s only 23…avg 25 points and was 4 in mvp votes…sheriff in deed..

  9. marty says:

    Laker groupies are bipolar..One minute u court DH then he wisely decides not to return to a franchise that is fading fast and then u act like he’s a marginal player.The downfall began with the premature firing of M Brown and not calling out the guy who makes no one better (KB)with his lack of accountability and finger pointing.

  10. KB24 says:

    if lebron could go to any team and make them better y did he go to the heat? exactly my point he needs another star to help him win the finals

  11. Rocketman says:

    I’m so excited to see Howard in a Rockets uniform! I use to live in Houston but now I’m in San Antonio and between Lakers nation and San Antonio news outlets their is a lot of hating! John Witherspoon I feel five pounds lighter jealous! Of course the west is jealous because Houston is a rising star in the West. They aren’t finished yet they are going to make more moves and
    I’m giving Howard the benefit of the doubt. You will now see how Hakeem and McHale are going to develop Howard into a beast! For the first time he is making the right decision in life. Shaq can have his say but I remember a in 1995 Finals a guy named Hakeem Olajawon who spanked that center right out of the gym! Kobe Bryant not Michael Jordan and never will be. Its hard to play with any player who is only about himself! Houston should get a Power Forward not Josh Smith who is now signing with the Pistons and a point guard maybe Monte Ellis. If the Rockets can make a couple of more moves they are going to be title contenders. Perhaps Gary Neal or Corey Brewer off the bench could be some option as well . Blair from the Spurs could also address the PF position. Morey is a great GM look what he did in Boston before coming to Houston. Les Alexander not cheap and will spend the money to have a quality product. Maybe the Rockets will need 1 year of playing time together we will see. A title is now a reality not a vision of the past!

  12. Leo says:

    Dwight Howard is a @&%$%&ch and a loser and will never win a championship wherever he goes. He has know heart.

  13. JMaine says:

    What a way to make an argument. Self proclaimed, the media did that my friend. Anything you can think of you discredit his talent right. juiced…….riiiiiiiiiight, based on what info. Garbage, weak argument. and i bet Steve didnt hit that jumper it was jordan in a disguise. You can look a game 6 anyway you like but last time i check that 3 point shot by allen is what he gets paid for, but there was a game 7 and i think james beat the Spurs with his jumper and bosh had 0 points. That whole team relied on James including ya’ll boy Wade,which by the way hurt me to watch. 20 all stars really? where ever you get your 8 ball please tell me cuz that ish got you sounding like you no nothing bout Basketball. but you know what your right on Labron while he keeps hosting them rings up you and your fellow haters can use that false truth to get by. I love the NBA and ill enjoy seeing yall hurt every time he gets another chip.

    • alo says:

      Yeah, it’s what ray allen gets paid for, but if he didn’t make that shot, you wouldn’t even be talking about james right now so stfu. Steve didn’t save the bulls from elimination. Jordan didn’t need no role player to save his a$$.

  14. Nobiase says:

    hi

  15. tanibanana says:

    Wisely written title… But is it really a power shift?
    Howard as good as his physical gifts are, he has shown he does not posses a killer instinct to be great.
    But regardless, yes, Houston gets really better. I see them finishing 6th or 5th in West, question is,
    can they make West finals?
    As for Nuggets, AI will need to prove that he can share the ball with Curry, who for me, both takes
    a lot of time to operate.. Definitely also improved a lot. West gets tougher indeed.
    My hunch, Nuggets ends up with a better season (post & regular) compared to Houston..
    With everything said, Champs will still be from East.

  16. bryce says:

    I love how this article is about the west and still people whine about lebron. Who won the last 2 rings? Keep crying lmao winning is everything and hes doing it. And as for Curry being the new sherriff? Has anyone remembered the series vs spurs? Parker schooled him. Curry cant play defense and likely never will. Id take a crippled wade ahead of him simply because wade can play defense. In the west alone i can think of several PG that while maybe they cant hit 8 3′s in a game, they can make plays, dominate on defense and step up. And as for clutch? Miami is the most clutch as a team. Lebron cant do it alone we all know that. Get off his back. Only criticism i respect about lebron will come from the likes of michael jordan or even kobe, not some fat tard sitting in front of the tv.

  17. celentano says:

    About the selfproclaimed King who needed 20 all stars to win championship,the best ?Never!!! just overrated 100%,lucky Pat chosed him, This guy need to be disqualified he’s overpum’p,juiced with hormones and sh$t,he’s like Armstrong maybe using cera,bloodtransfusion,tricki fake champ that’s he is.Why every bandwagon CHEAT fan are trippin on him? He’s a ex football player so he used a lot dope and still is doing it!Nothing to be proud about this guy,each ring they win is in fact a half ring.2 rings they won should be counting as just 1,lol!!!
    I played myself 20years b.ball competition clearly seeying Lechump taking 20 travel steps to score each game,lechump d’ont have to dribble anymore because the ref’s swallow they’re wisthle all the time!!!
    He can walk with ball in his hands all the time dunkin,running over people, jumpstop shooting extra step all the time because he’s lechump Stern & Riley aproving with a smile!
    Bunch of fakers for real that’s what it is!because of Mario,Bosh & Ray,ref’s they saved the Heat not Lebron or Dwayne because they where in a slump game 6,Dwayne & Lechump has to kiss in fact many times Mario,Bosh,Ray + the ref’s stinky feet’s !!!
    Not forgetting to mention Pop with his master tactics leaving Timmy on the bench,that’s very strange indeed!
    Lechump played only 2 valid games at the finals considiring him the best??Nope thanks to Stern the Nba is today just a circus act,American Wrestling at the top.
    Ciao ciao my CHEAT bandwagoners, d’ont be so blind on Lechump !

  18. JMaine says:

    o yeah not a team fan, I’m a player fan. teams have to loyalty to they’re fans.

  19. JMaine says:

    very true. people who hate james n come up with any dub reason to say he’ll never be the greatest. too bad he already is. yeah kobe jordan and timmy stayed with their teams. Jordan didn’t have to think about leaveing chi town because Their GM knew how to get talent and scotty was a top 5 player like wade. timmy know the spurs front offcie knows how to do they’re job. IMO Kobe is not as great as everyone makes him out to be. funny how everyone forgets him n the lakers getting beat by the sun with a commanding seires lead kobe just quit on his team. never did better till he got gasol. teammates dnt get better around him n he is a high volume shooter. dnt forget he demanded a trade too. i would have left the cav’s too if i was james. any good player they got was out of their prime. mo williams cnt handle playoff pressure. the cavs front office is to blame for james leaving. wade great player but couldnt make it out the 1st round after ring n he didnt win it by himself. that roster had nothing but hall of famer on it plus shaq. every great players story is not going to be the same. jordans was a great one n i was lucky enough to see that. kobe was fun. James story is being written and im enjoying all of it. fact right now, weather you like him or not he is the best player in game today. will james story be as great or better then jordans time will tell. Question? How many players have come in the nba, and had all the hype and pressure of being to next greatest player in the game and live up to it. No one beside James n that alone makes me feel like he is already the G.O.A.T. other great player got to grow and prove themselves on their way to greatness. James plays with more pressure then any other player to ever play in the NBA.

    • marty says:

      Good to know there are some sane fans out there

    • alo says:

      His legacy was saved by Ray Allen’s three point shot that let the Heat avoid elimination. If it wasn’t for that he’d be 2/4 in the finals. The man hasn’t even gotten his first three peat. Jordan never even needed a game 7 in the finals. Just because he can fill the stat sheet doesn’t mean he’s the GOAT, cause if that’s the case Oscar Robertson would be GOAT at the moment.

  20. J says:

    great article!!!

  21. Simba says:

    No one seems to want to bring this up so I will. Notice that the majority of the West playoff teams from last year except the Thunder improved by either signing a good FA or by hiring a new coach. The Spurs signed Marco Belinelli and Jeff Pendergraph to add some depth to the wings. The Warriors added Iggy to help with their wing defense which also pushes Barnes back to his natural role off the bench. The Clippers got Doc to come in and make them focus on D. The Rockets of course landed the big catch with Dwight… but what did OKC do? They stood pat while the rest improved. Matter of fact, they got worse by letting Kevin Martin leave for nothing. Westbrook will still be recovering to start the season so KD’s gonna be alone and we all saw in the playoffs what happens when teams can focus in on Durant. Maybe management is hoping that one of their youngsters will again turn into a star but you can only get lucky so many times. I wouldn’t be surprised if OKC fell to 4th or 5th in the West standings next season.

  22. Pflow3000 says:

    Good article. Can’t argue with much although I’m not sure I believe Iguodala is going to be the difference maker some believe.

  23. Paul says:

    I was a Howard fan, among many other players. Not anymore.
    Although I wish D’antoni was gone, not him. I think he’s gone because of him.

    • Rocketman says:

      No he is a good coach the problem is Kobe Bryant a very selfish about me kind of player. D’ Antoni has a bunch of old players who doesn’t fit his brand of play. As the Spurs had the Lakers as well it’s time to rebuild all good things must come to an end the Lakers time has come!

  24. KunJay says:

    The east is no cake walk…yes Boston is going down but you got Brooklyn, Pacers, Chicago, NY, and the Heat all very powerful, could easily go either way. I’m worried about the Heat if they can’t get big bodies down there they might not make it out of the east this year.

  25. RC FRESH says:

    I have the Pelicans taking a playoff spot…GO JRUE AND TYREKE!!

  26. thunderup says:

    lakers need to sign Bynum back

  27. thunderup says:

    pelicans make the playoffs next here so do the Lakers.
    1.OKC
    2:Houstin
    3.spurs
    4.warriors
    5.clippers
    6.lakers
    7.pelicans
    8.memphis

  28. dwight coward says:

    Or Asik for Brandon Jennings!!

  29. Jimmy says:

    Pretty sure the winner of the Dwightmare sweepstakes was the Warriors. Fooled everyone into thinking they had a chance at Dwight, shedded a bunch of huge contracts, and then landed Iguodala out of nowhere, making them arguably better than the Rockets with Dwight.

  30. dwight coward says:

    Asik & Lin for Jeff Teague…get me a point guard!

  31. Brandon says:

    Inb4 chemistry problems in Houston because of Dwight Howard.

  32. cp3 epic basketball says:

    They should trade kobe for a young star to start rebuliding and nash plus pau face lakers are going nowhere

    • cp3 epic basketball says:

      My bad face lakers are going nowhere i mean FACE IT lakers are going nowhere

  33. L.chil says:

    The Warriors will be in the final next year.

    • Game Time says:

      Western conference yeah. If OKC doesn’t have an injured WB or Durant and Spurs are injury free they won’t get past either.

  34. cg says:

    No other star would go leave to join a guy who already won a champ by himself to win his. Lebron will never be in those guys category, unless he leaves the Heat and wins titles on his own, without a top 5 player in the NBA. A healthy wade is easily a top 5 player in league. And heck 3 years ago you could argue he was the best scorer in hoops… flat out

    • BOSTON BEER says:

      That’s an unfair way to look at it. Look, the decision as a TV special announcement was ill-advised, and I really believe that given the chance, Lebron would do that differently. That said, all that is abhorrent in terms of Lebron leaving the Cavs to go to the Heat is that it’s not how “the system” is supposed to work. It’s not supposed to be the players who get to pick who their team is; it’s supposed to be the suits. GMs and the league don’t like to be shown up by the players, and the media will print whatever’s exciting, so the media prints that Lebron gets to pick his own team, and the league and GMs feel slighted. So there’s backlash, and we still talk about it today. But realistically, why should it be Pat Riley or Danny Ainge or Otis Smith who gets to decide who Lebron will play with? Lebron is (without a doubt, and I’m a Celtics fan) the best basketball player in the world. So why should he not get to pick who he plays with? I mean, really, it’s the only fair way to do it, because everyone wants to play with him. Fans, the media and executives just don’t like seeing their precious system fall into the hands of the players it’s built around.

  35. Robert says:

    Well, forget about the Grizzlies again, just please don’t act surprised when they go deep in the playoffs again.

  36. malachi cook says:

    1.Spurs (great coaching and still have great experience)
    2.OKC (great team but lost alot in losing martin)
    3. Warriors (very young team, and gained alot in gaining A.I, with bomb threats 3point shooters)
    4. Rockets ( dwight was a great grab, but can harden and D12 work WELL(!!) together, and lin is over-rated, even with adding smith, this is still a 4th contending team)
    5.Clippers ( adding doc Rivers adds so much defense and more offensive sets for this team, but still has to deal with the fact that blake iis just a dunker-very overrated)
    6. Nuggets (took a huge fall losing A.I, and coach of the year George Karl -and his style of play that got this team there, but if -and only if- they land monta ellis to replace A.I this team is 6th, otherwise this team is 8th or 9th)
    7. Memphis (picked up its intensitity on defense after losing Gay, but also lost alot in losing their coach hollins, point blank)
    8. Mavericks/Pelicans/ timberwolves (with the lakers gone, this spot is up for grabs, either to the Mavs, or peilicans or timberwolves)

    • YayArea says:

      I agree. This was very good insight. I think the Clips might switch spots with the Warriors though. They are still a loaded team with one of the best leaders in the league (CP3). And this is coming from a Dubs fan from the City.

    • KunJay says:

      A healthy Timberwolves team can fight for 6th 7th spot easily. But only if they all can stay healthy.

    • Game Time says:

      Blake is primarily a dunker, but has shown potential to develop his game. He is continuing to work on his mid range and lets not forget this is only his 4th season. Fact is he still scores and gets rebounds. Doesn’t matter how you get you pts as long as it goes in the hoop.

    • abchome says:

      How many points a dunk counts? Blake Griffin averages only 3 dunks a game…

  37. Andy says:

    Greetings,

    I am suprised about his choice did Boston, LAC and OKC not ask for his services?
    If he would have gone to one of these teams, it would have won the championship next year (to my mind he should gave to Boston).

    • BOSTON BEER says:

      Boston is intentionally going to tank next year in order to get high draft picks. They are not even trying to sign any free agents this offseason: it’s all about clearing cap space and getting picks.

  38. willis says:

    yea lebron went to a better team to win a chip so0o0o what like u wouldnt leave a bad job to get a better one its the same thing yea timmy jordan and kobe stayed in there obviously they got some great players to play with them tho thanks to there management nobody was sent to cleveland mo william jameson really no allstars let alone superstar no future hall of famers nothing u guys talk but its all nonsense why would timmmy leave SA when he got a chip his first or second year there
    why would kobe leave wen he had shaq in his prime there jordam didnt leave because they got him help and a great caoch lebron was left with no choice but to leave 7 years committed to that team and never complained but a man has to do wat he has to and hes the best by far in the nba rite now

    • 34yr fan says:

      ….he complained plenty……..where were you??

    • I Like NBA says:

      i agree. at the moment there is no better player in the basketball world. he is one of the best of all time all round player. he can do it all. he is worse than many in some parts independently. but he does more for his team than anyone else(arguably) . when james came to play for cavs they were the worst team, after his arrival they were no1 seed more than onces. and james did that by himself. Durant is a great player, but fell apart when westbrook was broken, So please do not argue about the best player in the league its lebron.

      Before 2010 he had more fans, but his decision, what proved to be right, somehow made him the bad guy.

      this is a team sport, and you cant win it without a TEAM, you need one. Wilt was THE MOST DOMINANT PLAYER, so many rules have been change cuz of him, but he only won 2, and couldnt get a ring until he got some help.

      after jordan, went to washington, why didnt he win another ring, the was the same age or close as TD now, and he player great in the finals..

      and dont even let me start on kobe, no one except for bill russell may be got as much help as kobe.

      every great player has his charmes, start hating others if one is better than the other, enjoy watching them all, cuz, all those who cant do, they talk about it…. we are all supersmart from the sidelines,.. and 99% people commenting here on how one is bad player and so on, would choke given a slightest chance to prove themselves as these guys show on the floor.

      Enjoy the game,

      • alo says:

        Seriously, you’re questioning why MJ couldn’t win a ring at age 40 with the washington wizards? That team and 2013 Spurs can’t be compared.

      • Lakers4life says:

        Shut up. You Mj and Kobe hater… Typical Heat fan.

    • Tru says:

      Yea rite now but he isn’t as great as any comparable player in his prime

      • Blake says:

        There is no comparable player in their prime. Compared to Jordan in his prime, the game is different. LBJ in his prime verses MJ in his prime, LBJ would smash him. He’s too big and too strong. Just as fast if not faster. Compared to Kobe in his prime, i’ll take LBJ. I think Kobe in his prime would match up better than MJ with LBJ because of the type of player he is. Silly comments people

      • alo says:

        @Blake, you’re silly. LBJ’s offensive skills are no where near MJ’s. LBJ gets a lot of his points by cherry picking.

    • Lakers4life says:

      I agree, The Cavaliers need to support their uprising stars. Now that they have Kyrie Irving they better sign good players. Maybe get a 3pt shooter now that they have bynum and their draft pick.

  39. Charloe says:

    I live in Los Angeles. I woke up this,morning and heard Howard chose Houson. I shall proceed to troll as many Angelinos as I possibly can.

  40. Chris says:

    Dwight is a fool to leave one of the most historically great franchises in sports history. I wish him well but Even with the beard and parsons D12 wont win a championship

    • BOSTON BEER says:

      A fool? Your storied franchise doesn’t have any players signed after this coming season besides Steve Nash, who will be lucky if he doesn’t keel over this season. Dwight’s decision to leave LA is the only thing he’s ever done that’s smart.

    • KunJay says:

      He wasn’t going to win at the Lakers either, at least not for now. You have an injured Kobe taking 30 mill next season that’s the highest out of any current player in the NBA. Lakers would start rebuilding after next season, with an older Kobe, softer Gasol and a more injury prone Nash. Clearly it wasn’t looking good, his pick was the correct one.

  41. Kimmy says:

    Lakers need to go ahead and fire the coach. Even the Laker fans agree. What a waste. I agree that the Houston Rockets may not be championship material next season. Because OKC is coming back and nobody can beat them when all hands are on deck. But I think Houston Rockets are certainly heading in the right direction.

    • bojtiwah says:

      HOUSTON ROCKETS also beat the OKC before even w/o their newly acquired talent,D12,how much more now???better you just think first before you say such…

  42. Mike says:

    I always disliked the Lakers (not hate), but I sure do hate the heat. Would go for any team that is not the heat, even the Lakers PERIOD

  43. celentano says:

    To theking0522@ Lechump can only conspiring with his friend & the ref’s ‘championships’ to create an all star team in order to win,that sir or kid d’ont sound as the best player around!He’s a starchaser, C’ant do without only 1 all star & some good role player’s with bench to win Championships. And mister or bandwagon-boy Kobe stayed with the Lakers,that to me showing some loyalty let ballers come to play with him instead chasing rings with other team’s in the Nba to be crowned as the best.Check Jordan,timmy and evn you other fake star Dwayne they stayed to they’re team to win.
    lechump’s championships even he win’s 8 rings never feal the same as winning 5 rings like the other’s do!!!

    • Pakyaw says:

      @ celentano, get your fact straight..,Kobe is not loyal that u think he is, he ask to be trade before.. Did all Kobe fans know that he’s not the best player on his team for half of his career(facts)..

      • madballer says:

        Crazy!!! Not only the best on his team but player of the decade for 2000-2010. Check your non-facts!!!

      • Game Time says:

        How is he best player of the decade when he was overshadowed by guys for most of those ten years? 2000-2003 Shaq. 2004-2007 all we saw as Kobe shooting more (not better) and having three huge scoring games, with no playoff series wins. Please tell me how the best player of the decade can’t make it out the 1st round?

    • manei says:

      if kobe is so great how come he cant make it work with Dwight howard and Paul gasol. Look how players just seem to look good around james. ( Daniel marshal, dru goden(2007), Iglazaugas, david west, Bosh, bird man. and the list goes on. Players are just much better when playing with james but kobe damages players. No one gets better around kobe

    • Blake says:

      Celentano, you clearly know nothing about what you speak of. Jordan had Pippen (oh i believe was included in the “50 greatest of all time), Timmy had David Robinson (50 greatest and 92 dream team….) Dwayne had Shaq (enough said). And Kobe has had an amazing supporting cast his entire career, oh except the years when he didn’t have a great cast, remember they didn’t even make the playoffs? Let’s use facts. Not slander. Lebron James took Cleveland to the finals, and his 2nd best player was ? Oh you probably can’t even answer that. Mo Williams? Dont be a fool just because you dont like Lebron James. Use facts if you’re going to make such a bold statement.

      • kei says:

        Hell, LBJ even make Mo and sideshow bob an all star! Seriously if anyone think Mo was an all-star is on crack. Kobe? He made D12(DOY) looks like Zan tabak, Nash(MVP), Ronron, pau all never played well around Kobe. Remember Nash is a MVP who can make Dudley looks like an all-star player. That’s what MVP is! Make your team better and truly utitlize your teamates ability.
        I am enjoying this closing chapter of Kobe, so deserving! Lakers fan boys time to find a new team to bandwagon!

      • LOL says:

        The Lakers did make the the playoffs with a horrible team, unless trying to say that a starting lineup with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown is a great supporting cast.

      • bojtiwah says:

        any team that LBJ will be with,surely it will go to playoffs….no doubt about that..

    • Magic says:

      LOL,you sound bitter,people forget how Kobe requested a trade until Gasol fell in their lap, no Gasol no rings, no Shaq no rings, lmfao ,Kobe cant do it without help, which is why he’d be in Chi Town if not for Gasol!!!!

  44. theking0522 says:

    hahahhaa. It is sooooo funny to see Lakers fans trying to say that Howard is worthless now he sign with another team. THEY WANTED HIM. They wanted him badly. Gasoft is the only 7-footer in the Lakers team now. Kobe will miss half the season and the Lakers are going NOWWHERE again….Ohhh by the way…..Kobe is getting ZERO rings from now on. There is a new sheriff in town. His name is Lebron James. Whine so more Lakers fans. LOL

    • Stephisbeast says:

      Actually the new sheriff in town is Steph Curry. Lebron is only getting older and will be reaching his thirties before you know it. It is definitely time for Kobe to quit his whining and retire though.

      • manei says:

        lol steph carry…. there isn’t a single player in the league that would not be traded for LeBron. The heat can still improve with the addition a low maintenance center such as Greg Odom

      • Krishawn-MIA says:

        LMFAOOOOOOOO thats what you hope..new sheriff LMFAOO

      • BOSTON BEER says:

        Everybody is only getting older, including steph curry. shut up.

      • KunJay says:

        Curry is no sheriff, yes he’s a deadly shooter but Lebron is a maestro which means he dominates every aspect of the game. Curry has a long way to go before getting to that point, hitting 3′s doesn’t make him a sheriff.

      • Game Time says:

        If Curry’s ankles hold up for a full season he may be the next sheriff in line……..behind Durant, behind CP3, hell behind Westbrook.

      • lol says:

        lebron dominates every aspect of his game? do you forgot he struggles on the 3 point, on the mid range and he isnt clutch

  45. Jordan says:

    May You please do one for the Eastern conference?

  46. Mike says:

    Listen it doest matter who everybody wanted D12 to go to.D12 WANTED TO GO TO HOUSTON PERIOD.!!!!!

  47. wuffe says:

    I’m anxious about Josh Smith with Dwight. Neither knows how to play team ball. It could be another Sacramento. I hope Daryl Morey GM sees the big picture. He should have picked up a good solid P.F. like Al Jefferson with Dwight. That would have been a franchise team that gives Miami all kinds of fits.

  48. Nola says:

    The Pelicans might quietly be seeking those empty playoff spots too.

  49. allaroundballer says:

    Is it only me or anyone else feels bad for Asik? Last season he was good, look at his stats and he’ll still improve. How could he step back as 2nd option like before? Without Howard, Rockets plus J-smoove is already big updgrade. That way they still have salary cap room to add veteran PG and second punch scoring from bench. Now if Rockets somehow got J-smoove and loosing Asik, probably they’ll be just like better version of ’13 Pacers. Great starting five without bench. The last playoff is about alternate gun!

    • allaroundballer says:

      Well at least no need to worry bout veteran PG. I forgot Fisher would love to join any contender for FREEEEE….

      • hahaha yeah he always does that…but their bech still have Motiejunas…a promising big man shooter and either Beverly or Lin…they can always trade Asik for Ryan Anderson + a Bench player who can shoot 3s like roger mason….but even if Asik stays he can play together with howard as twin towers or even a back up for howard…that means the rockets won’t even miss a beat even if howard stays on the bench…very solid team for houston