Howard, Young Prove Some Thoughts Are Better Left Unspoken

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HANG TIME SOUTHWEST –
 From the department of “Can we please start the season?” we bring you “Thoughts better left unspoken, but spoken anyway” presented by Dwight Howard and Nick Young.

Howard, the happy-to-be-here Houston Rockets center, opted to voice his dismay at how his old Orlando club just handed over his old No. 12 to an unproven (now promising) youngster named Tobias Harris without, apparently, a moment’s reservation.

Harris wore No. 15 with Milwaukee, but the one-five was occupied by forgotten Magic man Hedo Turkoglu. Luckily for Harris, No. 12, his number as a one-and-done freshman at Tennessee, had popped free a few months earlier.

Though Howard thinks the No. 12 he made famous (post-Chris Whitney) should hang in Orlando’s rafters when all is said and done.

“Despite how things ended, we had eight or seven great years. We went to The Finals,” Howard explained to Orlando Sentinel beat writer Josh Robbins last week. “A lot of those banners that are in the arena happened when I was there. I was a major part of that. A lot of the records that are there, I put them there.”

Sure, but It’s not like Orlando rushed to hang No. 32 in the Amway Center. Just don’t tell Dwight that it took a dozen years before Jeremy Richardson dared to don a No. 32 Magic jersey once Shaquille O’Neal headed west.

Now, Nick Young is an L.A. guy. He was born there in June 1985, the same month the Lakers celebrated title No. 9 of 16 while the Clippers had just wrapped up a 31-51 inaugural season in L.A. playing at the Memorial Sports Arena. Young was a hot shot at Cleveland High in Reseda and then at USC. He loved the Lakers.

He dreamed of wearing the majestic purple-and-gold. And now he does. Yet as luck would have it, the Clippers — the Clippers! — are the talk of the town. So when new Clips coach Doc Rivers decided to rid Staples Center, the shared home of both L.A. teams, of every spec of purple and gold when his team is playing, well, Young took exception.

At Friday’s preseason game, Clippers fans found Doc’s answer to sanitizing Staples on Clips game nights: giant-sized posters of their red-white-and-blue heroes completely boxing out the Lakers’ golden wall of fame: 16 championship banners, nine retired jersey numbers and the banner honoring late, great announcer Chick Hearn.

“He can do that?” said first-year Laker gunslinger, talking to reporters after the team’s practice on Sunday. “For real? That’s disrespectful. We got to talk to Doc. He can’t have that. We got to do something about that.

“That’s a lot of pull y’all are giving Doc,” Young went on. “I think he shouldn’t come in and have so much pull like that. He’s got to earn his keep.”

Love the charisma, Nick, but let’s not go there.

Doc’s move was wily (and frankly overdue by the Clips organization) and worthy of a back pat. Who needs Lakers glory constantly mocking his club’s empty trophy case (a 2012-13 Pacific Division championship — won under former coach Vinny Del Negro – is the best it gets) just as the franchise is rising from its doormat past?

“Listen, I think this is our arena when we play,” Rivers told reporters. “So I just thought it would be good that we show our guys. No disrespect to them [the Lakers]. But when we play, it’s the Clippers’ arena as far as I know.”

Quick reminder, too, the Lakers haven’t beaten the Clippers since April 4, 2012, and that skid doesn’t stand much of a chance of ending when the likely Kobe Bryant-less Lakers take on a ridiculously deep Clips team led by Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in the season opener a week from Tuesday. Even though all all that shiny purple-and-gold hanging on the wall will be in full regalia because it is a Lakers home game.

The old veteran Steve Nash offered a more sensible voice to Doc’s coverup: “I guess if you were in the Clippers’ organization you’d probably want to do that, too. It’s their arena on their night, so I would try to make it feel like home.”

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, who knows what it feels like to be an outsider inside his home building, said about the same.

So good job Doc, you did the right thing. As for Nick, if you don’t want those giant-sized Clippers towering over you, you’ll have two chances (Jan. 10 and April 6) to shoot ‘em down, and earn your keep.

14 Comments

  1. dmh says:

    A few thoughts….

    Dwight Howard should be banned from the microphone. He doesn’t have the maturity to handle it at this point and it will only take the rockets down. He needs to just put his head down and play.

    Two… Unless you have legacies like the Lakers or Celtics, retiring numbers should never be taken lightly. I think sometimes teams retire certain numbers to boost ticket sales and thats it. Orlando has had some excellent teams. Orlando has had special players run through town that possibly could arguably have numbers retired. The magic chose not to. The only retired number that the magic has is 6. Number 6 was retired in honor of the fans as the fans are like the 6th man on the court. Shaq, Penny, Tmac, Armstrong, Scott and Anderson never had their numbers retired either even though Shaq and Penny were the stars of the team that made the finals in the 90s. Dwight had Lewis, Turkoglu, and Nelson. The standard has obviously been set if Shaq and Penny never had their numbers retired. Dwight was good but he was no Shaq. It also would be horrible PR to retire 12 before retiring 32 and 1. With that being said which #1 do you retire? Tmac or Penny? How about keeping the standard higher than that as 32, both #1s, and #12 did not exit the magic gracefully. If Harris lives up to his potential then he deserves it but, that is a pretty high standard. Stay tuned folks LOL!

    As far as the Nick Young thing…… I always found it weird that the Lakers and Clippers have been co-tenants of the Staples center for pretty much forever. The Clippers have never been a place where free agents flock to until Chris Paul came to town. The laker retired numbers and championships can be intimidating to look up at if you are a clipper true fan. I don’t blame Doc for covering up the laker stuff when it is a clipper home game. However, I think it would be even better if the Clippers got their own REAL home court advantage. I think now is the time to break up and get their own building. Even the nets and knicks have different buildings as more or less cross-town rivals. If nothing else, a different building would be step one in getting out from under the laker shadow. Long story short…. Young is a Laker homer even if he did play for the clippers for a little bit. I get his perspective when it comes to disrespecting laker greats as I get Doc’s perspective of having a true homecourt advantage. However the true homecourt advantage will probably never happen until someone gets their own stadium. Thinking the clippers maybe should, given the history of the lakers in Staples center, move out for their own sanity.

  2. celtic533 says:

    Why the hell is Nick Young running his mouth.He was a former Clipper just a little time ago.Hes went to other trams since then and that makes me feel like hes an airhead that just plays and bounces around like a journeyman

  3. KB says:

    Here is a solution for the Clippers and Doc. BUILD YOUR OWN ARENA!

    • justsayin says:

      One tennant doesn’t have the right to evict another just because they lived there longer.

      You want to play landlord – buy Staples Center.

  4. Reithor says:

    It’s not a big deal… Clippers’ Arena, Clippers’ decoration. Period. They are renting the house the same way that Lakers do. If any of them is not happy with sharing, emancipate. Get a new arena, and so on.

    Disrespect would be if the banners of Magic et al. hadn’t hang from the roof on Lakers’ home game.

  5. Anthony says:

    I agree with Nick Young that it’s disrespectful. But forget about Nick Young, ask Magic, Kareem, Jerry West, Elgin, the ghosts of Wilt and Mikan, worthy and all the other guys. Common, they WON all those banners. They were HONORED with their jersey retired. You cant just cover them up 41 times a year just cause you share the arena? Eventually, the Clipps will have some of their own, but you can’t just cover stuff like that. Just because they compete against each other in the same sport, it’s no difference from all the hockey jerseys in MSG and more or less in all the arenas. When you going to MSG to see the Knicks, there’s a lot of Rangers stuff up there. And there used to be a lot of Red Devils stuff up then you watched the Nets in New Jersey. Of course, i know thats another sport, but it’s never been an issue for the Knicks to play in MSG with Rangers banners up there. Nobody ever complained that it didn’t feel like Knicks’ arena. No, i don’t agree with this covering of the banners and jerseys. Somebody decided to pay people tribute, you can’t just take that away for your own best. I didn’t like when they hung that Blackhawks jersey on the Jordan statue outside United Center, that statue is his because what he did for the Bulls. Will the Clippers cover up the statues outside Staples? Or put a Clippers jersey on them?

    • Marco says:

      They are only covering them during clipper games. Would you care if you had a jersey up there? I’m sure magic wouldn’t care, afterall it wasn’t clipper fans who got him up there.

    • Pakyaw says:

      Why all these lakers homies such a bunch of baby… It’s common sense!.. Your home court you can do whatever you want..

    • asdf says:

      This is basically like saying that they shouldn’t change the floor to their own and just leave the Lakers floor, because changing it is disrespectful.

  6. celentano says:

    coward should shut up his …., biggest drama queen has giving us the best examples from himself not so long ago>>>>>>>vangundy !!!

  7. Shin Dung Fha says:

    Doc made a gutsy move, i am a laker fan forever, but Clippers got to do what is right and good for the organization. About Howard, i dont feel being ditch by him when he picked Houston, he should feel the same when Orlando choose to give away his #. I know you deserved respect for what you did, but same thing you deserved to be vilified for what you did to the organization of Orlando.