Sometimes, as the saying goes, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
It appears that this is the case for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The acquisitions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash during the off-season seemingly added enormous cache and a boatload of chatter about another Showtime championship run, but this Hollywood presentation hasn’t exactly played out to the standards of previous Buss family productions, even with Kobe Bryant turning in his customary starring role performance.
After several early notices on the set proved less than stellar and resulted in a change of directors, with the defensive minded Mike Brown replaced by Mike D’Antoni and his wide-open offensive approach to the game, the reviews nonetheless continue to be disappointing.
Plain for all to see is that these Lakers — with Nash already ailing, Howard struggling, Kobe in ninja warrior mode, and Pao Gasol basically benched — are disjointed and untenable as constructed.
Thus, it’s obvious that: 1) Even though Brown may have been the wrong choice to replace Phil Jackson last year, giving him the pink slip after five games this year was nothing more than a knee jerk reaction; 2) Hiring D’Antoni and the run-and-gun style he employs, likewise seems to be a blunderous miscalculation; and, 3) Not even the all-knowing and sainted Jackson could have fixed this mess if Jimmy Buss had opted instead for the Zen Master, and not D’Antoni, when looking to supplant Brown.
While this particular drama plays out in an especially unique fashion thanks to the L.A. locale, it’s not like this is the first time we’ve seen a tale of super-team turned super-nova play out right in front of us.
Just ask the always craggy sports fans of Philadelphia about it. They had visions of grandeur for not one, but two of their sports franchises thanks to high-priced maneuverings by the Phillies and Eagles placed both of them into positions of anticipated greatness.
Combine the talents of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt in the same pitching rotation, and why wouldn’t the fanatics in Philly boisterously assume that fearsome foursome would deliver multiple World Series titles?
Instead, the quartet turned into a historic hallucination, staying intact for just one season and not making it out of the first round of the playoffs in 2011. And last year — down to the still terrific trio of Halladay, Lee and Hamels — the Phils once prophetic hopes for prominence turned into a total illusion when they finished in the cellar of the NL East.
Over the same exact period of time the Eagles have somehow managed to surpass that tale of woe. Super Bowl hysteria went in to high gear in the streets of Philadelphia when Nnamdi Asomugha and other respected players were signed to join forces with the likes of Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in forming some sort of “Dream Team.”
Of course, the reality is the Iggles have lived a nightmare over the last two years. No post-season in ’11, and an even further dip this year with a double-digit losing record and a last place finish in the NFC East already assured, along with Andy Reid’s 14-year run as head coach coming to an inglorious end.
Miami has also experienced the highs and lows of expectations and actualities.
While the Heat eventually reached its championship goal in year two of The Big Three formation, that inaugural season was anything but smooth for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
And wasn’t it just yesterday that the Marlins enlisted the services of Ozzie Guillen, Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle to fill the seats in a sparkling new stadium and stake their claim as baseball’s pre-season media darlings? How’d that work out for them? Oh, that’s right, none of them are there a year later….except for all of those empty seats.
As we speak, the City of Angels is in a tizzy over the current state of the Purple and Gold. While the Dodgers and Angels ante up big time bucks for attention and their piece of the Los Angeles sports pie, in truth, they are nothing more than small potatoes compared to a sterling Lakers franchise that owns the town.
It’s all about them, whether the characters are named Wilt, Kareem, Magic and Kobe…. or Lennie, George, Curly and Slim.