After yesterday’s embarrassing loss to the San Antonio Spurs, and his untimely ejection from the game early in the third quarter, and what appeared to be a confrontation with GM Mitch Kupchak (later dismissed) Lakers center Dwight Howard finally opened up to the world via Twitter in an attempt to rectify what he felt to be one of the most disappointing seasons of his career. Howard, widely regarded as the league’s best center, was ejected from yesterday’s game following his second technical foul for questioning the officials non-call after what he believed to be a hard foul. In the midst of all this, the Lakers were down by 20 points and Dwight being ejected at this point essentially spelled a loss before the game was even over, and the end of the 2012/13 Lakers season.
It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers have built their franchise on risk taking and money spending. From the showtime era to the current…well… not so showtime era, the Lakers have always been happy to spend the extra money, and take the extra risk to ensure that silverware returned to the city. This ethos has paid off for the Lakers time and time again, but now, they face a whole new risk and as of 3PM (US EST) today, they officially handed over the reigns to a man who now has the club, and the people of LA eating out of the palm of his hand and bowing to his every need. The Lakers are now at the beckon call of Dwight Howard and if this team is to succeed in the near future, it is imperative that they do all they can to keep him. I have argued, as have many, that the Lakers, in order to remain top dog should trade Howard as the risk of losing him to free agency for nothing is too great a risk to take. If he leaves, the Lakers are left with nothing but a memory of the year that could have been, but wasn’t. They however, do not feel the same way. The trade deadline has come and gone and as Mitch Kupchak stated would be the case, Dwight Howard is still very much a Laker and he will be until July 1st 2013. Beyond that only he knows but now, he can dictate his way around the Lakers organization just as he did Orlando. He can direct to his taste the offense, the defense, the coach, the players. Everything.
With the loss yesterday of Dr. Jerry Buss, The L.A. Lakers will wear a commemorative patch to honor the memory of their owner and leader tomorrow when they take on arch rivals the Celtics at Staples Center. The team will be hoping to avenge the blowout loss dealt to them by Boston a week ago at TD Garden, and a win would serve as a fitting tribute to Dr. Buss. Tributes continue to flow in from all around the World following Buss’ death yesterday.
Legendary Lakers owner Jerry Buss has passed away this morning aged 80 with family and friends by his side. Dr. Buss had long been dealing with serious illness but last week it was revealed that he was close to death. Throughout the course of history we have seen many great owners across a wide variety of sports, but none more so than Dr. Buss who bought the Lakers, along with the LA Kings and the Forum Arena for $67.5 million in 1979. Under Buss the Lakers organization has been able to acquire a host of legendary players such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Shaquille O’Neil, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard with Buss long claiming that no matter the cost, winning was what mattered most. Buss oversaw 16 Lakers finals appearances and 10 Lakers titles in his time forging what is known as one of the most successful sporting franchises in sports history.
In a report this morning by RadarOnline.com, it was revealed that long time Lakers owner and franchise legend Dr. Jerry Buss is dying of cancer in a Los Angeles hospital.
“The businessman and billionaire is at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and a source close to the situation tells RadarOnline.com that Lakers players have been calling with well-wishes and even stopping by to see him in what they expect to be his final days.” Said the report.
The report was not clarified by the Lakers, but a source close to the team has now also broken the news. Kevin Ding of the OC Register confirmed the horrific news just moments ago, sending waves of sadness through the Lakers community and indeed the greater NBA fan base. Ding also reiterated the family’s statement last month surrounding future ownership of the team:
“The Buss family released a statement after that piece was published, saying: “We unanimously agree that we have no intention of ever selling the Lakers, and intend to keep ownership of the team in our family for generations to come.”
Dr. Buss has owned the Lakers since 1979 and has overseen 10 World titles in his time. Most recently son Jim Buss and daughter Jeanie have been running the franchise alongside GM Mitch Kupchak.
We’ll keep you posted on any further developments.