With the NBA trade deadline slowly approaching, teams will start evaluating where they sit and what kind of potential moves they can make to improve their teams. Some will look to add bench pieces, while others will look for starter quality players to make one last run at the post season. On the other hand, there will be the teams, such as the Washington Wizards, who are attempting to set themselves up for a better draft pick, or moving players to acquire more picks for June’s draft.
After the off season acquisitions of point guard Steve Nash and center Dwight Howard the Los Angeles Lakers were expected to wreck havoc in the league. With four potential hall of famers in Howard, Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, many picked the Lakers to go far in the playoffs and potentially win the championship for the 17th time.
Now just over two months into the new season, the Lakers are looking at potentially missing the playoffs if they don’t pick things up.
If you were to say the Lakers season has been smooth so far, you’d be lying to yourself and anyone and everyone listening. The Lakers have had a tumultuous season up to this point.
The Lakers have been one of the biggest stories to this point of the NBA season, for all the wrong reasons. They’ve seen a horrible start that still has them under .500 in January, a coaching change, an injury that kept new addition Steve Nash out for 20+ games, and now Kobe Bryant’s headline-grabbing comments about the Lakers’ advanced age. And while it’s easy to write off his comments as the frustrations of a tough competitor not used to losing, there may be more than a little truth in what Kobe said.
The Golden State Warriors have played very well in the early going of the 2012-2013 season. They are currently 9-6 and tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for first place in the Pacific Division. Most of that success has come despite the re-aggravation of Center Andrew Bogut’s ankle injury. What was initially diagnosed as just 7-10 days to rest the sore ankle has now become an injury that will keep him out one-to-three months. It was revealed that Bogut actually had microfracture surgery on his ankle, a far more severe procedure than the arthroscopic surgery that had been reported since the time of surgery in April. Bogut hopes to be back before the season is done, but didn’t want to put a definite timetable on his return. With Bogut’s injury, all eyes will fall on Power Forward Carl Landry.
The Golden State Warriors have become one of the more predictable teams in the NBA. For over a decade, they’ve been a team with some talent, a run ‘n’ gun offense, and an injury-prone group of players. The front office consistently made questionable decisions while the players continuously floundered late in games. This is a team that has not capitalized on its lottery draft picks (Ike Diogu, Patrick O’Bryant, etc…), nor has it had an impactful center. It was easy to predict that the Warriors would have flashes of brilliance, but would be otherwise average. It was easy to pencil them into the 10th to 12th seed in the Western Conference, never quite able to consistently break into the playoffs. But about a week into their 2012-2013 season, this looks nothing like the Warriors of old. We’ll start things off by looking at the center position.
Hold your horses folks, there’s a reason the word retire exists. According to dictionary.com, the word “retire” means, “to withdraw from office, business, or active life, usually because of age.”
Well, in case you forgot, that’s exactly what Jackson did when he retired from coaching 2 years ago. Aside from his health issues, the truth of the matter he’s too old.
Don’t get me wrong, I undeniably recognize Jackson as one of the greatest coaches of all time in any sport. The man has 11 rings, that’s no coincidence. But, he’s been around the game a long, long time and nobody can hang around forever.
Bringing Jackson back to coach this star studded Laker team is far from an immediate solution. If anything, it will put even more pressure on an already struggling team.
Why risk your legacy Jackson?
Granted, you didn’t exactly go out on top, but maybe it’s time to accept you may have lost that touch. Can that happen to coaches? A question yet to be answered, but something to think about as this Jackson-saga progresses.