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Lakers highlight NBA offseason winners
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On August 23, 2012 @ 2:59 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
By Adi Joseph, USA TODAY
It’s been the kind of offseason you might hurt yourself celebrating, if you’re a Los Angeles Laker.
Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Antawn Jamison, Jodie Meeks … it’s not hard to figure out why Lakers coach Mike Brown couldn’t contain himself recently.
“I got a little excited,” Brown told ESPN Los Angeles of when he heard about the four-team trade that landed Howard. “I tried to jump up and down, but my mind was telling me to do something that my body wouldn’t allow me to do. I almost pulled my hamstring sitting down. I don’t know if that’s ever happened to anybody, but I was so excited that my leg tensed up. I almost tore my hamstring. So I got up slowly and gave him and (executive) Jim Buss a hug.
“That might be the first hug they’ve gotten from their coach, ever, when it comes to a trade happening.”
The Lakers are the big winners of this NBA offseason, adding a superstar center, two-time MVP point guard and two high-volume bench scorers without losing much of the team’s core. After consecutive disappointing finishes, Los Angeles is again an elite title contender. Howard, Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace constitute the best starting five in the NBA.
The team that gave them Howard, the Orlando Magic, sits on the opposite end of the spectrum. After six consecutive playoff trips starring Howard, the Magic are entering a new era, one that will take a long time.
The Magic received six players and three draft picks for Howard, Jason Richardson and two reserves. The best of the bunch is Arron Afflalo, a fine starter who was the Denver Nuggets’ third-best player last season. He’ll have to become a star if the Magic hope to hover near respectability, as they also lost power forward Ryan Anderson to the New Orleans Hornets.
USA TODAY Sports looks at three other winners and three more losers of the NBA offseason thus far:
Winner: Los Angeles Clippers
Things are getting more interesting by the minute in the City of Angels. The Clippers … [read more here]
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