With each passing week Lakers management is one step closer until they have to make a sales pitch to impending free agent Dwight Howard. Howard hasn’t let on what he’s thinking or feeling, but is having his camp push things through the media for better or for worse.
For most players, the extended off-season gives them a chance to recover, especially players like Pau Gasol who had knee surgery and Metta World Peace who rushed back from a knee injury also.
Here’s a look at the players trending up, down and in the middle thus far in the off-season.
Bryant let on that he was going to have a surprise announcement last Sunday and most believed that he was going to announce his retirement from basketball.
Now, I’m sure Bryant wouldn’t want to retire at an event hosted by John Salley, but regardless, he announced that he was partnering with Sports Spectacular in an effort to fight homelessness in the LA area.
A YouTube video circulated of Bryant walking through Skid Row in downtown L.A. as he and his wife Vanessa have been fighting homelessness for quite some time. It’s always great to see an athlete give back to the community and Bryant’s partnership with Sports Spectacular is a sign his increasing those efforts. Great job, Kobe!
Metta World Peace
Yes, there is a chance that MWP will move on from the Lakers this off-season, via him opting out of his contract or the Lakers amnestying him. However, World Peace has taken the off-season by the horns and made an appearance on KTLA-5 as an impromptu weather man and live tweeted during the NBA playoffs.
World Peace’s sense of humor on Twitter is second-to-none, and while it’d be great to see him and the Lakers on the court, missing out on his Twitter experience would’ve been devastating.
While his skills as a perimeter defender have surely declined, his footwork and ability to steal the ball are still as good as ever. It’ll be interesting to see how the off-season plays out, but for now Laker fans, appreciate him while he’s still on the roster.
In the Middle:
It’s no secret that I believe that Dwight Howard will re-sign with the Lakers, but a report said that he’s narrowed his choices to the Lakers and Rockets.
Howard has been very quiet this off-season as he hasn’t tweeted much, just responded to his fan’s questions. Also, he hasn’t been spotted around LA like he was in the off-season and for right now as he said he was going to lay low after the Lakers disappointing season.
Until Howard decides where he’s going to play next season, I don’t see Lakers fans liking him anymore than they do, only becoming impatient with the time he takes to make his decision.
The former Lakers assistant coach who without viable sources might not have said a word all season took the job at Rutgers to be their head coach after the Mike Rice debacle.
However, while it was assumed that Jordan graduated from Rutgers, it’s been reported that he didn’t, but it didn’t kill Jordan’s deal to coach the team.
Jordan takes over a struggling Rutgers program, but should enjoy the benefits of moving to the Big Ten Conference next season.
More people are talking about D’Antoni’s firing than they are his vision for the next three years in Los Angeles. With Phil Jackson’s book being released, Lakers fans are still clamoring for Jackson to step in for D’Antoni.
Also, Jackson admitted that when he heard that D’Antoni got the job he simply laughed at the notion that Lakers management thought he could do a better job than him. While that might be true, it sounds like the only way D’Antoni won’t be limping on the sidelines will be if Dwight Howard gives management an ultimatum during his free agency.