Lakers Players Trending Up And Down As Uncertain Off-Season Looms

lakers-mike-dantoniNow that the 2013 NBA Finals are over and the NBA has crowned a champion, everybody will start looking towards the off-season and like most summers, the Lakers will be the talk of the NBA world.

Will Dwight Howard leave? Is Mike D’Antoni safe? What are they going to do with Steve Nash? Is Pau Gasol going to be traded?

Regardless, there are several players and coaches who are trending up and down ahead of NBA free agency in July. Let’s take a look.

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Trending Up

Mitch Kupchak:

At a recent Time Warner Cable media event with Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss, Kupchak made headlines as he noted that Jackson has taken on a consultant role of some sort.

Admitting that he’s somewhat involved with the organization’s day-to-day operations will lend some sort of speculation that he could be ready to take over the team at any moment, regardless of his preference to not coach again.

It’s good to know Jackson is involved in what is going on with the team and will create a fun summer with Jackson supposedly having his input on some personnel decisions.

Kobe Bryant: 

Kobe did another radio interview this week and didn’t disappoint. From talking about his rehab to what television shows he’s watching, Bryant was calm when talking about this offseason.

The biggest part of the interview was him talking about a return date, and it’s good to know that he’s being more realistic about his return date from his Achilles injury. It’s clear that Kobe wants Dwight Howard back in the fold, and he wants to continue his quest to surpass Michael Jordan’s six championships.

Metta World Peace: 

Without Metta World Peace tweeting during the NBA Finals, Twitter would not have been the same. World Peace live-tweeted during the entire playoffs, but his tweets during the Finals were extra entertaining and so Metta.

From talking about how LeBron James looked naked without his headband to comparing the Heat and Spurs to food, World Peace was very fun to follow during the Finals.

Trending Down

Dwight Howard: 

Howard’s been more in the news lately about doing a voiceover in an upcoming movie than talking about how close he is to making a decision. It doesn’t sound like the Dwightmare Part 2 is any closer to coming to an end, and it sounds like he is angling to leave L.A.

If Howard does leave, he’ll be missed by most Lakers fans. However, many believe that the Lakers don’t need him to succeed in the future. The summer is just beginning for the Lakers and Howard, and it could get ugly.

Mike D’Antoni: 

D’Antoni wasn’t invited to the TWC media event this week that saw appearances from Phil Jackson, Jeanie Buss and Mitch Kupchak, which continues his downward trend in Los Angeles. As of now, his brother Dan D’Antoni is the other half of his coaching staff as the majority of last season’s assistants have fled to other cities and to other coaching gigs.

With Jackson in the fold as a consultant of some sorts, putting down that down-payment for a home in Manhattan Beach might not be the best decision he’s ever made.


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