By Eduardo Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan
For FOX Deportes
During the 4th of July festivities, I was out doing what everyone would expect me to be doing while celebrating America’s independence. Drinking Corona’s, eating grilled food and enjoying fireworks illegally in front of my buddies house. Good times were had.
Of course, when I was leaving my partner’s house I decided to check Twitter. I’d neglected my timeline for a few hours and I figured I’d check and see what was going on. Then I saw my buddy Phillip Barnett, Lakers fan extraordinaire tweet the following:
Nash/Kobe/Shooter/Pau/Bynum is a nearly unstoppable offensive lineup. — Phillip Barnett (@imsohideous) July 5, 2012
I figured the man was just making a joke, but he kept talking about Steve Nash….and kept talking about Nash. Repeatedly. Did the Lakers really trade for Steve Nash? I called the man to confirm.
Here’s what you need to know about Phillip Barnett. In his own words, he says he has “there isn’t a black man alive with less verve than him.” Just for the fact the man used verve in a sentence is utterly amazing. The man talks with a malaise that resembles someone making about making a cheese sandwich on plain white bread with mayonnaise. So he tells me this news of the Steve Nash trade to the Lakers in plain jane fashion, and I lose my mind. I’m angry, upset and frustrated. Why am I all three of those adjectives at the same time?
1. Because the Los Angeles Lakers will always be relevant. Its embedded in their franchise history. Just when you think the Lakers are poised to fall off in being relevant, they pull something out of their backside like this. Trading for a point God in Steve Nash in the twilight of his career for four useless draft picks is another example of the Lakers finding a way of injecting some juice into their franchise. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum seems to be primed to be shipped out of Hollywood, Kobe Bryant was stewing in the corner after losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games, and Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers gift Kobe another supreme asset for the next 2-3 years. This is why the Lakers are the Lakers. Its infuriating to anyone who isn’t a fan of the Lakers, because they always pull off moves like this. Maybe its the gift of having a star-studded roster of players, playing in Southern California and everything else that comes with playing under the lights, but owner Jerry Buss runs his organization like we all would.
Assertive. Aggressive. Always pushing towards winning championships and being relevant.
2. This is the first time Kobe plays with an actual point God. This is fascinating, but Kobe Bryant hasn’t played with a point guard I’d consider worth a damn since Nick Van Exel was dishing the rock from 1994-98 with The Lake Show. While the Phil Jackson led Lakers were never reliant on a high quality point guard while running the famed Triangle Offense, this will be the first time we’ve seen Kobe run with an elite point guard that isn’t considered an exhibition game of sorts.
I imagine this will be an experiment of blending skills, but it’ll be fun to watch. Kobe’s used to setting up everyone else, and Nash is the ultimate table setter.
3. Will this prove to be too much for Mike Brown? This is getting out of hand for Mike Brown. First the man was handed LeBron James, the one-man offensive machine in Cleveland. Then he was handed Kobe Bryant and the 7-foot frontline duo of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. Now, he gets to add Steve Nash to the lineup? For someone who isn’t exactly refined in his offensive approach, he seems to get to coach a lot of players that don’t need offensive supervision. I imagine Mike Brown will just tell Nash to “run the offense,” and that’ll be the jist of the offensive playbook installation.
Oh and one more thing. Yes, Mike Brown is a defensive guru, but if you think Mike Brown can do anything to save Steve Nash from being a defensive liability, then I have swampland in Florida to sell you.
4. Can we put the Dwight Howard to Los Angeles rumors to bed now? I know this won’t happen until “Shoulders Man” signs with an actual team, but can the Lakers just chill and ride with the five they have? Seriously. I can’t deal with having to watch Dwight Howard in L.A. after the two seasons he’s put us through. I’m worn out.
5. The Phoenix Suns are the NBA’s Pawn Shop. It was the one stinging point to me about this trade. The Lakers got away with armed robbery (again) and gave up four draft picks in the next three years. Two first-rounders and two-second-rounders for Steve Nash.
The Lakers haven’t drafted anywhere near the lottery since they took Andrew Bynum at #10 almost six years ago. You know, when the Lakers were terrible. The Phoenix Suns have been buying and selling players like they were dilapidated commodities at the local swap meet. The Suns will likely sell all four picks to appease the torturing soul that is owner Robert Sarver, and their ability to rebuild this team is about three years too late.
The Suns just gave up their franchise’s best players for four players that could possibly never see the court. Job well done Phoenix. Job well done.