Although I had long considered the idea of Dwight Howard being traded to the Lakers a possibility, if not a likelihood, the precise circumstances surrounding the trade produced reaction for me last night that could be probably best summed up as soul-crushing insta-depression.
But I am one man. I have one perspective to offer, and it is often limited in scope, for I am not omniscient . SB Nation, as a community, presents an invaluable tool for the curious and masochist sort such as myself, allowing me to compare and contrast my own perceptions against those from around the country(and globe, even).
The following is an exercise in just that:
From Orlando Pinstriped Post:
The Orlando Magic have traded All-Star center Dwight Howard, the franchise's all-time leader in points and rebounds, to theLos Angeles Lakers in a blockbuster deal involving four teams and 12 players, the team annouced Friday. Orlando also dealt forward Earl Clark and point guard Chris Duhon to L.A. and sent swingman Jason Richardson to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Simple, straightforward, absent of any discernibly emotive word-choice. Much like the victim of near-constant abuse, who even after release has been reduced to a state of basic, child-like communication. It says only what it says and cannot offer anything more as to the true nature of the pain it has endured.
From Clips Nation:
As you all may have noticed, our front page coverage at Clips Nation has covered all sorts of things- free agents, trades, the draft, the front office- basically everything major in the NBA this summer.
But the Dwightmare has been consistently absent from our features.
So many times have we heard that a trade is almost done, only for it to collapse. How many Nets trades? How many Rockets trades? The Clippers, the Cavs, the Bobcats, the Lakers. The Mavericks and Sixers and Nuggets and Blazers.
Pure, unadulterated, completely understandable denial. Taken after news broke but before the trade became "official", I can absolutely see myself having this reaction as a Clippers fan. There can be no team's fans to whom Lakers rumors must be more nauseating than Clippers fans. In a way this almost makes me feel better, but it doesn't.
From Sactown Royalty:
Of course the Lakers traded for Dwight Howard. This is the Lakers. This is what the Lakers do. They get one lottery pick in the span of a decade? They pick an All-Star center, Andrew Bynum, at No. 10. They get completely embarrassed in the second round two straight seasons -- I mean, really humiliated -- and they trade for Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. This is the Lakers. This is what the Lakers do.
Yes, a hint of anger! Bitterness! Emotions I can really relate to! Sactown Royalty is one of SB Nation's flagship blogs and the consistently excellent work of Tom Ziller shows why. Incidentally, for the truly depression-impervious, Ziller wrote this excellent piece a while ago about the Lakers and the chase for Howard. Otherwise I have nothing much to add.
From Welcome To Loud City:
While it may be doom and gloom for some, this is not the time to panic. The 1998-1999 Rockets had a roster that was loaded with big names and they were knocked from the playoffs in the first round. Then there's the recent Knicks with Carmelo and Amare, that worked out pretty well. Like toothpaste and orange juice.
Ah, the "wait on the anointing oil" argument. Perhaps the team this trade hurts the most, even more than Dallas, is the Oklahoma City Thunder. After so quickly getting a taste of the Finals, a huge, enormous obstacle has been put in their way, just as they are reaching the point where their cheap, young talent is about to stop being so cheap and before you know it might not be so young anymore, either.
From Pounding the Rock:
Steve Nash, Antawn Jamison, and Dwight Howard... Only a few years back, that would have been a nearly impossible off-season haul, especially for a team already boasting Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Ron Artest. Unfortunately, this isn't a few years back. With the exception of Superman, the 2012 version of those players is significantly different than a few years ago, and not in a good way. And even though Dwight Howard remains the most dominant center in the game, was giving away your team's most valuable piece worth a one year rental of him? Apparently, Kupchack thinks so. Time will prove him wrong. More accurately, theSan Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder will prove him wrong.
Another major Laker-rival, another "not so fast mister" post. Hey, why not, right? I mean, I'd be lying if I said my first reaction isn't to chuckle out of mocking, defeated cynicism, and if I had energy that wasn't robbed by said cynicism I'd probably try to think of a great putdown, possibly involving how lame the River Walk is, but at the end of the day the games do still have to be played. Maybe those silly Spurs fans are on to something...
From Nets Daily:
Whither The Nets: Post-Dwightmare
Nine months after it began, the Dwightmare is over. The Lakers, Sixers and Nuggets (in that order, we believe) came out looking good. The Magic look like a long-term disaster, getting only protected picks, a couple of good but nowhere near great players, and some cap fillers. Jameer Nelson, Nikola Vucevic, Glen Davis, Arron Afflalo, Kyle O'Quinn, Al Harrington, Gustavo Ayon, Justin Harper, Maurice Harkless, Christian Eyenga,Andrew Nicholson, Quentin Richardson, J.J. Redick, Hedo Turkoglu?
So where does that leave the Nets whose every waking moment from December to July seemed to be consumed with getting Howard?
The writers remain composed, but the commenters over there are pissed. Finally, something good has come from this trade. Nets fans probably think their Brook Lopez-centered trade proposal was better than the deal the Magic ended up making. Frankly, that's about like claiming a box of Anthrax is better than a bowl of Ebola.
From Liberty Ballers:
Sixers Rumored to get Andrew Bynum in Dwight Howard Trade to Lakers
A core of Andrew Bynum, Jrue Holiday, and Evan Turner is something to get really excited about. Obviously the team would be better if they were shipping out Turner and Thaddeus Young for Bynum while retaining Dre, but it's about the future and if they can get a legitimate top-flight center out of this, I won't even care if they trade an unprotected first. This would be awesome.
Obviously rumors, but you can proceed with your OMG BYNUM!!!?!?!?! at your own risk.
This taken from when the deal was just reported as a rumor. Bless them, they're just so damn happy. They're maybe the only group of fans not...erm, Lakerly that's happy. But they're happy.
From Celtics Blog:
Watching the Lakers get better is always a stomach churning event. But L.A. is all the way out there on the West coast and their part of this deal will only impact us if we have the good fortune of making it back to the Finals. The more immediate impact on the Celtics is the arrival of Andrew Bynum to the Atlantic Division, namely the 76ers.
The "they're too far away to bother me" perspective, which I presume the giddy Philly fans share. I think this trade, or perhaps just more generally the entire offseason, has far-reaching implications as far parity in the NBA goes, and may be sending fans toward another gut-wrenching lockout period, but I'll respect this.
From The Dream Shake:
What in the HELL is Orlando thinking? Are they absolutely nuts? Houston's assets — a protected lottery pick, first-rounders from this year and youth across the board — take a backseat to this? There must be more here. Maybe Houston didn't spice the offer up enough. Or maybe they did and Hennigan caved into pressure from other teams. There has to be more headed Orlando's way. WHAT IS GOING ON.
Yikes. I'm a fan of Daryl Morey, but this offseason has been somewhere between bitter disappointment and fire-worthy disaster for him. I guess for Mavs fans angry at Cuban and Donnie, know that you're not the only fans angry at their front office.
From Bright Side of the Sun:
I am waiting for the Orlando Magic to say "SIKE!"
I mean really. The currently-reported trade - awaiting a call to finalize with the league office tomorrow morning - has the Orlando Magic taking back two middling contracts (Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington), two middling-talent youngsters (Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless) and 3-4 future middling picks (lottery-protected first-rounders).
NOT ONE high-end talent back to Orlando?
On the dark side (for the Suns), the Lakers are stacked. Of course, they'd be even more stacked if this was 2008 or 2009, but still. Gasol, Bryant, World Peace, Nash and Howard in their starting lineup? Good lord.
Yeah, that about sums it up.
From Straight Outta Vancouver:
In Case You Haven't Heard, The Lakers Acquired Another SuperstarOnce again, the Lakers have proven that "competitive balance" and "shared revenue" and all those other things that the NBA's PR department told us were the reasons for last summer's lockout were absolute bullshit. Granted, almost all of us knew this already, but it's kind of incredible that Los Angeles has managed to expose how nothing has really changed less than a year after the new CBA was signed.
In spite of all the posturing that Dwight didn't want to go to LA because blah blah blah, he's now there for the same reason that every other superstar eventually winds up there: the Lakers
are evilare one of the most profitable sports teams in the world and have a long history of success because they're willing to spend money.
I know I'm biased, or bitter, or whatever, but this is what I keep coming back to. This issue. The NBA postured about creating a different environment for smaller-market teams in the offseason, and if anything, it appears the only teams required to adhere to the idea of "competitive balance" are those smaller-market teams.
From Silver Screen and Roll:
Nope, not ready to go there.