Latest posts by Deshaun Sheppard (see all)
The Los Angeles Lakers had the absolute best off-season in the entire NBA this past summer.
They were able to makes trades for both Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, while keeping Pau Gasol on the roster.
With Kobe’s retirement looming over the heads of the Lakers organization, the move for Howard made an immediate impact that will last for years to come.
Even with these great moves made by the Lakers, the haters still found something to say.
All of the sudden, “Nash is old.” Just last year when Steve Nash was one of only two point guards in the NBA to average at least 10 assists per game, nobody was calling him old.
Dwight Howard is a monster who has dominated both sides of the court for years. He’s not a three time defensive player of the year for no reason, but people still came up with negative things to say after the trade. They questioned his back injury, which he has mostly already recovered from. Even if his back made him sit out for the beginning of the season, this was a deal that would benefit the Lakers for years to come.
The Lakers starting 5 was set. One of the greatest players of all time, one of the greatest point guards of all time, one of the best individual defenders in the NBA, one of the most skilled big men in the NBA, and potentially one of the greatest centers of all time all on the same team. Yet, the haters still somehow showed their hatred.
Then some big news out of OKC came out last night and sent shock waves through the NBA fan base. James Harden rejected a $54 million offer from the Thunder and was subsequently traded to the Houston Rockets for Kevin Martin. When I first heard the news, I laughed a little bit and realized that the Lakers’ route to the NBA Finals may have just gotten easier.
So I viewed the social networks to see what some people had to say and shockingly, many people thought it was a great trade. All of the sudden, people are huge fans of Kevin Martin and think OKC just got better by giving up James Harden. Are you kidding me?
Kevin Martin has been the number 1 scoring option on horrible teams for about 6 years now. All he has to speak for himself is literally a couple of 40 point games, some very horrible shooting performances, and multiple injuries. He averaged 24 points per game in 2009, but he was playing on a Sacramento Kings team where I will give you some money if you can name more than three players on that roster.
Being traded to OKC changes everything for Martin. Does he start of come off the bench? His defense, or lack there of, is very questionable so OKC may start Thabo Sefolosha over him. Is he a guy that can produce and make key plays off the bench? As the number one guy on previous teams, he scored in bunches a few times because of the shot attempts he had. How often will he get to shoot the ball playing with guys like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook?
James Harden was a huge piece to the Thunder’s puzzle. The guy is only 23 years old and made a huge impact in the city of Oklahoma. Harden made key plays coming off of the bench almost every single night. He knocked down huge shot after huge shot and took pressure off of guys like Westbrook and Durant.
Besides his play on the court, a brotherhood was formed. Durant, Westbrook, and Harden were built to do damage in the NBA for many years to come. These guys built a championship caliber team and created a huge fan base. Now the only beard to fear will be in Houston playing along side of Jeremy Lin.
Even if Kevin Martin is as good as some of you may claim he is, you don’t mess with a championship caliber roster. James Harden was one of the most important parts of the Thunder’s recent success. Trust us Laker fans, we know what it feels like to lose the Sixth man of the Year, Lamar Odom. It’s a huge blow to team chemistry and hard to overcome.
So with the Lakers making moves and acquiring some of the absolute best players in the NBA at their positions, people still found very negative things to say. OKC trades away a key guy for Kevin Martin and they find very positive things to say. Laker haters always find a way to show how hypocritical they can be.
Kevin Durant said it best on Twitter last night at 11:58 pm, “wow.”