The year of 2012 was a crazy one for the Lakers; but what’s new? There’s always drama in Hollywood it seems, but 2012 was a year with more than usual.
There were ups and there were downs. Cheers and tears. Expectations went from the going 82-0 to wondering if we’d ever actually win a game.
Here are the top stories from each month as breakdown 2012: purple and gold style.
The lockout was finally officially over on December 25 and the Lakers were playing regular season basketball once again.
And of course, Kobe was being Kobe. In the month of January, he scored 40-plus points in four straight games – all while playing with an injured right wrist. He began the streak with a 48-point performance versus the Suns, becoming the first player to ever score that many points in their 16th season.
We saw Andrew Bynum make his first All-Star team in 2012 and Kobe Bryant scored 27 points to become the All-Star game’s career leading scorer.
Bryant also suffered a broken nose during the game at the hands of Dwyane Wade, which lead to him having to wear a mask for a portion of the season.
In March, we saw the trade deadline approach and many of us wondered if it would be the last day we saw Pau Gasol in a Lakers jersey.
Pau ended up being safe, but longtime Lakers Luke Walton and Derek Fisher were not. The departure of Fisher shocked everyone, as he was moved to Houston for Jordan Hill.
The reasoning was so newly acquired Ramon Sessions would be free to thrive in Los Angeles.
While the Sessions experiment was exciting, it didn’t last long. However, the Fisher-Hill trade ended up being a great one for the Lakers.
The end of April saw the arrival of the Playoffs and Andrew Bynum had a huge night in Game 1 versus Denver. He notched his first ever triple-double with 10 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocked shots. Bynum also broke the franchise record in total blocks – the high was previously 9 blocks, which was held for 35 years by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
This month wasn’t the greatest of months for the Lakers: they were eliminated from the Playoffs in the second round by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Back-to-back early exits from the post-season.
Would this be the end for the Lakers? “We’re not going anywhere,” Kobe said.
In this month, the Lakers drafted a great dancer from Gonzaga (it was a quiet month, okay!).
Whenever Laker fans hear “July the 4th” from now on, one guy will probably spring straight to mind: Steve Nash.
In a shocking sign-and-trade that came out of nowhere, Steve Nash arrived in Los Angeles after the Lakers agreed to a deal with Suns.
Laker fans had barely got over acquiring Steve Nash. Then, just over a month later, the Lakers made a big splash once again by trading for disgruntled star big man Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic.
This was the month when everyone just couldn’t wait until October and the Lakers would finally return to the court with their new-look squad.
It was also the month when Dwight Howard and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar met for the first time and vowed to work with each other when Howard was back on the court.
It was great to see a Lakers legend from the past – and possibly the future – embrace each other in Dwight’s new home.
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) September 3, 2012
Finally! Lakers Media Day arrived on the first of the month and at last, we got to see all the new pieces on the floor together in their new uniforms.
Uh…that wasn’t the start we expected…
After the new-look Lakers and Mike Brown went 1-4 to start the season, he was fired on November 9.
After a short search for a head coach – and expectations rising that the team would bring back Phil Jackson – the Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni out of the blue.
The month of December was yet another stellar one for Kobe Bryant. He averaged 33.8 points per game on 46% shooting – including 34% from deep. He also averaged 4.6 assists per game and 1.4 steals per game during that stretch.
He had 11 straight games of 30-plus points, which is the most by any player ever at 34-years-old. There was only two games in December where he scored less than 30 points.
It was also the month that Kobe reached 30,000 career points, becoming only the fifth player to do so – and the youngest.
What will 2013 bring? Who knows. But as this past year has shown us, it’s never a quiet season in Hollywood.