Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

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By Mitch Chortkoff
Sports Editor 

Lakers-What Might Have Been


As the Houston Rockets begin play in the second round of the NBA playoffs I can’t help wondering what might have been for the Lakers.

You see, Dwight Howard wasn’t ready to commit to the Lakers when he became a free agent but he decided to give it a try by signing a one-year contract. Unfortunately, Howard was quickly disenchanted with Coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense which didn’t revolve around a center.

So he left and joined the Rockets.

Fast forward to this season when the Lakers floundered without a center and the Rockets earned the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

There’s even more to the story. The Detroit Pistons released forward Josh Smith during the season and several teams attempted to sign him. But Smith said he would only join a team Dwight Howard played on. He pointed out he and Howard played on an AAU team when they were high school stars in Georgia and they’ve remained close friends.

So Smith signed with the Rockets and has become a valuable member of the team.

How much better would the Lakers have been with Howard and Smith this season? And possibly with Pau Gasol too? We’ll never know.


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