Tired of getting whacked around in the Wild Wild West, the Clippers did what any good prizefighter would do and that is they have since put their dukes up.
Declare this team, which lost Elton Brand and Corey Maggette to free agency, a logical contender in the toughest conference in the NBA.
Responding with the signing of former Southland star Baron Davis away from the Warriors, stealing away defensive specialist Marcus Camby from the Nuggets to replace Brand and then sealing the deal of 10-year NBA veteran Ricky Davis stamps this team as dangerous.
Not to mention the Clippers drafted Eric Gordon of Indiana, who many considered to be among the top two point guards in college basketball in 2007-’08.
Perhaps the biggest blow to the Lakers is that Ron Artest, a good friend of Kobe Bryant, was traded from Sacramento to Houston, which puts the Rockets right in the mix among the top teams in the conference.
Many figured that Artest was a cinch to come to the Lakers, but the Kings wanted Lamar Odom, and the Lakers wisely rejected any such deal.
Is there gold in this USA men’s Olympic team in Beijing? How can a team with Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, just to name a few-lose to anybody in the Olympic games.
For this team to lose, it would be one of the monumental upsets of the past 25 years.
I would be surprised if there is one team that is within 10 points of Team USA in any game and chances are they will probably be the most laughable outcomes in Olympic memory.
What NBA teams are most worried about are their players coming back home healthy, that is always the greatest concern.
To their credit, the players are doing it for the pride of their country and their sport and seem really focused on representing America, a priceless gift no matter how you slice it.
For the Lakers, they are hoping that Kobe does not hurt that finger any more. He will have time to heal it and the Lakers will take another shot at returning an NBA title to L.A.