All Quiet on the Lakers’ Front

Magic.  Kareem.  Shaq.  Kobe.  Jeremy Lin?

As the days pass, the free agent market is slowly drying up.  James, Anthony, Bosh, and Nowitzki have already figured out their plans for the 2014-15 season, Wade looks ready to re-up in Miami, and Gasol looks like he’s headed to Chi-Town.

But where are the Los Angeles Lakers?  Well, they made some moves after the King announced he was going home, but these aren’t the marquee moves you Lakers fans are used to seeing (yes, I’m a Clippers fan).  Rather, they made an array of smaller moves that seem to reveal the front office’s strategy going forward: a patient rebuild.

With only Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Robert Sacre under contract for the upcoming season, the Lakers have a lot of work to do.  So let’s break down the recent deals made by Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss & Co.:

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LeBron Awaits His Kingdom in Cleveland

Before analyzing Cleveland’s imminent dynasty after the Homecoming, the Return of the King, the Decision 2.0, or whatever else you want to call LeBron’s move back to Cleveland, I want to quickly say something to the dying breed of hardcore LeBron haters still out there: 

One thing is clear about LeBron James’ public perception at this point: no matter what he does, there will always be those who shamelessly deride and treat him as a villain. LeBron has coped with the pressure of becoming the greatest NBA player of all time, ever since he was in high school.

Such a subjective expectation inevitably leads to constant controversy and scrutiny of every press conference, headband placement, cramp, and decision James has made throughout his young adulthood and tumultuous twenties. Most fans willing to exercise empathy can hardly blame LeBron for some of his missteps given his circumstances, but unfortunately, empathy tends to yield to sensationalism among sports fans.

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The LeBrottery: A Reaction from a Non-Entitled Heat Fan

I’ve been a Miami Heat fan my whole conscious life, but up until four years ago, nobody gave a shit. And why should they have? To be a fan of a given franchise is no more notable than any other fanhood… that is until the greatest, most polarizing player in the global cult they call professional sports decides to take his talents to your city. That decision- THE Decision- changed everything for me, Miami Heat fans, the NBA and, of course, SportsCenter.

Since that glorious day, LeBron has brought us two NBA Championships, two Most Valuable Player awards, four straight trips to the NBA Finals, and countless moments of awe-inspired pride. But along with these great things has come something rather grotesque: a sense of entitlement. Sure, that sentiment is anything but rare in the ostentatiously glittered streets of South Florida.  We feel entitled to beautiful weather, beautiful people, beautiful homes and cars. But it’s supposed to be different when it comes to sports.

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