#TWDSPORTS: Los Angeles Lakers: LA Confidential

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The uncertainty surrounding the direction of the Los Angeles Lakers grows deeper after their exit in the first round of the NBA playoffs against San Antonio Spurs. Kobe Bryant, 34, out of comission indefinitely due to injury, the eigth-seeded Lakers were essentially the little brother in the schoolyard being physically dismantled without big brother – Kobe Bryant – unable to combat the more powerful 60-plus win San Antonio Spurs in the series.

The aftermath of the elimination serves an an earth-shaking wake-up call to the Lakers front office; who have milked the nucleas of the unit by its proverbial udders, accepting complacency and consolidation in fighting tooth and nail to clinch an eighth playoff qualification spot.

Aging core, internal feuding (see: Dwight Howard-Kobe Bryant), transitional period of coaching change, pompously deluded fans who are unaware of LA Clippers acension as California’s finest NBA team, are a multitude of reasons why the 2012-13 NBA season wasn’t the fairytale, silver screen dream ending Lakers fans anticipated.

Kobe Bryant has scored over 30,000 career points, is a 5-time NBA world champion, a perennial all-star, fluent in Italian, and more importantly – the finest player of his generation, and in conclusion – among those listed amongst the all-time NBA icons. The black mamba’s social relevance, longevity and superhuman endurance at this stage in his career is miraculously divine when taken that Bryant was drafted in 1996. Bryant had a phenomenal 2012-13 in hindsight, not withstanding an injury that placed question marks over the Lakers odds in the post-season.

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Dwight Howard started the regular season adjusting to life in Hollywood with growing pains, before smelling like roses in the latter stages after the all-star break. Howard hasn’t quite fit in LA for many reasons – a) Staples Center is the chocolate factory where Willy Wonka – Kobe Bryant – runs the operation, b) Coach Mike D’Antoni’s playbook is not specifically designated toward Superman’s style, thus less touches incorperated on offense. Howard’s attitude has been rather non-comittal since Lakers playoff elimination; which has also been a distraction for the greater part of the year.

LA Lakers claimed a repeat a repeat of NBA titles in 2009 and 2010, with 11-time NBA champion head coach, Phil Jackson, zen masterminding wins with his trademark triangle offense. Fast forward three years to the present day, defensive pitbull, Ron Artest, is now offensively-regressed, Metta World Peace. Pau Gasol is a vital part of the LA Lakers core, yet management have toyed with the Spaniards name as trait bait.

In vein of Boston Celtics – who claimed the NBA championship last in 2008 – blockbuster announcements and refreshed personnel needs to been installed before standards somewhat stoop for the proud franchise. Former two-time NBA MVP, Steve Nash, 39, was reacquainted with Coach Mike D’Antoni last summer – who coached the Canadian point guard in Phoenix – certainly received mixed results in his quest to seek his first world championship on his decorated resume.

San Antonio Spurs are a veteran savvy team, like that of the LA Lakers. However, what seperates the two organizations is consistent discipline instilled in that of Coach Popovich, and sixth sense understanding of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, that have been achieved multiple conference championships and world titles as a core for the past decade. Where do LA Lakers go from here?

NBA Official Website: www.NBA.com

NBA Official Twitter: @NBA

WRITTEN BY : Dean Perretta [ @Dean2185 ]

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