After rolling out the red carpet, posting massive billboards all over town, and having present and future Hall of Famers cater to his ego the Lakers came up short in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. On the surface it seems like a horrible mistake and a void that won't easily be filled, but take it easy Laker Nation. All is not lost.
Now that the Dwightmare is over it's time to focus on the future. The next two years will be painful and embarrassing, but there's light at the end of the tunnel. A REAL superstar will make his way to town and become the face of the franchise. When the Lakers need a game changer they always seem to get one and the next in line will be arriving via Oklahoma City. Here are 5 reasons Kevin Durant will be the next great Laker.
1. Kevin Durant Wants To Play In A Big Market
You can only be a big fish in a small pond for so long. Eventually superstars need to test uncharted waters to find out what their true potential is from a popularity and financial perspective. Kevin Durant eluded to this when he announced he would be switching agents when his current contract expires.
Jay-Z isn't going to let one of his biggest clients continue to play in a city that can't offer huge off the court endorsements and considerations. If the goal is to push the Kevin Duran brand to an iconic figure status Oklahoma City simply isn't the place for him.
3. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook has never fully embraced the role of being the 2nd option. Although both of them claim there is no issue with regards to this it's going to become a problem down the road. To make matters worse Durant couldn't get the Thunder out of the 2nd round of the playoffs this year which only gives more credence to Westbrook's position.
4. The Window Is Closed
No one could have expected the loss of James Harden to impact the Western Conference to this degree, but it has. The Thunder no longer have a 3rd scoring option and after losing Kevin Martin to free agency their depth is becoming a concern. OKC is not a big destination for free agents so they are more reliant on draft selections than most teams. They are no longer the best team in the West.
It's hard to say no to the NBA logo, the greatest scorer in the history of the NBA, the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jack Nicholson, and your childhood idol who was also your teammate on the last two Olympic teams. The pressure to become a Laker will be intense and the rewards far outweigh any second guessing or feelings of loyalty he may have about his decision. The opportunity to join Magic, Kobe, Kareem, Wilt, Shaq, Worthy, West, and Baylor as one of the great Lakers of all time is simply too much to pass up.