We can’t wait until the season — training camps, even — begins and we can mention something about Dwight Howard that involves his game, not Orlando. His back rehab is what really has us the most interested right now because the Lakers need all the time together they can get to build the elusive chemistry every great team needs. This Lakers team is talented enough to get into the second round of the playoffs as-is even if the whole roster hated each other’s guts, but it’s going to take a buy-in from everyone to deliver the championship this team was built for one shocking (Steve Nash) and not so-shocking (Howard) piece at a time this summer. So we’ll bring up Dwight’s time in Orlando again because of his sit-down Sunday conversation with ESPN and hope it’s one of the last times either he or Stan Van Gundy, whether he’s on a podcast or a radio show, digs up the long-ago exhumed corpse that was the 2012 Orlando Magic. Dwight didn’t put the shovel in all the way and bring up a ton of bad blood, but he says some things that should make any observer of last year’s NBA season do a double take. For one he said he had “no regrets” about how the trade to L.A. came together, after nearly a year of confusion regarding his demands. He says he drew inspiration from watching LeBron and that he didn’t want everyone to hate him but instead love him for sticking around. But, and it’s a big ‘but’, in the process of opting back in last winter he “forgot about me.” Just one problem with that: No matter what ideological stance you take on Dwight as a player or strategist, we think we’re safe in saying that in the course of that whole debacle it never struck anyone that he had forgotten about himself. In some circles outside of north Florida we bet you’d hear people rating his handling of the Magic trade demand as worse than LeBron’s “The Decision.” World’s best center? When healthy, definitely. He’s not the easiest to believe on some of this stuff, though. … Point is, there are so many reasons to be talking about hoops in L.A. right now, between CP3′s possible last season as a Clipper, his showdowns with Nash, or Kobe’s hunt for No. 6, we can’t wait until the actual hoops begin and we can bury the Orlando drama once and for all. … Another guy who’s making his fans scratch their heads is Billy Gillispie, who’s future is about as settled as an Etch-A-Sketch at Texas Tech, but at least he’s out of the Mayo Clinic now. … Hit the jump to hear what Jeremy Lin asked a new teammate Sunday. …
Smack / Sep 17, 2012 / 3:00 am
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