By TIM DAVID HARVEY
Big news out of Orlando, coming to Los Angeles. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's a Superman trade! It's official like confirmed couples after three months of dating. Dwight Howard is finally a Los Angeles Lakers via a four team trade. A Hollywood blockbuster by way of Bynum heading to Philadelphia with the Magic's Jason Richardson and Olympian Andre Igudola moving out of Philly like the Fresh Prince and joining Team USA teammate and former annual trade topic Carmelo Anthony's former Denver team. What do Orlando get in all this you ask? Well they get to be the new Charlotte Bobcats, receiving Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo and forward Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and forward Maurice Harkless from the Sixers and first round draft projections from the three other teams. Laker fans prayed to the basketball God's and David Stern not to nix this one. The Chris Paul veto still hurts the legendary Laker legacy, just ask Khloe or Lamar.
Those Laker fans who thought their only excitement this week would be via Kobe Bryant finally showing that fire in the Olympics via six huge threes against Australia will be ignited by this news. Howard's end of being the latest LeBron and Carmelo big name trade rumour see's Superman's return in Hollywood. This is more exciting than next years 'Man Of Steel' movie being overseen by legendary 'Dark Knight' director Christopher Nolan. Mitch Kupchack is in the chair on this one and he's pulled off another genius Gasol move (all whilst keeping Pau in the process) in what seems like his way of making up to the Laker organization his missed time as a player due to injury in the eighties. It really is showtime now and even if none of the parties want to admit this Kobe has his Shaq mark two as Superman returns to the show and the biggest stage in basketball in la, la, Lakerland.
This is Kobe's best one-two punch since the man of steel and this reboot looks to fight and kick it with the biggest of threes and teams. A maturing Oklahoma Thunder and Danny Ocean-esque growing Miami Heat be warned. There's a storm coming and it's about to heat up in Southern California. This move and Mitch's other master chess decisions this offseason more than make up for the loss of Andrew Bynum and other championship alumni Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher. Although these family guys will be always be missed like LeBron's Cleveland show the new Laker team reboots instead of rebuilds, while the old hands will be shook and thanked for their time with a lasting legacy of gratitude.
Playoff hero Derek Fisher will always go down as one of the greatest clutch players in Lakers history right there with Jerry West. While former 'Sixth Man Of The Year' Lamar Odom will be considered one of the Lakers best star players off the bench. Just like this, no matter what happens, Andrew Bynum will always go down as one of the Lakers big man greats for a team that has just added Dwight Howard to the elite big man class list that includes Shaq, Wilt, Kareem and Mikan. Plus with Jason Richardson and an already impressive playoff team, Bynum looks to add another classic chapter to the legendary Philadelphia 76ers franchise that has the best young talent in this whole National Basketball Association. This player and his team have more than a future as you can expect the Sixers to be right there chasing Miami in the playoffs, just like you can expect Bynum to be lacing the Lakers with a little payback. Who know the kids already close in a few years he could be better than the guy they traded him for.
Still how does Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard sound? Now the biggest catch of the offseason has been reeled into Tinseltown from Disneyworld, there won't be any Mickey Mouse games now. The Dwightmare is over and a dream team has awoken as the Olympics are about to come to an end. The former biggest Summer signing for the Lakers Steve Nash joins Kobe Bryant in the best (albeit oldest) backcourt in the L. With a reformed rebuilt Metta World Peace looking to bring his second name to the court and finally ditch the Ron, Ron alias the Lakers frontline looks strong too.
Especially with the biggest, muscular and boldest addition to the frontcourt. After Pau Gasol and the tricks of his skilled trade beat Dwight Howard and his former Magic in the 2009 finals the two foes become friends now see themselves aligning for more championships down the line. With Dwight's strength and Pau's skill the paint looks to be decorated with the best big man game the world can offer. With All-Star certified sub-signing Antawn Jamison leading a group of reserves that include Steve Blake, the re-acquired sensation Jordan Hill and the added brilliant bonus of Chris Duhon from this deal, the Lakers bench will give them anything but splinters. Mike Brown had one hell of a team to run now and even when Kobe and Nash finally unlace and hang up their sneakers there's still a future. It's all Dwight now.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
The city was safe more than a decade back. A man of steel with an L on his chest and an S on his arm saved the day like a God for the city of angels. With Thor like strength and Hulk aggression this avenger got his revenge on all those who tried to put him or his city down. In the Metropolis of the STAPLES centre the original man of steel flew from the Mickey Mouse land of the Orlando Magic and showed real super powers in Los Angeles. Soaring with his team through championships straight to the banner laden rafters. The only thing missing was a cape.
Shaquille O'Neal really was Superman.
Still whether it be Kryptonite or Kobe even superheroes leave and as the original Superman flew to the sun of Florida to restore his power, taking his talents to South Beach like his former Cleveland running mate and Miami Heat king LeBron James. Even though the Lakers still had their own hero to marvel at in Kobe Bryant playing the opposite Batman role, the people of the city of Los Angeles through Corvettes and brick walls and All-Star reunions wondered if Superman would ever return.
Then almost ten years later and gone, rumblings of rumors started amongst the skyscrapers of Tinseltown. Could it be? Was that a sighting? Questions where raised. Months passed and passed again. Brooklyn, New York looked like the right home for a superhero but then...dun, dun, duh, the people looked up to the sky one more time. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? NO! It's him...just only different. It's Superman. Same flight plan from Disneyworld to Hollywood ditching the Mickey Mouse ears for a purple and gold cape. He's back to save the day and Kobe. Complete with Clark Kent glasses a press conference confirmed it. Dust off the cape and just like Jay said; "take off the blazer,loosen up the tie, step inside the booth Superman is alive". Kingdom come, the Lakers are far from done. King James needs to watch the throne as the crown may be passed to a new prince.
His name is Dwight Howard.
The headlines rose higher than the skyscrapers or billboard. Read all about it as the new man of steel looks to takeover the planet daily and rise with The Dark Knight. This is no Christopher Nolan direction however it's all Mitch Kupchak. Coming from Orlando just like Earvin Johnson said complete with a Magic smile this star is gleaming, and shining. Beaming from ear to ear, starring from city to city. Team to team you can't stop the new Justice League now. Even the Avengers in Miami may need some assembly required.
Spanish hero Pau Gasol, ambassador of World Peace, Metta and running man Steve Nash are right there to help the hero of Los Angeles with Superman because of course everything goes through the one, Kobe Bryant. Still in forming the best one-two punch since his last dynamic duo Kobe has his Shaq 2 in the return of Superman. With Howard soaring and flying-like he did when he stuck a sticker of his face to a backboard-the man who will one day put his name up high next to Wilt and Kareem's is about to engrave the city of Lakers with a championship legacy. With opponents bouncing off his chest like bullets, with a laser eye on a ring, Dwight Howard is on his own quest for a piece. He's stepped back into the phone box, ready to transform the game. Now watch him fly. Superman is back.
All Day I Dream About Success.
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
(Here is an idea for an Adidas commercial starring Superman).
The commercial begins with the rumbling of thunder over flickering lights of a downtown Los Angeles skyline at night. Through the window of a closed T.V. and electrical store we see the many stacked television sets in the window flickering on and off between having their own picture to making a complete image of footage via all the T.V. screens stacked next to each other. The screens go from static to an image of Wilt Chamberlain spinning and dunking in a L.A. Lakers uniform.
Meanwhile in a phone booth a man in a suit and glasses is talking on a phone. The voice on the other line says; "Many are called, but few are chosen". We switch back to the T.V. store where the television sets are now playing back-to-back images of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's sky-hook. Back to the booth, the man who fills the entire phone booth rubs his temple as the voice on the other end continues; "can you weather the storm? Can you overcome the Heat?."
Back to the television store and we see an image of Kobe Bryant throwing a lob pass to Shaquille O'Neal for a dunk against the Portland Trail Blazers, before the footage flips to Kobe and Shaq staring each other down in opposing uniforms. We switch back to the phone booth where the man on the phone has his hand pressed against the glass as the voice on the other line asks; "can you come back"?
Thunder cracks and we switch to see the televisions and surrounding lights go out. Back again we hear and see footsteps run out of the phone booth and then take off. Left behind in the phone booth is a full suit, glasses drop to the ground and smash. An earthquake like rumble spreads through downtown as birds fly away in fright. A child playing with a toy airplane in the back-seat of a car stops and looks out as something hurtles past at supersonic speed.
Rushing past the electrical store the televisions flicker between static and footage of a Lakers parade. We cut to L.A's landmark Hotel Figueroa where the three tiered building displays pictures of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal shining like three stripes. A stream of purple and gold zooms past at full speed. We follow the stream as it zip-lines through the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles before soaring to the sky between two.
We then see the sky from the top of the two sky scrapers and between the darkness appears some gold and what looks like a basketball hoop. We hear the flapping of a cape as a basketball shoots up and is followed by an outstretched hand. We see the man from the phone booth as Dwight Howard, donning a Lakers uniform and draped in a purple and gold cape flying upwards after the ball.
It's almost in his reach as a newspaper with the headline 'What's happened to the Lakers?' and one with the headline 'Where is Dwight Howard'? along with what appears to be Mickey Mouse ears fall behind him. As Howard gets higher he cocks his hand back and smiles as the gold light shines on his face as his hand makes contact with the ball. The theme to Superman begins to play and get louder. As his cape flaps violently and he begins to slow down, he looks to dunk while disappearing into the gold light which fills the screen.
We switch to a shot of the Los Angeles skyline as the clouds disperse and the lights of the city including the STAPLES Centre come on in a sharp burst. The headline reads; 'Superman Returns' and then 'Impossible Is Nothing' before the Adidas logo appears.