by Kenneth Miller
From Watts to South Central, to Inglewood, to Hawthorne and beyond, Lakers fans are rejoicing in the acquisition of superstar big man Dwight Howard joining the storied basketball franchise.
It is one of those moments that sort of transcends your normal sports story. Not as important as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assassination or the presidential election of Barack Obama, but you remember where you were when you heard about it.
I was sitting in Fridays on La Tijera waiting to be seated when the noise erupted. The Olympics were on the television screen and some obscure divers were in the pool, but it was all about Dwight.
"We Got Him!"
Laker fans are not your normal breed. They don't recognize the word pessimistic in the dictionary. They are always going to win the NBA championship. They actually hate every other team in the league and the Celtics even more.
Winning 16 NBA championships and playing in 31 Finals will have that impact on you. Jerry, Kareem, Wilt, Shaq, Elgin, Magic, Phil, Chick, Pat – it is an association that is THE ASSOCIATION.
So, here's hoping that Dwight Howard realizes what he's getting into by being traded to the Lakers from the Orlando Magic.
Laker fans are glad to know that you have been enjoying the shopping in Beverly Hills, the beaches in Malibu, the clubs in Hollywood and the adulation that has been rushed upon you.
They were thrilled to see you smiling at the introductory presser while mocking Kobe (Bryant) and embracing the opportunity of winning a championship.
They will be ecstatic when you put that Lakers uniform on for the first time, whether it be in December or January.
These fans are not really even tripping about your next contract with the Lakers after the season is over....That is if you don't win a championship.
You see, Dwight, as young as you are and as talented as you are, this whole big deal is just really about one small thing: A CHAMPIONSHIP!
The Lakers are like the Yankees in baseball, they realize that going to the playoffs and finishing in the conference finals as you did in Orlando is not good enough here.
Being an NBA All Star six consecutive years and three times Defensive Player of the Year are nice accolades, but pale in comparison to what the big prize is here.
Shaquille O'Neal understood that and no matter how much he despised Kobe he didn't allow it to get in the way of him winning three NBA championships here.
We know how hard it was for you to accept the path that Shaq took to title town, but what options did you really have? New Jersey? Oh we swept them in the Finals in their only shot. Houston? You mean our stepchildren in the West?
Listen carefully, Dwight! We are not concerned about your baby-momma drama and three kids out of wedlock; it's clear you are not the choirboy I first met when you were in high school and your Christian values have been challenged.
However, we gave up the future of our franchise, Andrew Bynum, because we believe that you are better.
Fact is your numbers indicate that you are an absolute MONSTER.
That is why the rest of the NBA is crying foul, questioning the integrity of the league because the Lakers are now such an overwhelming favorite to win the NBA championship next year.
There will be no stage and dancing to the tune of "Not ONE, Not TWO..." This is about 17, 18, 19, 20.
I am sure you get the drift.
So, here is to inform you that city officials have already been contacted as to the exact route of the parade next June, a half million invitations will go out in the mail and the seat at the front of the bus is all yours
(Kenneth Miller is a LA Watts Times correspondent)