kobe-bryant-scoreboard-tributeNow that Dwight Howard has officially left the Lakers and decided to play for the Houston Rockets, it’s time for the Lakers to move away from the past and get focused on the present. The Lakers need to look at this Howard debacle, learn from it, and move on. The sting of Howard’s decision to thumb his nose at the Lakers, and run off to Houston is still very fresh for many.

However, I challenge everyone to ask themselves one simple question. How much am I going to miss someone that spent one season wearing the purple and gold? A season that was like a never ending root canal. Let’s face it, after Howard told the world he was going to be a Rocket, wasn’t the air instantly a little bit easier to breathe?

With all the drama stirred up by all the NBA gurus and all their sources telling each one something different, and Twitter exploding by the second with each new report, it became mentally exhausting. The facts are the facts, and the fact is Howard is gone. The other fact is this. The sun came up the next day, and life kept right on going.

With the whole Dwight Howard saga finally behind us, the Lakers can move on with Plan B. Yes, the plan for their future that did not include Dwight Howard. The plan that made concessions for him leaving, and possibly doing part of the season without Kobe while he heals from his achilles injury. Surely, the Lakers brain trust has a plan right? I mean, they would never think for one minute they would not need to exercise some sort of contingency plan would they? Let’s put it this way, if there is a Plan B, I sure would like to start seeing what it is. As most of the free agent dominos have already fallen to other teams, Plan B is still looking a little fuzzy to me.

The Lakers still have pieces in place to stay competitive this upcoming season. Kobe, Gasol, Nash, Metta World Peace, Jordan Hill,and Jodie Meeks are certainly not enough to compete for a championship. Provided Kobe comes back, and is able to play at a high level, and the others are able to stay relatively healthy for a full season, and the Lakers pick up some complimentary role players to come off the bench and contribute, the season won’t be the disaster that so many are already predicting it to be. Maybe Ryan Kelly can find instant success, or Robert Sacre shows improvement over last year.

This season is going to be about holding down the fort until the 2014 free agents hit town. Make no mistake, the Lakers will be waving that newly found cap space money around like it is burning a hole in their proverbial pockets. And they will land a big fish and bring them to Hollywood. That scenario will not change.

As I have said before, the Lakers organization is not one that rebuilds, it is one that reloads. The current talent pool for the Lakers could be a lot worse, and the Lakers will make some personnel moves. The upcoming season is littered with question marks, and the results may not be to the liking of many of the Lakers faithful. Anyone that has followed this team should know by now, that the Lakers will stay the course, and they will not let their fans down, they never do.

Here’s the good news. The Lakers foundation may have been shaken a bit with the latest turn of events. But that foundation is built on championship material, and it will remain that way. So they way I see  it,  better to have a Plan B and no Dwight Howard, than to have Dwight Howard and no Plan B.