HOOPSWORLD.COM: It’s one of the most famous cliffhangers in television history. Bobby Ewing taking a shower after being killed off the year before. The entire season of Dallas – nothing but a bad dream.
That was back in 1986, the year Ralph Sampson broke the heart of the Los Angeles Lakers with that turnaround jumper.
Sometimes you wish you can just turn back the clock.
Maybe the Lakers can . . .
Trading Shaquille O’Neal was one of the most controversial moves the franchise had ever made. After going 3-1 in the NBA Finals over a five year stretch, team owner Dr. Jerry Buss and his heir apparent Jim Buss decided it was time to pull the plug.
O’Neal was traded to the Miami HEAT for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant and draft considerations.
The HEAT would go on to win a title two years later. The Lakers would have a visit to the lottery, followed by a pair of first round playoff exits.
At the time of the trade the Lakers were under pressure to re-sign free agent Kobe Bryant who did not see eye-to-eye with O’Neal.
Dr. Buss didn’t want to pay a massive extension to O’Neal considering the center was rarely in shape and had disrespectfully called out Laker management during the preseason.
The HEAT would eventually sign O’Neal to long term deal at a far cheaper rate than he would consider in LA. After winning a title, Miami would be embarrassed by the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. They’ve been rebuffed in nearly all their free agent pursuits save the acquisition of Laker castoff Smush Parker.
Meanwhile the Lakers are dealing with a disgruntled Bryant who has yet to rescind a trade demand. He’ll probably have no choice but to eventually show for training camp but the team’s future is far from certain.
Maybe it’s time for a do-over.
Send Lamar Odom back to the HEAT with Jordan Farmar and Kwame Brown.
Bring back the Diesel.