Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Lakers situation reminds of the 2004 Astros


As most of your may know, or if not, I’m almost as big a basketball fan as I am a baseball admirer. Given that occurrence, the Los Angeles Lakers situation is something I’m most interested in watching. A coach given an all-star team to manage but having trouble putting it together. The whole scenario rang very familiar, almost like I had seen this scenario play out in Houston before. All of sudden, I realized that it surely had and it happened in one of the most memorable seasons in Astros history. The 2004 Astros can sympathies with the 2012 Lakers, especially Jimy Williamsto Mike Brown. Two men that were intrusted with superstars and legends, only to be sent packing in the an attempt to wake up a franchise.

The Astros already had a good to very good team coming into the 2004 season but needed something to get them over the top, it becomes obvious that something was coming. We were all excited as could be when Andy Pettitte became an Astro and instantly the Stros became the favorite to win the NL Central. Now, not sure about everyone else but when Roger Clemens became an Astros, I cried a bit. Tears of joy, of course, because my team had become not only NL Central favorites but for the whole darn thing.  Can you see the correlation? It’s fairly obvious, the Lakers were a good team needing that extra push so not only did they go after the game changer in Steve Nash but also the hammer in Dwight Howard. A new team with huge expectations and a time bomb ready to go off.

Well, given all those expectations it was no surprise that when things didn’t start out so well for the star filled roster, the coach was the first to go. That sentence could go for either club, Jimy Williams did last a bit longer than Mike Brown but at the all-star break, Jimy was history. Brown’s firing was so much more usual but having Jimmy get booed at the All-Star game in Houston was a pretty incredible moment too. While Houston isn’t LA, in any possible way, the pressure surrounding Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte’s arrivals was there and it was like an 800 pound gorilla. Pressure and expectations caught up to both gentlemen and made escape goats out of each.

The Astros, whether it be due to Jimy’s firing or their own mediocrity getting to them, would rebound nicely to get within a game of winning the NL pennant. Will that same thing happen to the Lakers? Tough to say given the uncertainty of their next coach but they have to much talent for this to continue. Do they have their Phil Garner in mind? Well, while Phil wasn’t an all-time great manager he did have some strong ties to the Astros franchise. The hot rumor is Phil Jackson, yep that Phil Jackson, could be coming back to the sidelines which would complete the circle nicely.

 

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