Former San Antonio Spurs forward Bruce Bowen defended some of the best during his NBA career. From Ray Allen, LeBron James to Carmelo Anthony and many more, including Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. And both Bryant and Nash will be joining forces in Los Angeles as the new look Lakers look to reclaim their spot as the Western Conference's top team.
However, while many are already crowning the Lakers as the team to beat in the West and in the NBA, due in large part to their acquisition of center Dwight Howard, Bowen thinks otherwise.
Speaking with Sports Radio 560 WQAM, Bowen said he isn't sold on the new look Lakers and points to two factors - the Thunder and team chemistry.
"There's a team out West called the Oklahoma City Thunder. Those young boys, it seems like each and every year they get better."
"I don't think you can rule them out with their starters, their bench. You look at Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka down low, I think they will be aggressive and challenge Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. Then you look at James Harden coming off the bench, who's going to matchup with him? It's not even a question with Steve Nash and Russell Westbrook. So now it leaves Kobe and Kevin Durant."
"I'm not sold on this new Lakers team because it takes time to gel."
Bowen goes on to wonder how Howard will adjust to not being the primary focal point of the team with the Lakers as he was in Orlando. Though Bowen does feel Howard playing with a veteran squad in L.A. will help in his maturity.
As Bowen states, chemistry will be key for L.A. Like the Heat when they first brought in LeBron James and Chris Bosh, it took them a full season to gel and capture a title. The same will apply to the Lakers next season.
Furthermore, until a team in the West knocks off OKC, OKC is still the team to beat and that goes for the Spurs as well. San Antonio imploded versus OKC, as the Thunder displayed much more athleticism, and a fire to win which eventually was the difference against the Spurs.
Yes, the Lakers look scary good right now... on paper. Until that team comes together, learns how to play as a team, and go through the growing pains, it might be a bit premature to already crown L.A. the best in the NBA.
What do you have to say Spurs fans? Do you agree with Bowen?
Bowen has an excellent point; remember the Lakers with Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone and Shaq what happened?
I agree with Bowen; and to add, Steve Nash is already something like 38 yrs old, and Kobe Bryant has been the NBA 1yr longer than Tim Duncan. The team to beat in the west will still be OKC. We all know that once you get injured and a big contract, its becomes more about money and not championships. What will Dwight Howard do when he finds out that the Lakers are too old? Get that coach fired too.
We don't need a Dwight Howard, but more an early Ibaka. Pop gets these young guys and applies a very high long term evaluation standard and none meet that "heir to Duncan" standard, so we end up with Matt not Speights, or Malcom Thomas, our M Cousin, or .... TD is a very special player but Pop can't seem warm up to teaching a project PF. I don't get it, but why not replace MB with Troy Murphy, even Yi Jianlian, or Mc Roberts ? Remember Haslip, 6' 10" 3 pt shooter, shot blocker ? He lasted 2 months, saw less than 3 min per game, but was signed for 2 yrs. Something is off with Pop when it comes to PF. The next TD may never be an option and our team future may beon the perimeter with shot blockers down low. It is working for us now, and for the Heat, the Thunder, Bulls, Knicks, Cetics, most everyone without a Howard or Bynum or M Gasol. I still don't know why MB wasn't amnestied to free up 3.7 mil for replacements.
@jojo707 Where is Haislip now? TM not FA, Yi is a joke, and McRoberts also not a FA. And as has been explained here on MANY occasions, amnesty on Bonner would be a waste of amnesty. Spurs STILL would be over cap..meaning they couldn't "replace" that 3.7 mil with another guy at that salary. Only minimum deals could be had when over the cap and exceptions used up. Plus MB is essentially now an expiring contract which makes him more easily traded this season.
Road to championship #5: Bioengineer young Bruce Bowen, launch Matt Bonner to Mars never to be heard from ever again, win.