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Dwight Howard trade: Can the Thunder make him wait like other Laker giants

COMMENTARY — Sure the Dwight Howard trade makes the Lakers better. Here's why it doesn't jump Los Angeles past the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference.
by Berry Tramel Published: August 10, 2012

To be fair, the Lakers are better built to beat the Thunder than they were two months ago.

Nash certainly invigorates the Laker offense with much-needed flow. If Kobe and Nash can co-exist, the Lakers will be hard to guard for anyone.

And while Nash is a defensive disaster who really can't guard anyone anymore, the addition of Howard will help immensely. When Westbrook blows past Nash, which he will anytime he tries, Howard will be waiting. Frankly, that's the biggest upgrade for the Lakers from Andrew Bynum to Howard.

So it promises to be fascinating basketball, should the Thunder and Lakers meet in the playoffs for the third time in four seasons.

But back to history. The Lakers traded for Wilt Chamberlain in 1968 – and didn't win the NBA title until 1972. The Lakers traded for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 but didn't win the championship with him until 1980. The Lakers signed Shaquille O'Neal in 1996, then waited until 2000 for the title.

So that's four-year waits for Wilt and Shaq, and a five-year wait for Kareem. The Thunder seems poised to make Dwight Howard wait, too.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at