Who Knows: Was the right move made, who would you choose for your team?Thursday, November 18, 2004 By Justin Popovich
Did the Los Angeles Lakers make the right move? They had the choice to get rid of either Shaquille O’Neal or Kobe Bryant. They chose to trade O’Neal, but was it the right choice? Many people do not believe so. Do you want the dominating, down-low type of guy? Or would you rather have the guy up top who can nail any shot, open or covered? One thing was for sure before O’Neal left. No matter who would leave, Bryant or O’Neal, the Lakers would not be the same again. After losing to the Detroit Pistons last season in the 2004 Championship, head coach Phil Jackson announced his retirement. Then the decision came up on who was going to be traded, Bryant or Shaquille. Having these two athletes on the same team, together, was almost like a dream team. Bryant would score 35 points, and then O’Neal would chip in with 25, but then he would also grab 15 rebounds. He is like a machine. But then again, they hated each other, and they would argue about everything. If they wanted to, they could argue on about who dresses better! Then, of course, O’Neal is a crybaby, and whenever he didn’t get the ball enough he would have to announce it to the world. So now that O’Neal is gone, who can they find to help out? The man they are leaning towards now is five-year veteran Chris Mihm. Mihm was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the 2000 draft, but was then traded to Cleveland right away. He played with Cleveland for four years, and now finds himself in L.A. trying to fill some big shoes. And seriously those are some huge shoes! The most points he has ever averaged in a regular season was in the 2001-2002 season when he averaged 7.7 points per game. A bit of a difference from O’Neal’s numbers of 29.7 per game. So far in two games, Mihm is averaging 14.5 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game, and is shooting 45 percent. Those are not bad numbers so far. But in the Lakers second game of the year, he scored just 6 points on 3-8 shooting in 24 minutes. He has to produce more than that. Yeah, his averages look pretty good, but that off game he had just cannot happen if the Lakers are looking to become the team they once were. Bryant is still pulling his tricks out of the bag. He is averaging 31.5 points so far this year, and in the tough loss to the Jazz, he sank in 38. But still, that loss consisted in a score of 104-78. You know that with O’Neal that would have never happened because of his outstanding defense. So, there is the question of the day. Who would you rather have, Kobe or Shaq on your team? Who do you think would help your team out more? I personally think that you can find a lot of guys that can hit shots from the outside and nail those long jumpers. But it takes a lot of talent to post up, defend yourself, and be strong down-low. You might think it is easy to just lay it in, but you have to have perfect position. The Lakers will not be the same for a while. Not until they find a strong, physical guy like O’Neal. And a lot of people do not like the Lakers because “they win all the time.” It is the same case for the New York Yankees. But that is not why I think that. That is just my opinion. Come on, I am a Chicago Bulls fan, and they will never see the playoffs again.