Sunday , Sep , 30 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Fate Of Classic NBA Franchises: Boston Celtics Making Positive Moves, L.A. Lakers & N.Y. Knicks Dysfunctional Disasters

Fans are talking about the Celtics, the Lakers, and even the Knicks. But a distinction must be made. Boston is making headlines for their on-court potential, while L.A. and New York are making headlines for off-court drama-superstar Kobe Bryant’s discontent and Isiah Thomas’ sexual harassment case …

Mitch Lawrence reports on Boston and Los Angeles once again being the center of the NBA:

It’s just like old times in the NBA. Heading into training camp, the biggest stories are the Lakers and Celtics. It’s just too bad this isn’t 1984, where we could actually have a Boston-L.A. showdown in June featuring Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

Those days are long gone, but there is plenty of intrigue centering on Kevin Garnett’s new team and Kobe Bryant’s old club. After his summer of discontent, Bryant is expected to report tomorrow to media day in El Segundo, Calif., and then head with the team to training camp in Hawaii. He gave his word this past week to GM Mitch Kupchak and Phil Jackson that he is ready and willing to go. For now, anyway.

My Quick Take: Like Lawrence says, the NBA is going retro. Fans are talking about , and even . But a distinction must be made. Boston is making headlines for their on-court potential, while L.A. and New York are making headlines for off-court drama-superstar Kobe Bryant’s discontent and Isiah Thomas’ sexual harassment case.

There’s even an argument that the new-look Celtics will bring the NBA back to prominence. Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and will make fans forget about gambling, a boring NBA Finals, and spoiled players.

I don’t think so. Ray Allen may have played Jesus Shuttlesworth in He Got Game, but he isn’t actually Jesus Christ. Don’t get it twisted, though. Boston’s big three will be part of any NBA comeback. But strong franchises in L.A. and New York would also help.

That’s the problem. Right now, the Clippers and Nets are stronger organizations than the Lakers and Knicks. This is an unmitigated disaster for the suits at NBA head office. The ugly step-childs aren’t supposed to overshadow the favorite-sons, especially by doing nothing.

So what’s the common problem in L.A. and New York?  One word: ownership. The Buss family has run the Lakers into the ground. They play favorites and bully talented employees. In New York, James Dolan is doing everything wrong. And the Isiah Thomas trial has shown that the Knicks are an out of control circus.

If the NBA wants to go retro and return to prominence, then Buss and Dolan have to go.

Agree or disagree with this take? Let us know in the comment box below.

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