Whicker: Even if Lakers get Anthony Davis someday, the house will need some work

first_img Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs LOS ANGELES — The recipe says you can’t cook up an NBA championship without two-and-a-half superpowers.It does not say that two-and-a-half superpowers will automatically produce a championship, no more than an omelet can make itself.Lakers fans have been through this before, with the Dwight Howard-Steve Nash-Kobe Bryant souffle that collapsed. It helps, of course, when the ingredients are used before their expiration date.Recently there was considerable local indigestion when New Orleans turned down the Lakers’ offer of Nearly Everything for Anthony Davis. These negotiations will be resumed after the season. The Pelicans were upset enough to dismiss General Manager Dell Demps, but they should have taken the deal. Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Their superpowers were Dirk Nowitzki and … who? Jason Kidd was 37 and averaging a triple-single. Jason Terry brought long shots off the bench. Shawn Marion was the fast-breaker and rebounder. The Mavericks picked up Peja Stojakovic and Caron Butler for some playoff wisdom. They also had Coach Rick Carlisle and a staff that included current NBA coaches Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts.They had talent. It was not why they won.“We had true professionals,” Chandler said. “Everybody came in every day to do his job. The communication was always good, and that got us through the trials and tribulations. Guys had different roles from what they might have envisioned, or what they did earlier in their careers. And they elevated those roles.“In my case, I thought they needed some ‘dog.’ I brought an edge to every practice and every game. I wasn’t going to let anybody ease up. It had a trickle-down effect.”Chandler averaged 28.7 minutes that season, along with 10.9 points and 9.4 rebounds. Defensively, he was what Dallas always lacked. He was the man at the top of the stairs. You got no further than him.But then five Mavericks averaged double-figure points. They figured out the strength of numbers before Golden State did. There was no outnumbering them. Brian Cardinal was a bald, relatively unskilled 33-year-old who played 12 minutes per game and left things cleaner than he found them. The fans called him “The Custodian.” During the Mavericks’ victory celebration, Cardinal broke out a carpet cleaner and tidied up the area.Chandler does admit that older players grasp all this better than younger players. If the homegrown Lakers really did suffer trade-deadline depression, that’s their problem. Their agents and their coaches and maybe some of their legendary teammates should have told them that a trade rumor is a compliment. But it’s hard to believe that the first one is.“Golden State is a team where the young guys came together for a championship,” Chandler said, “but they have great personalities. They understood the game and how it ought to be played. Normally you need older players because they’ve been through the wringer. The young guys are trying to establish themselves in the league. The older ones have done all that. They know the only thing left is to win.”Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIt’s not that Davis can’t or shouldn’t be a Laker at some point, and it’s not that he couldn’t work with LeBron James, or take up that torch whenever James leaves or recedes or retires. And, yeah, James has taken leftovers to the NBA Finals before.But without Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Ivica Zubac (whom they later sent to the Clippers) or most of the above, the Lakers would have needed to scrounge for cheap veterans, G League refugees and other kids. True champions are built on sturdier layers.Charlotte traded Tyson Chandler to Dallas in July of 2010. It was a six-player trade that crawled across our screens and into obscurity.“I was excited,” said Chandler, now a Lakers center at age 36. “I had played against Dallas so many times. I knew that they were right there.”Eleven months later the Mavericks were NBA champions. They beat James and the Miami Heat in the Finals.center_img Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Chandler was 28. Eight key Mavericks were 30 or older, including the 32-year-old Nowitzki.But even the 2015 Warriors had Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala, Leandro Barbosa, David Lee and Shaun Livingston, all 29 or older.When Miami won the 2012 title, James and Chris Bosh were 27 and Dwyane Wade 30. When the Lakers won their most recent title in 2010, five of their top six players were 30 or over, and Pau Gasol was 29.“You can’t just throw great players together and win a championship,” Chandler said. “Their games have to be compatible. That’s what’s necessary to build a team.”His word was “build.” Not “assemble.” Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions last_img

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