Lakers Potential Dynasty…State of Nature?

December 6, 2011

Political Theory


As most of you know the Lakers are once again in the middle of negotiations concerning some of the biggest names that are in the NBA today. They would love to bring another young superstar in to complement Kobe Bryant possibly one of the most decorated players the game has ever seen. This year both Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets and Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic are in the final years of their contracts. Both want to go to a contender and both want to win know. They are upset with their current position in with their teams and they feel that if they can have a new start in a new city with a proven winner they would be able to win some championships. The Lakers are one of the only teams in the NBA that have what these stars want in another superstar that is going to stay there, and the ability to trade for either Paul or Howard. Ideally the Lakers want all three but we it all depends on how much the teams are asking for in return for some of the greatest players of this generation.

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Now the real question comes into play, how do these stars have anything to do with political theory and State of Nature? The answer is simple, everyone is programmed winner, all anyone in life wants to do is win and they will do just about anything to get to the position that they want to be in. Everyone has a natural self interest, for themselves to succeed, but in order for one to succeed in a team sport one needs to win championships and that requires a supporting cast around you that can get the job done. Both Paul and Howard are upset with their respective organizations ability to surround them with the players that it takes to be successful in the NBA. All want to win and when stars align there is a lot greater possibility for great things to happen. Look what happened with the celtics a few years back, they were a down on their luck team when they went out and got three amazing players, in Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce, to come play together and went on to win a championship that same year.

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Each player has a limited time in the league, because they all cant play forever and they all seek one of the most scarce resources in the world a championship ring. Life is poor, solitary, brutal, and short because of everyone trying to strive for the same resources. Everyone in the NBA talks about how the game is a business and once you are not worth the money that you are being payed, organizations make sure they get you off of the payroll. Sure there are always free riders, the guys that sit on the end of the bench and get a ring just because of the superstars that surrounded them. But in 30 years when you are telling your children I rode the bench and won a championship will it really mean the same as if you had actually played. Creating an image that people in the future will aspire to reach the same heights that one has achieved is every players ultimate goal. The question I have to ask you is Dwight and Paul’s desire to bail on their organizations just a State of Human Nature? Are there alternative reasons? Also where do you think each of them will end up? If separate teams which one will win a ring first?

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4 Comments on “Lakers Potential Dynasty…State of Nature?”

  1. srubins Says:

    I find this piece to be very compelling. As a sports fan myself, I enjoy how the author tied in our class concepts with such ‘hot’ issue especially since the NBA has just gotten back on track with the all new collective bargaining agreement.

    I believe Howard and Paul’s desire to seek employment from other franchises is undoubtedly characteristic of the “State of Human Nature” being that they are both exercising their self-interest with the ultimate goal of winning a championship ring. For the past thirty years, the NBA has enjoyed championship teams that revolve around a dynamic duo or a very solid team with one superstar. Yet, in recent years as exemplified by the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, many players are abandoning rolling the dice to achieve glory and rather, hedging their chances on winning alone to instead, convene with stars like themselves on franchises that can support such a heavy payroll. What one can be positive about it the Los Angeles Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss is certainly capable of dealing out the cash that it would take to sign both Howard and Paul while already employing Kobe Bryant and other stars like Lamar Odom. I personally believe however that they will not end up on the same team and if one were to go to the Lakers, it would be Dwight Howard given their historical favoritism for overpowering big men. I can see Chris Paul going to the New York Knicks as the media has popularly indicated as a viable possibility. If this is how the situation unfolds, I believe Dwight Howard as a Laker has a better chance at winning a ring first simply due to the current strength in the Eastern Conference with the triple entente of the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and Chicago Bulls that Chris Paul and the Knicks would have to defeat to first get a chance to most probably play the Lakers for a championship–quite the daunting task.

  2. joeyalessi Says:

    This post speaks to a topic that many people, especially sport fans, can relate to. Chris Paul’s and Dwight Howard’s desire to move to the spotlight in Los Angeles to join the prestigious franchise of the Lakers is definitely a “State of Nature”. This can be said because these two star basketball players are doing whatever they can to win an NBA Championship. In their profession, this is the same thing as living forever. The idea of these “Super Teams” in the NBA, have become very popular in the last decade. The Boston Celtics were able to accomplish their goal by having the “Big Three” of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. The other superstars in the league saw how well this worked out for them, so they feel like they must also team up with other stars to win a championship. I truly believe that Paul and Howard want to win a championship above anything, but there are also better benefits of going to a franchise like the Lakers. Their fame will go up even more than it is now. They will be living in a great city where many basketball players would want to go to. This will help their personal brand sell. With some athletes, the fame and money is more important than actually winning. However, I do not believe that is the case with these two stars because they have given much of their careers to the team they were drafted by. Their franchises were just not able to surround them with enough talent to win a championship. They have realized that in order to achieve the legacy of a Hall of Famer, they must win championships, not just one but multiple.
    I think that it makes most sense for Dwight Howard to go to the Lakers. This will give them three 7 footers in their starting lineup. Chris Paul will most likely end up with the Knicks, but there is still a chance he could go to the Lakers. By getting just one of these two players, the Lakers will be the favorites for the championship and I believe they will win for sure. BTW, LeBron Sucks. KOBE IS STILL THE BEST PLAYER IN THE NBA.

  3. mturner1013 Says:

    I like how you pulled state of nature out of the common view as just a fight for survival, and applied to to a more modern version, as a fight for what success and what you want. I think this topic applies very well to state of nature, and both Howard and Paul are probably looking to do what Wade, Bosh, and James did in Miami, because they reached the NBA finals in there first year. They proved that teaming up with other stars can be a path to quick success, and I think that they are realizing they’re starting to get older, and new talent is coming in, so they want to win there championships while they can. Going to the Lakers to team up with Kobe would be a prime example of a modern day state of nature. Paul and Howard would be taking the quickest and most efficient route to achieving what they truly want because they both have overlapping personal interest, and they could use this mutual interest to help each other.

    I personally believe that both go to the Lakers, and the Lakers will clean house outside of Kobe (sad for Darius Morris) because then you will have a true power in the west that will not have to deal with the powers of Miami and Chicago in the East. Won’t it be fun to watch Kobe, Paul, and Howard take on LeBron, Wade, and Bosh in the NBA finals?

  4. jrphilli Says:

    Dwight and Paul’s desire to ball on their organization could be seen as a “State of Nature.” This is because in a “State of Nature” people do whatever to get what they want, its every man for themselves. So, Dwight and Paul are attempting to get what they want, since it is every man for themselves they are not thinking about the fact that they are bailing on their team, only that they are trying to get somewhere better. Everyone does want a championship ring, so they will do whatever to obtain this goal, no matter who it hurts, as long as it helps them. This can be seen as a “State of Nature.” But, if everyone in the NBA had a “State of Nature” mindset, there would only be a few teams with all the stars on it, not fair to the rest of the NBA. But this would never happen, because what team could afford many top players price tags, and it also needs to be a competition, so that would be no fair nor interesting, so we do not have to worry about that. But, we may be headed in that direction, if not already there.

    I believe that they may end up at two different teams, because what team has two players that the other team would not mind having in place of Dwight and Paul, and that they want to trade. Now, if they are free agents, what every team they go to, like the Lakers, they already have top paying players, so that means Dwight and Paul may come into a pay cut (like in Miami), but if they go to separate teams they may get more money. Also, has anyone not learned from the Miami situation. Yes, Boston did the same thing and won a championship, but what happen to Miami. Different breed of players in Boston then in Miami and that difference has put Miami where they are at. So, is it smart for Dwight and Paul to do what Lebron and Bosh did because it did not turn out how they expected. I do not like when players attempt to create a team, it is not real. Past champions did not do that, the greats made it happen with whatever team they were given. That is a true player, not one that goes and tries to put together a team to win a championship. At this moment the Lakers and Knicks have the most potential for these players. Because Boston and Miami would not have room for them, maybe Chicago, but maybe not.

    If they did go to separate teams, I can not say which one would win one first because they would do different things for each their teams. Also, like last season, you never know who will make it to the end, many up-sets.

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