L.A. Lakers Offseason: A Tale of Two Dwights, a Tale of Two Organizations

The Los Angeles Lakers are definitely at a crossroads this offseason, and much of their fate over the foreseeable future lies in the hands of Dwight Howard—a young player who embraces, either purposefully or unknowingly, the strange condition of cognitive dissonance.

The history in Orlando is there. The "commit one day, quit the next" attitude carried over to Los Angeles. And the free-agent frenzy of speaking out both sides of the mouth has just started.

ESPN reporter and Howard-camp mouthpiece Chris Broussard said the 6'11'' center doesn't want to play for Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni. Days later, sources close to Howard say D'Antoni is not on his radar, per Dave McMenamin and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

The waffling is in full force.

Strap in, Laker nation.

But while we endure the flip-flopping, hot-versus-cold antics of Dwight Howard, the Lakers organization itself is straddling a precarious fence that speaks to the wide spectrum of uncertainty facing the franchise.

Does the team blow the whole thing up, retool their salaries for the "new normal" and focus on building youth and talent in preparation for life after Kobe?

Or should L.A. throw big money at the most athletic center in the league to hold onto one, maybe two more years of contending just to keep this waterlogged ship afloat? 

The duality of it all is analogous to the writing in Charles Dickens' classic work A Tale of Two Cities.

Dickens opens the novel:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

For the Lakers, 2010 was the best of times: beating hated rivals the Boston Celtics in an epic seven-game series to win the franchise'...

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