Mark Cuban is not ready to give the Los Angeles Lakers the NBA Championship just yet.
At an event this week introducing Cuban’s new summer signings to the press and season ticket holders, the Dallas Mavericks owner took a minute to remind everyone that the Lakers have hoarded talent like this before with less then stellar results.
“The Lakers have done this before,” Cuban said. “Remember Gary Payton, Karl Malone and Kobe and Shaq were all together, and it didn’t work.”
Cuban is referring to the summer of 2003 when the Lakers added Malone and Payton at the end of their careers, as each tried to win a championship before ending their stellar runs in the NBA.
Each lasted only one season in Los Angeles as the Lakers finished second in the Western Conference with a 56-26 record before losing 4-1 in the NBA Finals to the Detroit Pistons.
Adding Malone and Payton at the end of their careers might not be much different then the Lakers bringing in aging Steve Nash … but Dwight Howard is a different story. When healthy, Howard is the best, young center in the NBA — though Cuban still thinks the Lakers will struggle with putting the parts together.
“It takes great chemistry, like coach (Rick Carlisle) alluded to, it takes guys wanting to be there,” Cuban said. “I don’t know if all their guys want to be there. It’s going to be interesting.”