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Dwight Howard faces Lakers

Dwight Howard returns to Los Angeles to face his former team the Lakers on Wednesday. Howard spent one season in L.A. before departing for the Rockets via free agency. Houston's big man is certain to hear plenty of boos tonight, but does SportsNation blame him for leaving Los Angeles? Vote below!

  • How will Dwight Howard perform in his first game against the Lakers in Los Angeles?

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      30%
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      60%
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      10%

    Discuss (Total votes: 16,959)

  • Do you fault Dwight Howard for leaving the Lakers for the Rockets?

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      16%
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      84%

    Discuss (Total votes: 21,853)

  • What is your opinion of Dwight Howard?

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      52%
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      48%

    Discuss (Total votes: 4,071)

  • Where does Dwight Howard rank among the NBA's best players?

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      30%
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      70%

    Discuss (Total votes: 31,787)

  • How many championships will Dwight Howard win?

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      58%
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      42%

    Discuss (Total votes: 14,788)

  • How will the Rockets fare in the playoffs?

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      15%
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      54%
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      23%
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      3%
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      5%

    Discuss (Total votes: 15,842)

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Have Lakers lost their allure?

It's conventional wisdom in NBA circles that a free agent, any free agent, would want to play for the prestigious Los Angeles Lakers. The weather. The history. The celebs. Kobe, for at least a little while longer. Then again, things aren't looking so good for the team that once earned the nickname "Showtime."

A win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday got overshadowed by its bizarre finish, in which a little-known rule allowed Lakers center Robert Sacre to remain on the court despite having fouled out (the team had no other healthy players; it was assessed a technical foul). This bumped the Lakers all the way "up" to 17-32 on the year as they await word on Kobe Bryant's health ... and the possible relocation of free-agent-to-be Pau Gasol. Meanwhile, Magic Johnson says he'll happily make calls on his old team's behalf to lure prospective free agents. But shouldn't the team's reputation speak for itself?

  • If you were a top-level NBA free agent, would you want to sign with the Lakers right now?

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      37%
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      63%

    Discuss (Total votes: 106,548)

  • If you were a free agent, would a conversation with a legend such as Magic Johnson be able to affect your decision?

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      60%
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      40%

    Discuss (Total votes: 16,874)

  • What should the Lakers do with Pau Gasol, who is a free agent at the end of the season?

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      61%
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      29%
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      10%

    Discuss (Total votes: 16,167)

  • How many more seasons does Kobe Bryant have as an elite player?

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      48%
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      33%
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      19%

    Discuss (Total votes: 84,040)

  • How surprised are you about the Lakers' struggles this season?

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      5%
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      23%
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      72%

    Discuss (Total votes: 15,577)

  • How would you feel if you were a Lakers fan right now?

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      55%
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      45%

    Discuss (Total votes: 15,449)

  • When will the Lakers next make the playoffs?

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      22%
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      38%
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      40%

    Discuss (Total votes: 14,531)

  • What do you make of the rule that allows fouled-out players to stay on the court at the cost of a technical foul if no one else is available on the bench?

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      44%
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      18%
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      38%

    Discuss (Total votes: 14,191)

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Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images

What is Kobe Bryant's future?

Kobe Bryant, out since Dec. 17 with a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, was reassessed Tuesday -- and the news was not great. The star will be out for at least the next three weeks, meaning he won't play in the NBA All-Star Game despite being voted in as a starter. With the Los Angeles Lakers at 16-29, should the team just shut him down for the season and look ahead? What does that future hold?

What should the Lakers do with Kobe Bryant?

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    47%
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    53%

Discuss (Total votes: 60,595)

  • What do you expect from Kobe Bryant if he returns shortly after the All-Star break?

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      9%
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      43%
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      48%

    Discuss (Total votes: 14,286)

  • Will the Lakers ever win another playoff series with Kobe Bryant?

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      45%
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      55%

    Discuss (Total votes: 14,481)

  • How many more seasons does Kobe Bryant have as an elite player?

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      48%
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      33%
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      19%

    Discuss (Total votes: 84,040)

  • Who should start the All-Star Game in Kobe Bryant's absence (assuming Chris Paul is also not available)?

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      50%
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      26%
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      16%
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      8%

    Discuss (Total votes: 32,705)

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Jeyhoun Allebaugh/NBAE/Getty Images

Where will Melo go?

Carmelo Anthony could become a free agent after the 2013-14 season, and leaving the New York Knicks -- who are a mere 17-27, even after beating the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday -- might not seem like a bad plan. But will it happen? Kobe Bryant on Sunday said he isn't going to actively recruit the man who broke his Madison Square Garden scoring record with 62 points on Friday night. And Anthony's wife, La La, said Melo "definitely" will stay with the Knicks. What do you think will happen?

Where will Carmelo Anthony be at the start of the 2014-15 season?

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    32%
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    21%
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    47%

Discuss (Total votes: 72,740)

  • Should Kobe Bryant actively recruit Carmelo Anthony if Melo becomes a free agent after this season?

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      49%
    •  
      51%

    Discuss (Total votes: 24,293)

  • How much does La La Anthony's insistence that Carmelo Anthony will "definitely" stay with the Knicks change your opinion of his potential free agency?

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      15%
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      38%
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      47%

    Discuss (Total votes: 13,044)

  • Which will be the biggest factor in Carmelo Anthony's pending free-agency decision?

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      41%
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      33%
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      26%

    Discuss (Total votes: 12,572)

  • Would you want your favorite team to sign Carmelo Anthony if he becomes a free agent this offseason?

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      44%
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      56%

    Discuss (Total votes: 268,693)

  • How would the Lakers fare in 2014-15 with Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and a top-10 draft pick?

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      11%
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      26%
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      36%
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      27%

    Discuss (Total votes: 21,600)

  • Will Carmelo Anthony ever win an NBA championship?

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      29%
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      71%

    Discuss (Total votes: 54,002)

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USA TODAY Sports

Kobe vs. Jordan one-on-one?

Shocking revelations from Phil Jackson: It turns out that Kobe Bryant is really confident. In an interview with Fox Sports Live, Jackson said that he asked Michael Jordan to talk to Kobe Bryant shortly after Jordan's second retirement in 1999. One might expect a young player to be a bit star-struck when meeting a legend like Jordan, but this is Kobe Bryant we're talking about here. Jackson said the first thing that Kobe said to MJ upon meeting him was ''I could kick your ass one-on-one.'' This is, of course, the perfect Kobe Bryant response -- we'd imagine Kobe says some version of that to most everyone he meets, whether or not they're even professional basketball players.

Who would win a game of one-on-one if both were in their primes?

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    18%
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    82%

Discuss (Total votes: 84,799)

  • How many titles would Kobe Bryant have won with Michael Jordan's core team with the Bulls? (Jordan won six)

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      14%
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      36%
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      24%
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      26%

    Discuss (Total votes: 44,718)

  • How many titles would Michael Jordan have won with Kobe Bryant's core team with the Lakers? (Bryant won five)

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      9%
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      8%
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      12%
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      20%
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      51%

    Discuss (Total votes: 41,610)

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