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Friday, November 9, 2012
Please reunite Dwight and Stan Van Gundy

By Steve Etheridge
Special to ESPN.com

Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard
Go ahead and get the band back together, you guys.
I can’t believe it. No one can. Who could ever imagine that the Mike Brown era would be anything other than one giant decadelong championship parade, with their vaunted starting five remaining in perfect health for years -- Nash, Bryant and Gasol all playing into their late 40s -- and their Princeton offense working seamlessly, night in and night out, to lay all their competitors to waste?

No one could’ve foreseen it -- not even Nate Silver -- and now Mike Brown is gone.

Merely two days ago, after dropping to 1-4 on the season, Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss said, "I have no problems with Mike Brown at all. You have to give it time to understand [what's going on]. I don't know if there's an actual game total that would make me impatient. I know if we're 1-15, I don't think that would be very good. I'm sure that would be a panic button. But at this time, I'm fine with what's going on.”

We should have been suspicious when immediately after, his nose grew eight inches, but we weren’t. Now, five games into the season, Mike Brown has been fired, and everything is chaos.

At this point, we can only speculate as to what will happen next. The team has some strong coaching candidates to consider, including Jerry Sloan, Phil Jackson 3.0, Mike D’Antoni, Ozzie Guillen, Larry Brown, Kobe Bryant wearing a mustache, Nate McMillan and Romeo Crennel.

But if there’s any justice in this universe, Dwight Howard will show up to the arena tomorrow morning and suddenly find himself running like Indiana Jones from a giant ball, a ball that chases him down every hallway and corridor, threatening to flatten him, 'til he finally reaches a dead end. The ball comes to a halt. It’s Stan Van Gundy. “I’m backkkkkkkkkk!”

Clark Can’t would be shivering in his neoprene tank top, horrified to see his mortal adversary once again alive before him, with eyes as big as saucers and a mustache still littered with crumbs from their battles in Orlando.

On paper, Van Gundy would be a keen fit for the Lakers, with a sort of anti-Mike Brown authoritativeness that would keep the players’ egos on a short leash. As a tactician, his schemes would take full advantage of Pau Gasol’s arsenal, and he’d quickly implement a sharper perimeter game. And without question, he knows how to work the playbook to make Howard shine.

But could Van Gundy and Howard peacefully coexist?

To find out, I placed their closest animal equivalents -- a cobra and an enormous guinea pig -- into a cardboard box and shook it around a bit to simulate the agitation. Weirdly enough, the cobra is now sleepily curled up in the corner, with the guinea pig squeaking out something that sounds like a bedtime story. And now they’re cuddling. Awww.

So who knows.

Regardless, if you happen to see Van Gundy sometime today, please load him into a catapult and launch him to Los Angeles. This reunion needs to happen.