This looks to be a lost season for the Los Angeles Lakers. The idea that the Los Angeles Clippers are the main attraction now at Staples Center now (last year as well), has to be a punch to the gut for the Lakers franchise and their fan base.
There is no buzz, no excitement, no reason to believe a quick turnaround is in the works for the Lakers. As much as it might be an unfortunate truth for the many who despise the organization, the NBA is a more interesting, and exciting league when the Lakers are in contention. It’s a significant boost to the league when high profile teams such as the Lakers, Celtics, Knicks, etc… are in title contention.
The Lakers, as I’ve stated before, have an inherent advantage of playing in a glamorous city like Los Angeles, and the attraction of playing for arguably the signature franchise of the NBA. Yet, they seem to be in the most precarious position they’ve been in as an organization since the early 1990’s, after the Showtime era had ended.
At least when Shaquille O’Neal was traded, the Lakers still had an in-his-prime Kobe Bryant during those lean years before Pau Gasol arrived in Los Angeles.
Now, can you think of any player on this team that is going to be playing for the Lakers when their next championship caliber team is assembled? There just aren’t many appealing options for them right now.
Obviously I have a glass half empty approach to viewing the short term future outlook of the Lakers, but I haven’t heard of any possible plans floating around that would suddenly change to the course of the franchise. That includes the recent rumors of Minnesota’s Kevin Love leaving the Timberwolves for the Lakers in a few years. While Love is a very good player, he isn’t a dominant superstar that the Lakers would be able to build around.
It has been enjoyable to watch players such as Nick Young and Jordan Hill play much greater than what anybody could have expected, but whether or not they keep up their current level of play is anybody’s guess. I’d assume their production will come back down at least a little bit, as both players have at times played above their heads. Jodie Meeks and Steve Blake have also played surprisingly well at times this season, having to be relied on much more than anybody thought previously due to the injuries the Lakers have suffered.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling head coach Mike D’Antoni will take the fall for the performance and record of the team. While I understand he has his faults as a coach, he is far down on the list of reasons why the Lakers have such a poor record. Honestly, how much more could you expect a coach to coax out of a roster like the Lakers have been fielding?
The only thing that the Lakers fans will be looking forward to is the return of Bryant, but even that is in question as his body continues to fail him.
While I’m sure there will be some highlights going forward during this season for the Lakers, such as Nick Young’s three point explosion, this is a year in which every other franchise is reveling in the Lakers’ disastrous season.
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