The Los Angeles Lakers have been bad all season, but have been plummeting even more so recently, despite their impressive win in Portland over the struggling Trail Blazers. Their 48 point catastrophic loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the worst in franchise history for the Lakers, had to feel worse considering they were up against the historically terrible (but now among the NBA elite) Clippers. Most of the blame has been attributed to head coach Mike D’Antoni, which is laughably ridiculous. While he may have his faults as a coach, I can’t see Greg Popovich or Doc Rivers getting much more out of this talent deprived squad. While D’Antoni almost certainly will be let go at some point, that by no means should be a reflection on him. As a matter of fact, I’d be willing to bet he’d like to be forced out as to not have to witness the putrid display of basketball on a nightly basis.
Where the Lakers go in search for a new head coach is anybody’s guess. Will they try and go for a splashy name, or for an unheralded one? At this point considering the state in which the franchise finds itself, I’m willing to bet they try and find a coach that isn’t widely known. While the Lakers fan base may not initially be excited, this may be a good deal all around, as the expectation level will be watered down due to the supposed lack of a proven coach. Why would the Lakers try and spend lavishly on another big time coach, when they owe money to Mike Brown, and potentially Mike D’Antoni. Hopefully Lakers fans have got Phil Jackson out of their system because he won’t be coming back, and if he does, he isn’t all of a sudden going to make the Lakers a contender. At this point they should try and find a head coach with potential for greatness in the future, a la the Boston Celtics, with Brad Stevens. The Celtics gave Stevens a 6 year contract, understanding they won’t be winning in the first three or four years of that contract. If I’m Lakers management, I try and go down that same road.
With Jim Buss now pretty much running the Lakers, it is anybody’s guess as to where this franchise will be headed. So far with Jim Buss at the helm of the Lakers, not much has gone right for the franchise (not all of which, is Buss’s fault). If he can start to make decisions that can pay off in the future, and make some savvy low key deals, that would be a tremendous sign for the Lakers fan base going forward. The Lakers are used to almost always being in contention, and if not, at least interesting. While it may take awhile to be one or both of those, Buss needs to simply drive the Lakers franchise in the right direction, even if it makes Lakers fans impatient.
With Kobe Bryant almost done, and Pau Gasol shortly leaving the Lakers franchise is in the midst of a dramatic change.There isn’t much to look forward to for Lakers fans right now, but if they wait it out, the reward will be even greater, once they are contenders again.