Living in the Past

The Laker franchise is either the greatest or second greatest NBA franchise in history. Numerous Championship banners along with numerous HOF player banners are displayed all over Staples Center. The greatest players to ever put on an NBA uniform graced the purple and gold. Kobe, Gasol, Shaq, Magic, Worthy, Cooper, Kareem, Wilkes, Goodrich, West, Wilt, Baylor.

All of that, however, is in the past.

The Lakers are 4 – 22 against the Clippers in the past 26 games.

The Lakers haven’t been to the playoffs since the 2012/2013 season when they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs

The Lakers hired Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka to turn the franchise around

The Lakers signed the brightest young coach in basketball

The Lakers signed the best player in basketball last summer

The Lakers have the 2nd overall pick from 2016

The Lakers have the 2nd overall pick from 2017

The Lakers have the steal of the 2017 draft

and the Lakers still can’t make the playoffs.

You know things have changed when you are watching a Clipper / Laker game and you feel sorry for the Lakers. They badly needed to win this game after blowing two games against teams they had to beat. It wasn’t going to be easy because Brandon Ingrahm decided to sit this game out, but the Clippers were still starting two rookies and a 21-year-old center who just a few weeks ago was on the Lakers. The Lakers had LeBron and Rondo and for 20 minutes it looked like they would be enough. It wasn’t, the Lakers didn’t have Patrick Beverly, the player you hate the most in the NBA if he isn’t on your team. In a familiar pattern, the Clippers beat the Lakers, just as they have done twenty-two times in the last twenty-six meetings. This time, however, the game meant something. It was probably the coup de grace for the Laker postseason aspirations. In a game they had to win, at home, they couldn’t do it.

The Lakers may eventually turn the franchise around but betting on a 35-year-old NBA player to be the centerpiece of that future is a risky move. This summer free agents will need to decide if they want to team up with a front office that can’t even get a team with LeBron on it into the last playoff spot. Why would they think that management could deliver the rest of the team needed to win a Championship? Just look around the NBA and notice the players the Lakers jettisoned so they could keep the core they kept. Julius Randle, Thomas Bryant, Larry Nance, D’Angelo Russel, and Jordan Clarkson.  Oh, and Sweet Lou Williams. Is Kevin Durant going to sign up with that?

Maybe, I hope someone signs up because I want the Purple / Gold to be relevant again. I don’t want LeBron’s last years to look like Kobe’s.

 

 

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