The LA Lakers are facing an uphill battle and in great need of major overhaul. The Los Angeles Lakers, the most consistently successful franchise in the history of the NBA, is about to finish with even fewer wins this season.
This also marks team’s’ first-ever run of three consecutive seasons without a single playoff appearance. It’s a weird scenario for an organization with such a rich tradition. So, what exactly wrong with Lakers?
For the third straight season, the Lakers won’t make the playoffs and for the third straight season again, the Lakers are one of the worst teams in the league, CBS Sports Radio reported.
Recently, it suffered its worst defeat this season when the franchise played Utah Jazz on a 123-75 game on Monday. Kobe Bryant and team will never forget that night that marked Lakers’ largest defeat in franchise history. That 48-point defeat with Jazz matched the Lakers’ 142-94 loss to the Clippers on March 7, 2014.
Former Lakers center and TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal has some very interesting thoughts on the current state of his former team. During a recent interview with ESPN.com, the 44-year-old former Lakers superstar was asked whether or not he felt that the Lakers was coming closer to turning it around and the future Hall of Famer provided a less than inspiring response.
“When you mean ‘turn it around,’ do you mean a championship? Because that’s done. That’s not happening unless they make a miraculous trade and get four new people. Who do they have on the Lakers? I’m not sure. I’m not joking. Do they even have anyone to trade that somebody would want?,” O’Neil said in an interview, via the ESPN.
“They need to do the same thing Sacramento did — get new players,” O’Neal adds, via the ESPN.
Lakers have already entered the second-worst record in the NBA history (11-45) and with a combined record of 59-161 the past three seasons. It a huge disappointment for Lakers given the expectations set by co-owner and president of basketball operations Jim Buss.
Lakers president Jeanie Buss has already discussed the state of the team in a recent interview with Sam Amick of USA Today Sports. From USA Today‘s Sam Amick:
“I think that (Jim Buss) was very sure of himself when he promised that timeline, and I think that he has everything he needs to fulfill that promise of getting the team back competitive,” Jeanie Buss said.
“And when I say competitive, it’s competing for the Western Conference Finals, which would mean at least second round (of the playoffs) – if not more … They have earned the right to take the time that they’ve needed to put together what they want to have out on the court, and if they can’t do that then we have to reexamine how things are going.”
But unless Kevin Durant or a prospective top free agent like him shocks the world and heads for Laker Land with a few of his superstar pals, the immediate future might very well be as bleak as the recent past.
“I think that what we offered (the many free agents who passed on the Lakers in recent years) didn’t match where they were in their careers or what they were looking for,” Jeanie said. “Hopefully now, our story and what we have to present will be enticing to whoever they have targeted in terms of free agency to bring here. But again, I don’t make the decisions about the vision of basketball.”
Buss’ statements are no longer new because she already said much of the same thing in January 2015. At this point, the Lakers were in a pretty bad situation with the longshot hopes of improving via a forthcoming high-lottery pick, a failed chance at picking an All-Star free agent like LaMarcus Aldridge. Lakers’ situation has only gotten worse when the league’s No. 2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell failed to deliver. The 19-year-old rookie has come under lots of criticism recently for “not so good performance”.
And then there’s Kobe Bryant retirement issue which has already overwhelmed the long-term thinking required to rebuild the team more effectively. The worst still to come to Lakers if the team draw bad luck in the lottery and have to give up their top-three protected pick to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Jim Buss, president of basketball operations at Lakers, said last year that he will resign from his position in Los Angeles Lakers isn’t able to contend for conference and NBA titles by 2017 or 2018.
“My brother understands that we have to continue to strive for greatness and I think he would be the first one to feel that he would need to step down if he can’t get us to that point, Buss said in an radio interview with 89.3 KPCC, via the 89.3 KPCC website.
Jeanie Buss’s recent interview with Sam Amick of the USA Today has raised concerns over what the Lakers would look like under new management. Buss is only the most prominent proponent of the belief that the Lakers should be contenders no matter the shape of the organization, but those days are long gone. Failing to meet the expectations set by Buss could be the best worst to happen to the Lakers, right now.
Video Courtesy: ESPN First Take/Youtube.com
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