This season, the Los Angeles Lakers have been anything but a joy to watch week in & week out on NBA national TV broadcasts. The team is without Kobe Bryant & Steve Nash, lost Dwight Howard last year, Pau Gasol is putting up numbers but they are empty, & the rest of the team is just young talent that just can’t compete on a nightly basis with the rest of the league.
On top of that, now the players seem to be revolting against the actual ownership, as Kobe Bryant mentioned this week in a news conference that he wants the front office (Jim & Jeanie Buss) to be better at their jobs & reports are out there that Bryant doesn’t want to play for Mike D’Antoni next season. Yes, Kobe is the franchise. He is the heart & soul of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise, but for the organization to just let a player essentially openly dictate exactly what they want to have done is a sad state of affairs & shows much disfunction.
On top of that, Bryant mentioned how the Lakers would be silly to let Phil Jackson be lost again in terms of not bringing him back as Head Coach. I firmly believe that Jackson is not in the organization because if the issues between Jackson & Jim Buss. Jackson recently signed with the New York Knicks to be the President of Basketball Operations. It would have been easy to have Phil back with the Lakers, especially because he is engaged to Jeanie Buss.
Its Hollywood. And the Lakers have become a Hollywood story. A bad one at that.
On top of the stuff with Bryant, point guard Steve Nash has been doing short films about how he has been trying to get back into the NBA & come back to the Lakers.
But wait……………Nash hit us with the biggest bombshell & secret in the history of the world…………..
He is coming back for the money. WOW. This is absolutely astonishing. never in history has an athlete actually play for the money. Never saw that coming.
But in all honesty, the fact that Nash admitted it in the video shows quite a bit. He is 40. The Lakers owe him $9.5 million dollars for next season. He is going through a divorce. All of the things that are factoring into he coming back & sticking around maybe a bit too long is what probably plagues many athletes in all sports.
Nash was just honest enough to admit it. And it looks terrible on the Lakers organization for signing a guy who, at the time, was 38, to such a large contract. For an organization that is trying to get in a financial position to bring in some free agents to get back to the NBA championship picture immediately, the Lakers are not making it easy on themselves.
The Los Angeles Lakers have become just a side show. Its not the team that anyone knew only 3 years ago. The team tried to put together another super team for a 1-2 year run at an NBA Championship & the whole thing just blew up in their faces. The team has to figure out their ownership issues in the sense of getting on the same back in terms of going back to what the late Jerry Buss always wanted – winning NBA Championships while having a great time.
Right now, the Los Angeles Clippers are clearly the #1 attraction in town, which many fans never thought would ever happen, especially with the history of the Clippers organization.
But the move that made the fortunes change in Los Angeles was the trade for Chris Paul by the Lakers that the NBA banned due to basically competitive balance issues.
The Clippers swooped in & made the deal, & the franchise hasn’t been the same since. The Clips have become one of the elite franchises in the league while the Lakers have been in a consistent nosedive.
The Los Angeles Lakers will still be a destination for players because of everything that Los Angeles brings for entertainment & marketing purposes, but this team has to figure out their roster & what they want to do in terms of having one of the top picks in the upcoming draft & possibly think about building around that young prospect – ala Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker & other prospects that will be coming into the league this upcoming season who are looked at as big time talents who will contribute to the franchise immediately.
While Kobe Bryant & Steve Nash will come back next year & will attempt to be the players they once were, its clear that the Lakers will need to hit a home run with this draft pick, similar to the draft night deal they made back in 1996 to get Bryant from the then-Charlotte Hornets.
Its time for a new direction, on & off the court. Its clear that Bryant is not a fan of Mike D’Antoni, but if not D’Antoni, then who else? Who is the next high-level, young coach who will be willing to take on this situation of rebranding & rebuilding the Lakers back into a serious contender?
Sounds like Los Angeles is being what they are……a true soap opera.
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