As an avid Laker Fan, I must admit that I am spoiled. Just to paint a picture, we are a proud fan base. We are what we like to call "Laker Nation". We are accustomed to 50+ wins a season. We are accustomed to winning championships. All one would have to do is look at the last decade to see that we mean business. We won 5 titles in the previous decade. When you look at that stretch, it’s incredible. So, what the HELL happened?
We have Mike D’Antoni. Speaking for myself personally, I don’t care much for the guy. The high pace offense means nothing in the NBA if you do not play with some good ole fashion defense, which they are currently ranked close to dead last in. What the Lakers need is a foundation of defense to build their offense off of. Last time I checked, fast break points are typically accumulated off of good defense…but I could be wrong D’Antoni.
Point guard. Ummmm has anyone seen one lately? I sure haven’t, because I don’t think we have one. Not saying that Kobe isn’t a good facilitator, because his 13 assist the other night proved that he can pass. But that’s not where we want Kobe. We want him taking 15 shots a night, scoring 25+ and playing some of that veteran defense. Can we find a back court from trade options? It’s very possible. Which brings me to my next point.
I agree completely with D’Antoni when he called out Gasol. I have said for years that we got the "softer" brother out of the family. What I wouldn’t give to see Marc in the purple and gold. That’s the type of big man you need. Don’t get me wrong, when Pau Gasol is on, he is ON. He has one of the softest shots that I have ever seen in a big man. He can clean up the glass when he feels like it, and he is actually a good passer if you can believe it. But that means nothing when you don’t step out onto the court with your killer instinct intact. You have to be hungry out there Pau. But let’s face it, D’Antoni’s offense does not have room for a big man. He just doesn’t believe in it. He loves the back court. He lives on his "7 seconds or less" offense. Keep in mind that if you utilize a big man, you typically set up pick and rolls, or play inside out, which takes much longer than 7 second. So there is no place for Pau in this system. Does that make me sad? Absolutely. Don’t forget it was Pau coming to LA that sparked the 2 back to back titles a few years ago. Wow…it seems so long ago.
How far have we fell Laker Nation. We went from winning Rings to fighting for a .500 record. We went from 50 win seasons to 8th seed playoff IF we are lucky. I suggest this one simple idea to the "great" Jim Buss. Step back buddy. Let Mitch Kupchak do what he does best. He’s INCREDIBLY gifted in trading. Let him fish out poor Gasol and see if we can’t get some good pieces. Let’s salvage a playoff berth, get ousted, and move into the off season. Dump off Steve Nash. He’s about as used up as Shaq was when he went to Boston. Clear out a little salary cap and get ready for the 2015 off season. Yeah that’s right folks, don’t watch 2014-2015 season. It won’t be pretty. Will we return to championship form? Yes. We talkin bout Tinseltown baby. We own LA. Never mind those rejects we rent out the building when we are out of town. We attract greatness. We don’t have 16 Banners for nothing. Just don’t expect much for the next few years. We aren’t set up for success. But we will be. Just be patient and remember, we are Laker Nation.