Good Morning Laker Nation.
Its Saturday, July 6th, 2013. Wake up, but don't waste time smelling your coffee. Get all hands on deck, sound the alarms. We are officially one of the worst teams in the NBA.
All of our first rounds picks are gone, pissed away with a condescending smile. "Draft picks? The Lakers build through free agency because we are the ultimate destination for stars leaving smaller markets." This paradigm is now on a shaky foundation because Houston just stole our catch. Purposefully tanking is not even an option because it would only benefit some other team that has our next 1st round pick.
Our emerging role player walked away. We gave Earl Clark a chance, he took that chance, and made every Laker Fan into a Clark fan without saying a word. George Karl tried to make a fool out of our bench, Earl Clark stepped up, made two free throws, and never looked back. Just like Trevor Ariza and other emerging role players who made a home in LA, Clark took the money and ran into the mediocre oblivion that is the Cleveland bench. In Trevor's case, we gave his money to MWP after he tried to make a powerplay for more. It was a pretty decent fiscal decision, as the Lakers got 'more' for the same or less. Here, Earl indicated that he wanted to stay a Laker, but we needed to save money for Dwight, I guess. I realize we are over the cap, but I am pretty sure we retained Earl's Bird Rights. In what universe do the Lakers get a better combo forward for that price? His future is speculative, but he gave no tangible reason for us to think he couldn't continue to improve.
When I was in law school, there was an extremely talented student who would finish his exam faster than you and catch your eye as he walked out of the room early. He would throw up 'deuces' and give a smiling head nod as he opened the door with his far shoulder. He was smiling because he knew he did better than you, he finished early, and was going to go eat lunch while you were still scrambling to get scratch on the page. It was almost like he was your friend... but really.. he wasn't... he wanted you to fail. This is exactly what Dwight did to LAL. He grinned, he threw up deuces, and he walked out the door.
Now, we sit together as Lakers Fans in a position that the Lakers as a franchise have not been in since I was a child in the early 90s. I assert to you again, Lakers Faithful, that we are one of the worst teams in the NBA.
Our starting line up until our Leader comes back is a rag-tag bunch of Red Giants and bench players:
Pg-- Steve Nash
Sg-- Jodie Meeks
PF-- Jordan Hill
C-- Pau Gasol
At the moment, our bench is the worst that it has ever been:
Pg- Steve Blake
Sg-- No One
SF-- No One
PF-- No one
C- Robert Sacre
Not returning until December (in one form or another):
SG-- Kobe Bryant
Obviously, we are going to have to sign some players. Players the Lakers looked at were: Chris Copeland, Byron Mullens, Nick Young, Anthony Morrow, among others that I am forgetting currently. Wait I remember... SASHA AND JORDAN? Why don't we go slap the french fries out of his mouth and peel Slava Medvedenko off the couch, pluck Travis Knight from behind the CVS photo development desk in rural Iowa, maybe get Anthony Peeler a Rascal scooter, and dig up Sean Rooks' corpse to fill out the rest of our bench?
To be honest, the Lakers would need to sign all of the above (and living) players. Obviously, they cannot. The collective salaries of Kobe, Pau, and Nash leave us with nothing but vet min, min contracts, and the MLE. Copeland who was an interesting choice, but no better than Earl Clark in my opinion has already signed. Anthony Morrow is going to turn the ball over or allow a basket for every three he makes. Byron Mullens lit Dwight Howard up on outside jumpers at the beginning of last season only because Dwight doesn't close out on jump shooting bigs. That leaves us with Nick Young: an LA native who scores as many points as he can against the Lakers, presumably because he is playing in front of his home crowd.
There are only a few things I know in this world:
1. When the Lakers sign shooters, they forget how to shoot
2. When the Lakers sign Laker killers, they stop killing.
For example: MWP, Steve Blake, I feel like there have been more, but I cant think of any.
In my books, whichever category you choose, Nick Young, if signed, will probably fall into one of these. I still say, sign him anyway though because he is fun to watch, unlike anyone left on our roster.
In sum, I assert that our Los Angeles Lakers are going to be one of the worst teams in the league, and certainly the worst team in the Pacific Division. Off the top of my head, the only teams with a situation as bad as ours are the Magic, Jazz, Kings, and the Celtics.
The Silver Lining:
First, Boston is likely to be just as bad. The Celtics are really the only team worth comparing the Lakers to because of our collective legacies.
Second, Mikey D did work magic with an over-achieving Phoenix team. So maybe, just maybe...
As a disclaimer: I am sorry for the venting above. I am studying for the bar exam and currently have a pessimistic outlook on just about everything. Also, I didnt have the time or energy to the proper research or provide statistical analysis that so many of our other SSR posters do. After yesterday unfolded, I lost it; I signed up for SB Nation after being a mere reader for years and decided to let it out. Flame me, Praise me, Whatever. Just had to say it.