Kobe Bryant drug the highly disappointing “Now This Is Going To Be Fun” Los Angeles Lakers to the playoffs in the 2012-2013 season. His efforts that season earned him First-Team All-NBA honors. That was the last time a Laker made any of the three teams, making this the longest stretch in the history of the Lakers between being represented on an All-NBA team.
The previous record was the four years between Magic Johnson’s first-team honors and James Worthy’s presence on the third team in 1991 to Shaquille O’Neal making the second team in 1995.
So there’s that.
To call this five-year stretch the lowest such period in Lakers history isn’t hyperbole. This latest auspicious record is just the latest low mark since Kobe’s achilles tore and Dwight Howard departed for the Houston Rockets.
Still, these five years have resulted in a solid young core with a few guys seemingly quite capable of earning votes on one of the three All-NBA teams at some point in their careers.
Of all the players the Lakers have drafted in the first round as a result of this down stretch, only Josh Hart and Julius Randle have failed to make either first- or second-team All-Rookie, and Randle’s absence has more to do with only playing 14 minutes his rookie season. And that doesn’t even count Jordan Clarkson, who was taken in the second round and made First-Team All-Rookie.
This isn’t to say there’s a direct correlation with making an All-Rookie team and eventually making an All-NBA, but it does indicate that there’s talent to be worked with.
Fans can also look toward this summer to find a likely candidate to break the streak. Any superstar who signs in L.A. will garner plenty of attention to highlight their positive contributions, especially if the team somehow makes the postseason next year.
As it stands now, Paul George made the third team despite being on a mostly disappointing Oklahoma City Thunder roster.
And if by some miracle LeBron James takes his talents to Venice Beach, he’s basically a shoe-in for one of the three teams, having just surpassed Kobe and Karl Malone’s previous record of 11 straight seasons being voted to the first team.
These last five years have certainly crawled by, but here’s hoping those times are behind us and records like this one become a thing of the past.