We’re down to the last 17 games of what has been a disappointing season for the Los Angeles Lakers, and the end can’t come soon enough. They’re currently five games below .500, 6.5 games back of the eighth seed in the Western Conference and, generally speaking, just pretty banged up.
Basically, if there was a “simulate to the end of the season” button, Lakers fans would be pushing it more than they’re pushing the “sim lottery” button on Tankathon with the hope of beating the odds and landing the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
But fast-forwarding to the end isn’t an option, unfortunately, and Lakers head coach Luke Walton says he at least wants the Lakers to use the remaining games on their schedule to grow as a team (via ESPN Los Angeles):
“I want to see us continue to grind out and start winning games again. Look, when things are going easy it’s fun for everybody, you’re winning games, but where you really show what you’re made of and where you really get growth is when times are tough.
“Times are really tough right now. So I want to see our group fight out of this. I want to see our group continue to work hard, continue to compete and start winning some games.”
With all due respect to Walton, that is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life, and I’ve read some of the comments on this site.
Win games? Do you know when a good time to win games would have been? A few weeks ago when the Lakers were still in the playoff race.
Ideally, the priority for the rest of the season should be losing as many games as possible. As it stands, the Lakers are just one game back from entering the top-10 in the NBA Draft Lottery. I know Luke still has his tank cap somewhere in his house, now would be the perfect time to dust it off.
“But what about establishing a winning culture?” a voice in the distance asks. To that I say, who cares?
The Lakers have been trying to establish a winning culture for the past several seasons and they haven’t sniffed the playoffs since 2013. Plus, who on the current team is going to be around to build on that so-called winning culture?
Walton is expected to be fired off into the moon as soon as the final buzzer sounds on April 9, and the players under contract beyond this season will likely just be dangled in a trade for a superstar player — except for LeBron James, who just wants to win championships and also make movies with the Looney Tunes.
Winning games is cool, but do you know what’s even cooler? Brandon Clarke in a Lakers uniform.
Embrace the tank. Love the tank. Be the tank.