Following the latest reminder that season turning points without fundamental changes are mostly creations of our own imaginations, Sabreena Merchant and I recorded another episode of “I Loathe Basketball.”
We spent the first half or so of the episode looking back on Frank Vogel’s Lakers tenure, given that the news cycle would’ve let anyone capable of reading to believe another loss like last night would end it. However, because this organization makes no sense anymore, we then had to adjust to reports that somehow his job was safe.
I mean, no one actually believes it’s safe, but whatever.
This led us to the central theme of the episode: The chaos that always follows organizational ineptitude.
Basically, with the Lakers (and specifically Jeanie Buss) valuing familiarity over adequacy, this was probably always the likely outcome. It’s pretty clear at this point that the championship season was the far and away outlier, and spending time trying to convince ourselves that wasn’t the case was always the desperate yet altogether reasonable act of a team’s passionate fan base.
Of course, people would overlook rampant nepotism and cronyism if it meant that maybe, just maybe, despite those crippling organizational character flaws, the Lakers could succeed nonetheless. That’s what fans do.
All that said, it’s pretty clear at this point that no, Buss’ reliance on close confidantes Linda and Kurt Rambis — and even to an extent Rob Pelinka — rather than hiring the actual best candidates for positions does place a ceiling on what the franchise is capable of, even with elite talents like LeBron James and Austin Reaves doing whatever they can to make it work.
Sabreena and I discussed that, how we’ll remember the Vogel tenure (because, again, he’s a dead man walking), the Lakers’ limited options whenever they do fire Vogel, and more. I also offered up maybe my hottest take of the season, so there’s also that.
You can listen to the full episode below, and to make sure you never miss a show, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.