Basically any time Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart — or honestly any player the Lakers drafted after their few seasons of tanking — plays well, a referendum takes place on whether this iteration of the roster was worth the departure of an otherwise fun young core.
The thing is, though: The point of this whole thing is to win championships. Anthony Davis and LeBron James helped the Lakers do just that. So from that standpoint, there really isn’t any debating whether this season was enough of a bummer to forego the Lakers’ 17th championship ring.
Even with that said, however, (yeah, I know, I get exhausted with myself too), it’s absolutely natural to wonder what might’ve been. “What If?” was the entire premise of a hugely entertaining Marvel TV show, after all, and it’s one of life’s unanswerable yet perpetually levied questions.
This week in the “Lakers Lounge,” Harrison Faigen and I held the definitive Anthony Davis trade conversation and promptly followed that up with a big old “but.”
We started with the tweet that inspired this whole topic for me, as sent by Harrison and quote-tweeted by hundreds. The seemingly overcompensatory response to that tweet was honestly more telling about where fans’ brains are at now because of how depressing this season was.
And frankly, if either last or this season weren’t outright disasters, we likely aren’t even having this conversation, and a good chunk of why the Lakers fell short of expectations does have something to do with things beyond their control. Though, as we touch on in the show, there was plenty in their control that they found spectacular ways to screw up, too.
So in this two-part show, we did our best to answer the central question, figured out what the Lakers might have been capable of with LeBron James and the young core, explained where the desire to have this conversation comes from with fans, and plenty more.
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.