Another night, another big, fat L for the Los Angeles Lakers.
They are so bad.
LeBron had a great game, 30 points on 12-22 shooting before leaving late with a groin strain. No word on how long that will keep him out for, on top of his foot injury.
Age 37, turning 38 in a month and a half, and he’s still doing this. And his team is getting killed. You notice how this season and last his assist numbers are down? Yeah, it’s because his teammates can’t hit shots. It’s not like LeBron has suddenly turned into a ballhog. He still passes like he always has, it’s just his teammates can’t hit a shot to save their lives.
The Clippers are out-hustling the Lakers in the final minutes of the game, even with victory assured for them. The Lakers are just so ridiculously horrible.
Anthony Davis plays well sometimes, and then just disappears. It looks like the haters were right: he’s past his prime. I’m not going to say he’s washed, but we’ll never see the 2020 version of AD again.
People are talking about trading him, but what are you going to get for him? Nothing close to an equal return.
It’s not even about Westbrook at this point. He had a bad game with some good moments here and there, but honestly, he’s not the problem. The problem is the team just has zero shooting.
The Clippers packed the paint pretty much on every possession. They know the Lakers can’t shoot, so why not just wall off the painted area?
It’s just so hard for the Lakers to score. Every bucket is a grind, a herculean task. LeBron made one of the greatest passes in NBA history to Austin Reaves, and Reaves had to make an incredible play just to get the bucket out of it. It is just so damn hard for them to score points.
The Lakers get close, and the Clippers would just go on a 13-2 run in the blink of an eye. Run the fast break with numbers off a missed shot because the Lakers aren’t hustling back on defense, a couple passes, and boom: a guy is open for three. And they hit it, of course.
The Lakers are the only team that gets ZERO gimme buckets, easy buckets. They have to work their asses off for every single point that they get. Also, they get no calls from the refs at all. (I think the refs don’t want LeBron to get the scoring record.)
It’s just pathetic. The Lakers are not an NBA roster. It’s nobody on the team’s fault. It’s not Darvin Ham’s fault.
It’s Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss’ fault for putting this roster together.
They are either the most incompetent front office in the league or deliberately tanking.
Tanking wouldn’t make any sense, though, because they don’t even have their own draft pick next year. The Pelicans do. So they’re giving the Pelicans a great chance at Victor Wembanyama.
They will not make a trade to redo this roster. They won’t. Anyone who thinks they will is being delusional. They had all summer to make a move but they didn’t. They are too attached to their precious 2027 and 2029 first round picks. They would rather draft some player who is currently in 7th grade (and who they will fail miserably to develop ultimately) than try to win another Championship with LeBron.
They figure they will just ride this season out, let Russ’ contract expire, and then have some cap space in the summer of 2023. It’s why all the contracts on this team are basically one year deals. They want no obligations other than LeBron and AD going into next summer’s free agency. For whatever reason, they are comfortable just wasting year 20 of LeBron’s career. Maybe they are conspiring to make sure LeBron doesn’t win a 5th ring, putting him equal with Kobe. Honestly, I’m only half-kidding there. I mean, hell, they blew up a Championship roster after the 2021 season because they were afraid of Brooklyn’s Big Three, which itself lasted all of like 9 months.
They’re not going to make a move. This is the Lakers roster for the entire season. The team is 2-9, so they can say, “Why would we give up our picks to improve a team that has no chance either way?”
You’re already seeing them move in this direction:
Do you see the obvious problem with this?
The Lakers are struggling because they haven’t made a trade. But they won’t make a trade because the team is struggling.
This is like some, “You need experience to get a job but you can’t get any experience without first getting a job” catch-22 shit.
They built this terrible roster, but promised that they’d make trades mid-season if it didn’t work out.
But they knew it wasn’t going to work out. And they were never planning to make any trades. The idea that they would make trades is only being floated out there to keep fans hanging on to hope.
Myles Turner and Buddy Hield will never be traded to the Lakers, so forget all about that.
Rob and Jeanie’s plan is to have cap space in 2023 so they can add yet another overpriced superstar player, and then have yet another roster where spots 4-15 are filled with veteran minimum guys who can’t shoot.
Because shooters are a precious and valuable commodity in today’s NBA. News flash: you can’t just pick them up by the half-dozen on veteran minimum contracts anymore. Shooters command big money nowadays.
And the reason the Lakers have NONE is because they have no money to spend on them.
I’m just speculating here, but I really think this is the plan: they sign some big-name free agent in the offseason and build the exact type of roster they had around LeBron, AD and Russ. It will be the same team, just with some other star instead of Russ. Because the Lakers still think this is a winning basketball formula in 2022. They think you just build a Big Three and everything falls into place around it. It just magically works, somehow.
I’m telling you, this is their goal. Their grand plan. That’s their endgame here.
And then they’ll wonder why they’re again the worst shooting team in the league.
I get the idea of swallowing the poison pill and just writing this season off to compete next year, when Russ’ contract is off the books and they have cap space. But this is year 20 for LeBron. They’re utter morons for wasting it.
Again, I don’t think Westbrook is the problem here. His contract is, though. It’s what prevented them from signing any shooters in the offseason this year and last.
The only logical thing to do would be to trade him for pieces that fit with what this team needs, but they won’t do that.
Now you’re seeing why the Lakers were a bottom-five franchise in the league pre-LeBron. This is who the Lakers are: the most poorly-run franchise in the NBA. The most incompetent front office in the NBA.
And it won’t change until Jeanie Buss sells the team. Which might not be for a very long time.
The Lakers are permanently screwed as long as Jeanie Buss is the owner of this team.
Why would LeBron sign a contract extension with them? I don’t know. Probably because he’s about to be 38, he doesn’t want to move his family again, and he doesn’t want to go to another team. He doesn’t want to join a fourth team in his NBA career. He probably wants to put down roots somewhere and settle down.
Unfortunately for him, this is a very different Lakers franchise from the one that was the gold standard of the NBA for over 30 years, from the time Jerry Buss bought the team in 1979 until shortly before his death in 2013.
This is now the worst-run franchise in professional sports. You watch LeBron out there getting triple and quadruple-teamed anytime he gets the ball, because the other team doesn’t respect any of the other Lakers on the floor, and all you can think about is that this is Jeanie and Rob’s fault.
It’s certainly on some of the players for not shooting better, but getting mad at a player who isn’t a good shooter because he can’t hit shots is like getting mad at the rain for getting you all wet. The Lakers assembled a roster of no shooters. And thus they are the worst offense in the league.
You know AD is going to get hurt soon because he has to play the 5. The Lakers, in addition to having no shooting, also have no size. AD and LeBron are the biggest guys on the team.
This is all on Jeanie and Rob. This team is too depressing to even watch. I will tune in when LeBron is about to break the scoring record, but otherwise, I can’t deal with this Lakers team. It’s too soul-crushing. I feel so bad for the players and for Darvin Ham that they were put in this impossible situation by tweedle-dee and tweedle-dumb.
Jeanie Buss is really about to ruin the end of LeBron’s career the way she ruined the end of Kobe’s career, huh?
The only hope out there for the Lakers is that the ruthless savages of Lakers Twitter can cyberbully Jeanie into selling the team.