Going into Friday night’s game, the Los Angeles Lakers are 14-25, fifth in the Pacific Division, second to last in the Western Conference, currently on a six game losing streak, and have one of the worst record in the whole league.
Are the Lakers tanking? Or are they just truly this bad?
Let’s just say besides Pau Gasol, not one player on the Lakers could be a starer on any NBA team. Granted the Lakers are missing about one third of their starters to injuries, but would it even matter? Even if Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake etc. were healthy, could they compete for a championship?
As a vehement Laker fan I think I speak for all of us when I say it’s championship or bust in L.A.: Just sneaking into the playoffs is never enough.
The Lakers need to glare at that crystal ball of theirs and see into the future. The 2014 NBA Draft will be deeper than it has been in a long time. The Lakers also have a little bit of dough to spend as well. The eighth seed in the West is currently the Dallas Mavericks (23-17) and, realistically, there is no way the Lakers can catch them.
However, there have been meager bright spots on this team this season: Nick Young, Xavier Henry, Jodie Meeks and Kendall Marshall. Each player is having a career year. Each player wanted an opportunity and they are making the most of it.
The bottom line is this: The Lakers and their fans can chalk this season up. It’s over and there is no way these dilapidated Lakers can turn it around.
If the Lakers want to return to prominence, here’s what they need to do: Axe Mike D’Antoni – there is a reason why he’s never won an NBA championship seeing as the word defense is clearly foreign to him.
Release or trade Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and all the other rentals. You keep Nick Young, Jodie Meeks, Xavier Henry, and Kendall Marshall – their youthful exuberance would be great off the bench.
Then, the Lakers need to draft a young prospect – if possible Jabari Parker – and use the upcoming cap space to sign free agents.
Last but not least, the Lakers need to get Kobe back healthy and motivated to win number six.
This season is going nowhere but the draft lottery, and that definitely isn’t a bad thing for the purple and gold.
The Lakers don’t rebuild, they reload, and they should spend the coming months doing just that.
This is an article by Quayshawn Hallenbeck. You can follow him on Twitter: @burghbest