Three years have passed since the Los Angeles Lakers last won an NBA championship. With their first-round playoff exit a few months back and Dwight Howard bolting for Houston this summer, many are counting the Lakers out. However, David Stern isn’t ready to hammer the nail into the Lakers’ coffin. He’s seen this situation too many times in the past, and he knows better than to doubt the Lakers’ organization.
Stern expects that the Lakers are already thinking about being a better basketball team this coming season, as opposed to their train wreck of a year in 2012-13, according to Mark Medina:[pullquote]“I expect that the Lakers aren’t thinking about the premise of your question, which implies on that they’re not going to do better next year than they did the last year,” Stern said during a meeting with reporters Thursday at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. “I don’t want to speculate beyond that, but I can tell you that’s not the basis upon which the Lakers are functioning. They expect to have a much better year.”[/pullquote]
Stern’s right: while many people were calling for the Lakers to tank this year in order to have a shot at Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker, the Lakers were never going to go that route. Every year the Lakers are looking to compete – they’ve only missed the playoffs a total of five times in their close to 70-year history – and the next season will be no different.
And of course, after the 2013-14 season, they have the likes of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in their sights.
As Kobe Bryant always says: the Lakers don’t rebuild, they reload.