The LA Lakers are among the most outstanding teams in the basketball league history. They have participated in numerous titles, most of which they have won. Further, the team has appeared in countless playoffs and has many halls of Famers as well as retired members. Even with this success, the team has had some failures, as we shall see below.

1. When Blake Griffin Weakened Pau Gasol

During the late-season contest for Los Angeles in 2012, Blake Griffin, then playing for the Los Angeles Clippers (Lob City), defeated Gasol Twice. Those were two of the most remarkable dunks in that year on one person in a single game. For Pau Gasol, the experience left a lasting reminder that playing support defense can be risky. 

2.  Kareem Abdul Gets Smashed During the Game 5 Finals

During the 1984 NBA game five finals in Boston Garden, the venue was a whopping 97 degrees. Lack of air conditioning worsened the situation, and Kareem Abdul, then 37 years old, could not tolerate it. He would later be placed on oxygen to continue playing. The game ended in a 103-121 score, with the Lakers losing to Boston. 

3.  NBA Game 4 Finals in 2008

According to the Lakers fans, this moment was not a failure but an embarrassment. The Lakers took an early lead during the opening quarter and maintained their lead up to the third quarter. However, the Celtics were determined to win this game, and win they did.

4.  When Sir Charles Dropped Shaq

Today, Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley share a mutual relationship. However, during the regular Basketball season of 1999, the two were involved in a face-up with Shaq’s defeat. During the game, Barkley sprung the ball on Shaq’s head numerous times.

The Lakers player was frustrated from the experience, and finally heaved a punch, but Barkley ducked Shaq’s attempt. He (Charles) ducked Shaq’s legs, driving him into the Center floor of the Compaq. 

5.  Dennis Rodman’s Fault

Not many Lakers fans recall Rodman. During the 1998-1999 seasons, the Lakers incorporated Rodman into the team. While he went for 16-7 in the games he participated in, he was late for practice and performed dismally on the court. Twenty-three games later, the Lakers were had enough of the losses and ended up releasing Rodman. 

6.  The Collapse of the LA Lakers During the 2005-2006 Playoffs

Three of the best Lakers players had led the team into conquering the seven seed. They would later be matched against Phoenix Suns, who were involved in a run and gun against their opponents.

The Lakers pulled three victories, with the last one being Bryant’s exemplary buzzer-beater. However, nothing would have prepared the Lakers for what was coming. The game ended with the Phoenix Suns leading and the Lakers humiliated. 

7.  Magic Johnson’s Stint at Coaching

Great players hardly make great coaches. Magic Johnson is one of the most outstanding point guards in the history of the NBA. However, he performed dismally during his stint at coaching. During his tenure, Magic replaced Randy Pfund, who had propelled the Lakers to a 66-80 record during his regime. It was not going to be an easy ride for Magic as he went five-eleven, after which he quit and decided to become part of the team’s ownership. 

8.  The Punch

During an ordinary season game that the Lakers played against the Rockets, Kareem Abdul and Kevin Kunnert engaged in a tussle. After the disagreement, Kermit Washington, then Laker forward, intervened, and the referee separated the two near midcourt. As Washington withdrew, he noticed that Rudy Tomjanovich, a Rockets guard, was approaching him.

Washington evaded Rudy and released a massive punch that left Rudy’s face ruptured and almost killed him. According to Kareem Abdul: the punch’s sound was “like a melon that had been dropped on the floor.” On the other hand, Rudy said he believed the scorecard had been dropped at him.

Washington was later suspended for a record sixty days. On the other hand, Rudy missed the remaining part of the season and did not return to form. Washington was interchanged from one team to the other, which saw him sink into depression. When Brian Shaw was Humiliated

After Phil Jackson’s retirement, everyone was convinced that Brian Shaw was the best person to replace him. But the Lakers had a different opinion. Brian Shaw had an impressive experience of six years after working under Phil Jackson as the assistant coach. However, the Lakers chose Mike Brown, who had previously coached Cavs.

Brown propelled the Lakers to a win in 2011-2012, but OKC Thunder would later defeat them during the conference semis. During the subsequent season, Mike Brown had a one to four record before Mike D’Antoni replaced him. 

9.  When the Laker’s Lost to the Pistons During the Finals 

In 2004, in what has gone down as one of the most significant NBS finals knock overs in the history of NBA championships, the Pistons beat the Lakers by 4-1. The average margin in the victory was 10 points greater.

The loss triggered a series of offseason group decisions that ended up with the firing of Phil Jackson and trading of Shaq. The series was painful for the Lakers players Gary Payton and Karl Malone. In the decline of their careers, the two signed up with juggernaut to seize a ring before taking their final bow. Payton would later win the 2006 Heat championship.   

10.  The 2004 Signing of Vlade Divac

Vlade Divac was once a young Serbian man who was compared to Byron Scott, James Worthy, and Magic Johnson. He became a favorite of the Lakers fans after replacing Kareem Abdul at the center. After seven years, Divac was traded to Charlotte Hornets as a draft rights player to Kobe Bryant.

After being in North Carolina for two years, Divac signed up with Sacramento Kings, an act that plunged him into the Lakers primary rivalry during the 1999 summer. To recover from the 2003-2004 turmoil, the Lakers signed Divac even though he was aging and had declined the offer. After signing a more than $10 million two-year deal, Divac would only play 15 games before taking a bow. This act triggered untold hatred between him and the Lakers team.


While the Lakers have been one of the most successful teams of all time, they have had their fair share of failures. However, they have used these failures as a stepping stone to their next win.