Lakers face worst season in history
January 7, 2016
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The Los Angeles Lakers are arguably the most successful franchise in the history of sports. With 16 championships, 31 conference titles and 11 Hall of Famers, the Lakers successful legacy is nearly unrivaled. However, the past is the past, and the Lakers are now in a predicament that they have never been in during their 60 years of existence.
The Lakers are now entering their 3rd season since their last playoff appearance. Kobe Bryant, the face the Lakers for the past 19 years, has had three major injuries since April 2013. The arrival of Dwight Howard in the summer of 2012 had Lakers fans thinking that a Dwight-Kobe Lakers dynasty was on the way. But after a disappointing season and a first round whooping from the San Antonia Spurs, Dwight Howard decided to ditch the purple and gold and team up with James Harden on the Houston Rockets. That was the first time that a star had left the Lakers in free agency, and only was the start of their trouble.
The last two seasons have been abysmal for the Lakers. Kobe has only played in 41 games since tearing his Achilles in 2013. The team finished with a 21-61 record during the 2014-2015 season, the worst in Lakers history. The departure of long time Laker Pau Gasol was very much noticed with no one able to take over in Kobe’s absence. Another offseason passed and the Lakers were still unable to lure anyone that would significantly change their team. The Lakers used to be the holy grail of free agency, with every player wanting to sign with them. Nowadays, players are settling for better teams rather than bigger markets. How could a franchise with such a storied history fall so far?
This season is shaping up to be another miserable one for Lakers fans. Kobe has been averaging only 15.5 points a game, largely because he is shooting a terrible 30 percent from the field and 20 percent from 3-point range. Lakers rookie D’Angelo Russell has only been averaging 10.4 points a game, disappointing since he was the second pick in the draft last summer. Offseason additions Lou Williams and Roy Hibbert are not doing enough to help the team win games. The Lakers are off to a 2-14 start and it looks like another NBA draft lottery bound season is upon them.
How can the Lakers get back to being one of the NBA’s flag ship teams? Is the issue owner Jim Buss or head coach Byron Scott? Is Kobe the problem? One thing is obvious, the Lakers need to change the direction they are going and do it fast. Los Angeles should be the Lakers’ city, not the Clippers. With Kobe recently announcing that he plans to retire at the end of the season, it gives the Lakers some much needed flexibility. The Lakers organization needs to adjust its game plan and adapt to today’s NBA if they are going to be a dominant franchise once again.