The Los Angeles Lakers have gone from the shining pearl of the NBA after decades of dominance, to the bottom of the barrel, in stunning fashion.
The Lakers, fresh off of a franchise-worst season, have somehow fallen even further into chaos. There are many signs that point to serious dysfunction within the organization, but the latest detail that’s emerged puts the nail in the coffin.
FRONT OFFICE DISASTER
Not even Magic Johnson’s beaming smile can hide the dysfunction behind closed doors with the Lakers. The removal of Jim Buss was a stunning move, and what was supposed to be the first step toward a brighter path has become proof of just how disastrous things are.
Jim Buss, just weeks removed from losing his control in basketball-related matters after being relieved of his duties by his sister Jeanie Buss, has already attempted to take the Lakers back from under her.
Jim and Johnny Buss attempted to enact a coup by calling an emergency meeting that would have possibly taken control back from Jeanie, according to the Los Angeles Times. Jeanie’s lawyers put out the fire, however, and the first crack at what appears to be revenge from her brother Jim was avoided.
The problem is simple here. The front office and upper-management is responsible for creating the perception and culture within the team. That two siblings are clearly engaged in a power struggle, even with a new president in place, shows just how ugly the situation.
If that doesn’t scream dysfunction at the very top, then nothing will.
NO STANDOUT STAR
The only upside for the Lakers over the past few seasons has been that they’ve been so bad they’ve collected high lottery draft selections for three straight years. There’s a big giant red flag in that equation, however.
Despite getting their pick of top prospects in the past three drafts they still don’t have a single standout star. D’Angelo Russell looks great, but only in small doses. Julius Randle is consistent, but isn’t jaw-dropping. Brandon Ingram is 19 and is barely stretching his NBA legs.
None of the top players they are investing in looks like a definitive star NBA talent yet, and until one of them definitively breaks out, that’s a huge question mark looming over the franchise’s head.
It seems unlikely that the Lakers will miss on all three of their lottery picks, but the seemingly endless well of luck has seemed to have run dry recently. This leads to the final point…
THE LAKER LUCK IS GONE
The Lakers have been incredibly lucky over their dominant years in the NBA.
From landing the No. 1 pick that was used to draft Magic Johnson, to drafting some high school kid named Kobe Bryant thanks to Charlotte signing off on a regretful trade, to acquiring Pau Gasol from the Grizzlies for next to nothing, the Lakers have always cashed in.
Those moments seem to be dwindling the further they drift into a new era of basketball, though.
They traded for Chris Paul, only to have it vetoed by the league. They traded for Steve Nash, and he barely played in 65 games over two seasons before being forced to retire..
The acquisition of Dwight Howard was a massive disaster. Kobe Bryant suffered a career-altering Achilles injury and was never the same.
All of these little things that used to always go the Lakers way have stopped doing that, and instead the franchise looks incapable of finding a way out of the hole they’ve dug themselves into.