The L.A. Lakers — Where Do We Go From Here?
The Lakers are one of the landmark franchises of the NBA. It’s beyond a team now and more of a brand. Typically, as long as there was a Lakers team, there was also a name or face that could be associated with it instantly. These are seen in the form of players and coaches (the Pat Riley era with Magic and Kareem) the Kobe-Shaq era (with Phil Jackson) and even as far back as the 60’s with Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain.
Now, we seem to be at the end of an era not only for one of the most iconic players of all time, but also for the franchise he has called home for decades. Obviously that’s Kobe Bryant, who let’s be honest, only has a handful of years left until he will hang it up for good. If you look at the Lakers past, there was always been at least one figure a fan could look to and if not anyone else that would be the late great Dr. Jerry Buss. With his passing almost 2 years ago now it really does mean that Kobe is the last Laker.
Over the summer, this was only further reinforced with his former mentor Phil Jackson going to the cross country rival Knicks and the departing of second fiddle and close friend Pau Gasol to the Bulls. Right now, outside of Kobe, the Lakers are virtually unrecognizable.
It’s also not like the 16 time NBA champions haven’t tried to change this. In the summer of 2013 they famously lost Dwight Howard to the Rockets after only having him for a season, that decision was significant because it was unheard of for a superstar to leave the Lakers on their own. The following year (this past summer) Carmelo Anthony also chose not to come to Los Angles instead choosing to stay with Jackson in New York. So with failed attempts already in the bag and the Lakers currently sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference standings even with Bryant healthy, one has to ask, where do the Lakers go from here? Well the answer that no one wants to here but seems to be the best plan is down. They have already seen free agency will not provide any legitimate help so the Lakers, just like so many teams before them, will have to build from the draft. The big thing on this once is the 2012 Steve Nash trade that made the Lakers give up 3 first round picks for the now 40 year old who is out the season and never did anything noteworthy with the team. The Lakers will have to yield their draft pick this year if it isn’t in the top 5.
So now that the draft is limited and free agency is out of question it’s evident the Lakers are in the worst position of any of the NBA’s 30 teams. It really is crazy to think that this Laker rebuild could take a lot of years to show fruition. Regardless, at the end of the day they still do have Kobe on their roster and in the NBA, you never really do know. Let me know what you think. How will the Lakers rebuild this disaster and how long will it take? E mail me @ AlbertLuna2015@yahoo.com and let me know your thoughts on this suggestion. Some might end up in the next Laker-related article.