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NBA : Why Bad Personnel Decisions Are Hurting The Lakers

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(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America)
(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America)

It stood to reason that the Los Angeles Lakers would struggle to find themselves, after all the personalities of the players being added to their roster were very, very different.

The Los Angeles Lakers have never done much rebuilding, they just basically reload their teams almost every year.

Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, Worthy, Shaq, Kobe etc…Every season it seems, they just continue to plug-in star players into their lineup.

There’s different mentality in Los Angeles, unlike other franchises, Lakers Nation views an early playoff exit as a season of failure. Kobe Bryant talks about winning a title as if he has never won one in his career before, and the Lakers have the original celebrity sitting at court side, Jack Nicholson.

But the wheels really came off the wagon last season. They plugged in star players, like they always do, but it was an absolute disaster. Lakers Nation didn’t know which one was more embarrassing not to make the playoffs or to make the playoffs and possibly see their team get sandblasted out of them.

Personally, I just could not imagine the Lakers not being in the playoffs, it would’ve been like celebrating Christmas without the Big Guy.

On hindsight, as it turned out…making the playoffs and getting sandblasted out, was way more embarrassing.

Their exit from the playoffs last season could’ve not been worse!

Blow out, at home in front of their fans, while on National Television, no less!

It was such an ugly blowout that Kobe Bryant had to make his way to the bench on crutches to mercifully give something for the home fans to cheer about.

Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace turned out to be the featured dysfunctional cast of a Reality Show!

There was -and still is- a lot blame to go around:

Dwight Howard ~ No offense to the Orlando Magic Fans, but it took the Laker Nation Fans less than forty games to figure out this guy was a childish egomaniac and signing him was a huge mistake. Howard’s circus act crash and burned in Los Angeles very quickly.

Reality Check? It was not a good sign, when a grown man had to be kept reminded by others to act like an adult.

Trading Andrew Bynum was necessary, the Los Angeles Lakers treated him with kids’ gloves for years while he recovered from multiple knee procedures and Bynum re-payed their loyalty by launching ill-advised three pointers and disrespecting coaches in public.

Steve Nash ~ Nash has been a defensive liability from the beginning. Last season Kobe Bryant had to pull double duty, score and defend the other team’s point guard because Nash could not guard a door knob, which is my personal opinion that has lead to Kobe’s injuries in the first place.

Steve Nash has not play much the last two seasons and his contribution has been insignificant.

Reality Check? The signing of Steve Nash was nothing more than a “smoke screen”.

Pau Gasol ~ The Los Angeles Lakers should had traded him long ago, while he still had value. Now the Lakers will not be able to get a contributing player for him.

Reality Check? Lakers Nation wants him gone.

Mike D’Antoni ~ The biggest scam in Sports is the Vote of Confidence.

The Lakers fired Mike Brown and want to fire Mike D’Antoni, but they are basically stuck with him. It really doesn’t matter who coaches this team, they have disaster written all over.

Reality Check? When Carmelo Anthony ran Mike D’Antoni out New York with his tail between his legs, it should had raised Red Flags.

Kobe Bryant ~ In a tradition rich franchise like the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe’s ring of honor status is edged in stone. The Lakers traded for him after he was drafted straight out of High School by the Charlotte Hornets, and he has been spectacular from day one.

Reality Check? The Michael Jordan Legacy.

Kobe Bryant could never carry a bunch of mediocre players to a NBA title like Michael Jordan did. That’s why Michael Jordan is still the best, ever!, and the King. But Kobe Bryant is one hell of a Knight!

Metta World Peace ~ The guy is a sociopath!

Reality Check? Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn were tough guys too, but they never climbed into the stands to get into a fight with fans half their size because they got their feelings hurt by their heckling.

Jim Buss ~ Phil Jackson and Magic Johnson are absolutely right Jim Buss doesn’t know what he’s doing. Buss has single handily turned the Los Angeles Lakers into a punch line making bad after bad personnel decisions.

Reality Check? Jerry Buss is not a good delegator, like his father was, all of his personnel decisions have made national news for all the wrong reasons!

Reality Check? NBA pedigree is earned, not given.

Even though it might seem really obvious now, these were The Tell Signs Lakers were heading for Trouble!

  • Phil Jackson stepping down. There was an immediate Bulls’ Eye on the Mike Brown hire, not only was he following The Legend, but he was an outsider too.
  • Pau Gasol. Trading him should’ve been Plan B immediately after The CP3 Veto, finding out if Pau Gasol’s ego was still bruised or if his playing career was going to continue its’ decline was not a good choice. Now when they do finally trade him, no team in the NBA is going to give the Lakers an impact player in return.
  • The Chris Paul Trade is Veto by David Stern. This one killed Mike Brown chances at succeeding as Laker’s Head Coach. He built an offensive scheme with thoughts of CP3 running it and he had to settle for an over the hill Steve Nash instead, whom very quickly got injured.
  • The Lakers trading Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard just turned out to be nothing more than a wash.

More on the Chris Paul Veto:

  • The Lakers did have Chris Paul clear in their sights, and the road back to their Show Time Glory Days seemed imminent, but David Stern held a press conference and stunt Lakers Nation, however it was common knowledge throughout NBA circles that all of the owners had bowed revenge against the Lakers after they pretty much got Pau Gasol for free years earlier from Memphis.
  • While Lakers Nation was celebrating another title, retaliation was just waiting around the corner for them. After the Chris Paul Veto, the next move should’ve been to get maximum value, and trade Pau Gasol. Not trading for Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, but management panic. The result is the mess we’re seeing now.

Now notable Laker Alumnus, like Magic Johnson are angry and criticizing the organization, but you’ve to understand something first!

Magic Johnson is not just some Bobble Head announcer making comments inside a Television Studio.

Magic Johnson’s one of the NBA’s greatest player ever and do not let the big smile fool you either. Magic smiled and looked at the HIV Virus right on the face too…and the HIV Virus blinked!

Magic Johnson  just hates the way his beloved Los Angeles Lakers have been run into the ground, specially what has happen at the Head Coaching position.

Mike Brown’s only claim to fame was that he once coached LeBron James.

By all counts Mike D’Antoni is a very nice man, but personally I can’t forget how Carmelo Anthony showed him who was boss and ran him out of New York.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]

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