“Good Move or Bad–for Once Great-Now Bad Franchise”
They were great for so many years, and now it’s over.
LA Lakers basketball is at a modern day all time low.
You have to work really hard to screw up a legendary franchise, but they did.
Was it front office incompetence, or was it just the reality that the era of the salary cap does catch up to you, from a player personnel standpoint, from a draft pick standing?.
Look at where the Knicks are. What the Celtics have become.
You win, you keep drafting at the bottom, where the picks are more risk than talented.
You win, stars earn mega-contracts, get their paydays, then get old, and then you get stuck with the salary cap rules.
So the Lakers clean house. Magic Johnson is given the keys to the building as President of Basketball Operations. We know his credentials as a player, Showtime and all.
We also know he failed after he was given the chance to take over as Lakers interim coach. We also know, that his other entries into sports, as a Dodgers so-called investor, didn’t make a difference.
Gone is the heir to the franchise, Jim Buss, removed. Taken out also longtime GM-Mitch Kupchack, victimized by the Lakers success eras, and probably Jim Buss.
Dumped also was longtime VP-Communications John Black, viewed as a confidante to the others dismissed.
The Lakers are in the midst of rebuilding for the future, all while trying to live in the past. Just because Magic is now the point man, after being the great point guard, does not guarantee anything.
Will big money free agents take the LA money and and put on Purple and Gold, just because Magic said it will be better? Aren’t you better to draft quality young players, stockpile talent, and coach them up?
LA has a good college team right now. Trouble is, they are a franchise in the NBA, not in the Pac 12 or ACC.
Keep the core intatct…use another high draft pick to get a blue-chipper to add to Julius Randle, DeAngelo Russell and Brandon Ingram. It’s a starting point. Granted the end result this year, playing all the kids, will be a bad season, but net you another lottery pick.
Only come July 1st will we really see whether the lure of Magic, or the hiring of a key NBA-GM can make a difference, and help build the franchise.
Larry Bird has turned out to be a good GM, doing some good things in Indiana. Phil Jackson has not turned out well in New York with the Knicks. It took Danny Ainge ages of painful seasons to help turn Boston. Michael Jordan in Washington, then Charlotte, hasn’t done much.
Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Lew Alcindor, all part of the legacy. Magic-Kareem-Worthy part of the LA heritage. Kobe-Shaq-Phil and Dwight Howard, were the most recent contributors to Lakers lore.
But the rules changed, with the cap. Players got old. Players got hurt. The cap rules are now much more stringent. And bad leadership is why they are where they are.
(19-39) as they start the 2nd half of the season tonite. That (84-220) record over the last three years is equally awful.
Magic? Only time tells if this was a good move for a franchise that has fallen on bad times.