Watching the Los Angeles Lakers play basketball this season makes me feel like I just took a ride in the DeLorean. If you don’t know what the DeLorean is, then I think you need to catch up on your classic movie collection. It is now 2013, but the Lakers look like the team from 2006. How can a team with so much “talent” look so bad? I’ll tell you why!
First, Jerry Buss has too much Jerry in him. He reminds me of Jerry Jones who just doesn’t have too much sense when it comes to running a franchise. They both have been lucky enough to find the right coach in the past. When they don’t have the right coach, they just appear lost.
After a slow start, Buss fired Mike Brown as coach and went out on the hunt. Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson and Mike D’Antoni were in the mix for the job. With the players on the roster and the amount of ego’s that come with it, Jackson was an obvious choice. Instead, Buss hired D’Antoni who doesn’t pay attention to the defensive end of the floor.
When Brown was fired who was known as a defensive minded coach, D’Antoni made no sense for a team who struggled on defense. I don’t know if Buss figured the more points the team score, the less they would have to play defense. Or, if D’Antoni and Steve Nash can mirror what they did in Phoenix maybe they’ll have something in LA. Either way you look at it, it was just horrible decision and waste of money on D’Antoni as head coach.
Second, you can’t deny the talent of one Kobe Bryant, but I don’t think anyone will argue the fact that he doesn’t make his teammates better. Bryant hasn’t been linked too often to being called a “team player” and the teams statistics this season show it. With the additions of Nash, Dwight Howard, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks you would assume Bryant would feel more comfortable getting his teammates involved. Not the case.
Take into account that Jamison, who has been a consummate professional his entire career has found himself in the bad graces of D’Antoni and doesn’t get much playing time. Pau Gasol doesn’t seem to fit into the offense and the aging Nash isn’t putting him in successful situations either. That goes back to D’Antoni again.
Let’s compare the statistics of the top 7 players per game shooting #’s from 2012-2013 to the 2006-2007 season.
|Metta World Peace||4.5||10.9||13.2|
There is absolutely NO reason Bryant’s #’s should be almost identical when you look at the names on those lists. It’s a disgrace and easy to see why the Lakers aren’t playing winning basketball. They need to figure out how to play as a team first, then learn how to play defense and the offense will come.
Third and the final factor, which Kobe Bryant said himself, the Lakers are OLD and SLOW. I’m happy I didn’t have to say this myself or else I would have been bashed for hating. Facts are facts and due to the lack of chemistry, their age doesn’t factor into a positive. 4 of their 5 “regular” starters are over the age of 30. Nash (38), Bryant (34), Metta World Peace (33), Gasol (32) and the 5th player being Howard isn’t 100% with a bad back.
Maybe it’s me, but there are 3 major factors as to why the Lakers have looked so horrible this season. Those same 3 factors, especially the 3rd one will force them to have a similar outcome the remainder of the season. Old men equal tired, tired men opens the door for more injuries, which you can see is the case. An honorable mention could go to how horrible the bench is, but no need to even mention those guys.
I understand Bryant may be on his last legs as far as his career is concerned, but this isn’t a box office war movie. No need to go out with guns blazing as if all your partners have bitten the dust. The most crushing part of this is having to look up to the Clippers like the little brother who finally became bigger. The worst feeling in the world is getting beat up by your little brother, I’m sure.