Lakers Imploding

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
Meh. I got nothing for this. I find myself in the odd situation where I refuse to root for the gd lakers, but I also refuse to root against LeBron James.

I do appreciate the Schadenfreude of the gd lakers' season being ended by D'Angelo Russell, though. Hopefully he had this blasting from his phone, on his way out of the arena:


 
I've been reading Lakers message boards, and there is a lot of chatter that LeBron might have lost a step.

I've been watching some of their games and I must say I have noticed this a little bit. I don't know if his injury has played a part in it, or maybe he's just disinterested. But he doesn't seem to have the same explosiveness driving to the hoop.

Could this be the beginning of the end? There's always talk about building "around" LeBron, but he's 34 years old and will be nearly 35 by the start of next season. That doesn't seem like the type of guy you build around, not at this point in his career.
 
Could this be the beginning of the end? There's always talk about building "around" LeBron, but he's 34 years old and will be nearly 35 by the start of next season. That doesn't seem like the type of guy you build around, not at this point in his career.
Indeed. I’d say it’s definitely the beginning of the end. Lebron is unquestionably the greatest of his generation. His longevity has been a marvel. The sports science he has harnessed to elongate his prime will certainly be a boon to future stars. But it can’t last forever. It never does. Time is the great equalizer. Lebron’s raw statistical output remains impressive at 34, but he no longer asserts his will on the game with any great consistency. For the last few years he’s been conserving energy during the regular season, which is a useful middle-age strategy when you play in the Eastern Conference. Not so much in the West.

Yet still he missed, what, 19 games this season due to injury? 20? Many like to point to those missed games and say, “Well, if he hadn’t gotten injured, the Lakers would have made the playoffs.” And I think such comments miss the point entirely. Lebron is no longer the Bionic Man. That was the most time he’s ever missed due to injury. It’s not a coincidence that it happened in his 16th season in the league. It’s an effect of this being his 16th season in the league (with a huge number of playoff wear and tear to account for, as well).

“Building around” Lebron was always going to be a fool’s errand for the Lakers if they didn’t begin with a younger second all-star already in place. Pulling off the Anthony Davis trade mid-season probably would have gotten it done, too. But now? Who’s going to be amped to join a soon-to-be 35-year-old Lebron on a Lakers team that’s missed the playoffs for six straight years, who’s head coach is inexperienced, embattled, and on the verge of being fired, and who’s front office is quickly becoming a laughing stock around the league through the sheer force of their unearned hubris? I think Magic and Pelinka are going to be making a much tougher sell to free agents then they imagined, and I’m not convinced they’re up to the task.
 
Indeed. I’d say it’s definitely the beginning of the end. Lebron is unquestionably the greatest of his generation. His longevity has been a marvel. The sports science he has harnessed to elongate his prime will certainly be a boon to future stars. But it can’t last forever. It never does. Time is the great equalizer. Lebron’s raw statistical output remains impressive at 34, but he no longer asserts his will on the game with any great consistency. For the last few years he’s been conserving energy during the regular season, which is a useful middle-age strategy when you play in the Eastern Conference. Not so much in the West.

Yet still he missed, what, 19 games this season due to injury? 20? Many like to point to those missed games and say, “Well, if he hadn’t gotten injured, the Lakers would have made the playoffs.” And I think such comments miss the point entirely. Lebron is no longer the Bionic Man. That was the most time he’s ever missed due to injury. It’s not a coincidence that it happened in his 16th season in the league. It’s an effect of this being his 16th season in the league (with a huge number of playoff wear and tear to account for, as well).

“Building around” Lebron was always going to be a fool’s errand for the Lakers if they didn’t begin with a younger second all-star already in place. Pulling off the Anthony Davis trade mid-season probably would have gotten it done, too. But now? Who’s going to be amped to join a soon-to-be 35-year-old Lebron on a Lakers team that’s missed the playoffs for six straight years, who’s head coach is inexperienced, embattled, and on the verge of being fired, and who’s front office is quickly becoming a laughing stock around the league through the sheer force of their unearned hubris? I think Magic and Pelinka are going to be making a much tougher sell to free agents then they imagined, and I’m not convinced they’re up to the task.
Time will get us all in the end. Some will fight a good battle with time such as Tom Brady, Ichiro, Vince Carter, etc but at some point, time will have its way.