February 14, 2014

The Lakers are tanking quite nicely without trying

While still being idiots.

The idiocy for the Los Angeles Lakers was getting greedy on the then-rumored rumored trade in the air between them and the Cleveland Cavaliers six weeks ago, which would have swapped disgruntled Lakers center Pau Gasol and currently disgrunted and temporarily suspended Cavaliers (and former Lakers) center Andrew Bynum

But, noooo .... 

They wanted even more from Cleveland, asking for Dion Waiters as part of the mix, as well as possibly at least some of the draft choice swapping Cleveland did with the Bulls.

So, Cleveland sent him to the Bulls for Luol Deng instead. Chicago did what LA could have done, and dumped him for cap purposes.

It was clear at that time that Laker management (Jim Buss? surely he's more in charge than putative GM Mitch Kupchak) thought the Lakers had a legit shot at the playoffs.

Well, after that, Kobe Bryant broke his leg, Steve Nash has pretty much remained Dead Man Walking, and the supporting cast has sucked so bad that the Lakers are now officially at the bottom of the Western Conference.

There's still four teams in the East that suck more, but, if not Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker or somebody else could fall in their laps.

That said, playing without Gasol might have pushed them a spot or two lower and made things even better. Plus, the Lakers would have done what the Bulls did, only one better, and dodged not only the cap, but a repeat violators' tax.

Instead, the Lakers and their fans still face suckitude, without giving themselves the necessary reality check, and with rebuilding that much harder.

Add to that the fact that Gasol doesn't like the current coaching situation, though he'd like to stay in LA, and other issues, and have fun Mitch. Or Jim.

Meanwhile, Kupchak says there's no regret over the Nash deal. I suppose he says the same thing over Kobe's whopper of an extension, with Kobe fixing to become the A-Rod of the NBA. Since the Lakers are the Yankees of the NBA, that kind of makes sense. That said, Kobe is arguably not the same villian as A-Rod, just the same lead anchor on rebuilding.)

Meanwhile, as Gasol's comments indicate, Mike D'Antoni pretty much sucks as current coach of the mess, Kupchak is pretty much castrated by now, and Jim Buss is on his way to being the Al Davis of the NBA or something.

Rebuilding differs in each major sport. Shorter max contracts in the NBA is the one saving grace of the Lakers right now.

As for other meanwhiles?

With the Lakers and Celtics both guaranteed to suck for two or three more years, ditto on the Knicks, nobody knowing about the TV wattage of the Clipps, and OKC joining San Antonio in small market teams commissioners love to hate at playoff time, I'm sure new NBA head honcho Adam Silver is just relishing this year's NBA Finals. That said, Miami as a big-market team didn't magically lift things last year. So, maybe baseball isn't alone in postseason TV struggles. And, the Super Bowl may even have hit a peak.

Well, Miami could well still win the East. But, what if they don't? A Thunder-Pacers Finals will certainly move the dials for TV watching — down.

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