If there could be one word to describe the 2018-19 Los Angeles Lakers season it'd be... "sheesh." Or if I could pick a couple I'd quote Stephen A. Smith by saying, "The Lakers stink!"
When Los Angeles first signed LeBron James over the summer the dark days of picking in the lottery and watching the Warriors advance to yet another NBA finals would likely be over. Unfortunately, the team actually hasn't lived up to expectations and even worse, consistently has a magnifying glass over them. The credit for that can go to James. No matter where he goes the cameras follow for better or worse and in this case much worse.
The Anthony Davis trade talks no doubt had an effect on the team's young players. But even before then, LeBron's impact on their play was obvious. Roles were changed on the fly because of how ball dominant James is and the team's defense also took an obvious hit.
But not all of this can be put on Jame's shoulders, a fair amount has to go to head coach Luke Walton. There is no coach in the league who decides on his lineups in a stranger manner then Walton does. Some times guys will start and then the next night are healthy scratches or only see scarce minutes. The tension between James and Walton also can't go unnoticed. They don't seem to gel at all, and at this point in the season, it seems as if James is ready for the Lakers to move on from him.
Despite all of the troublings within the team, Magic Johnson and the front office also deserve some blame. The roster was filled with an odd collection of players and skillsets which don't really translate to today's NBA. Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka each wanted to put together a team that could compete with Golden State.
One would think that means surround LeBron with as many shooters as possible. Instead players like Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson, and Michael Beasley. Each one solid NBA players no doubt but usually bring teams more trouble than good. And thanks to Waltons strange rotations none have actually been able to get into a very good rhythm.
If I was to give any advice to the Lakers it would either be, clear house for Anthony Davis and hope that Klay Thompson signs with you. Or be comfortable funding all of LeBron's movies for the next 4 years.
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