The title addresses a question that Los Angeles Lakers‘ fans around the world have all been considering. It’s a difficult question to face, and an even more difficult to answer. So, let me attempt to simplify the matter by providing one rather basic solution.
The Laker Nation must look with scrutiny upon the man who pulls the strings, who sits in the shadows, and who conducts business in the late hours of the evening. That man, ladies and gentlemen, is none other than Mitch Kupchak.
I’ll admit that Kupchak has done his fair share of good deeds for the Lakers, and has been an effective general manager. However, he has made some fundamental and critical errors this season.
His first error was his lack of concern over the 0-8 preseason start under coach Mike Brown. Many may argue that the preseason isn’t an accurate reflection of a team’s potential, and therefore, Kupchak didn’t need to be worried.
To those people, I would suggest they go find a tape of those preseason games, because anyone watching those games could clearly see fundamental problems in the Lakers that would transcend into the regular season.
He then followed this mistake by assembling an utterly pathetic bench. The Lakers’ bench is offensively irrelevant, defensively nonexistent, and, to top it all off, they possess the collective speed of a tortoise. If you have a team of older players, why wouldn’t strive to create a fast, offensive bench? I suppose Kupchak was unaware that Leandro Barbosa, Jamal Crawford, and Michael Beasley were available.
Kupchak topped off this procession of mistakes by hiring Mike D’Antoni instead of Phil Jackson. The latter is a solidified king of coaching who has had experience with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, has won multiple champions for the franchise and has the ability to work with talented centers. But, to the dismay of the Lakers’ faithful, Kupchak decided to sign the former.
As the season approaches its end, we consider what will become of the Lakers? The truly optimistic and bold will still contend that the Lakers will win it all. However, the reality of the situation is that we fine citizens of Laker Nation have to accept our team’s predicament: we’re clinging to the 8th spot, losing to below-.500 teams, and are incapable of defeating the elite teams in the west.
So, at the end of the season after either a dismal playoff run or a tragic ninth place finish, Kupchak will be left with the most pressing question of all — what now?