I never thought in my near 30 years of existence, I would have to write the words I am getting ready to write: The Los Angeles Lakers have lost their luster.
I know, it is hard to fathom, but it’s the truth. Their little brother, the Los Angeles Clippers, has surpassed them in every phase imaginable. Even though the Clippers are going through the whole Donald Sterling fiasco, the Clippers are still considered to be among the contenders in the West next season.
And the Lakers? Well, they will be lucky if they finished anywhere above the Western Conference cellar next season.
This is not what Laker Nation is accustomed to. They are accustomed to watching Kobe Bryant make his unarguable fade away jumpers. They are used to watching Pau Gasol dominate in the paint. But most of all, they are used to seeing playoff basketball. But next season, Gasol will be dominating the paint in the Windy City with the Chicago Bulls, Kobe may be a shell of his former self, and the Lakers will almost certainly be on the outside looking in when playoff time comes around next season.
Now that’s not to say there will not be some bright spots. Jeremy Lin is a capable starting point guard, Carlos Boozer is a B-rated version of Gasol who is a double-double threat when he feels like showing up, Julius Randall was the steal of the 2014 NBA Draft and will be a star, and Nick Young will be……… Nick Young. But all in all, the Lakers are clearly not a good team, and it’s sad because the Lakers are considered one of the NBA’s glamour franchises. It’s going to take at least three years before the Lakers return to playoff contention in a Western Conference that has past them by.
But until then, get used to losing basketball Laker Nation.