Remember when the Clippers were the circus in Los Angeles? You know the team that had its owner … well former owner… forced into the selling the team by the league. Well, they aren’t a circus anymore. Even after trading players like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Clippers managed to play their ways into the playoffs, taking two games from the Warriors. There’s a lot of optimism in Clipperland as they prepare to be a major player in free agency. Their future looks bright.
Then there’s the Lakers. The team that brought in LeBron James and didn’t stock him with guys that can shoot. The team that totally embarrassed themselves and the league in the Anthony Davis botched trade attempt. The team who had one of their most iconic former players, President Magic Johnson, quit in front of a bunch of reporters without telling his boss. That really sounds Clipper-esque doesn’t it?
After all of this, you would think that would be rocket bottom… until today. The Lakers announced that they hired Frank Vogel as their new head coach.
By no means is this a criticism of Vogel. Before he flamed out with the Orlando Magic, he was 250-181 with five playoff appearances in six years. But, if the Lakers had confident in Vogel, why not let him pick his own staff? Why would the organization force him to take Jason Kidd? Oh yeah… because Phil Jackson and Kurt Rambis are involved. One has been a disaster as a front office executive and the other was an awful coach. Sure, those are the two guys you want making a franchise defining decision.
The Lakers had to hire a coach that fits with LeBron James. When you have an asset like James, you do not ask him to adjust to a coach, it’s vice versa. Ironically enough, it was Dr. Jerry Buss who showed everyone the way when he fired Paul Westhead to appease Magic Johnson. But this is Phil Jackson we’re talking about. This is the same Jackson who refused to work with Carmelo Anthony and then plunged the franchise into an even deeper abyss by hiring coaches like Derek Fisher and Jeff Hornacek. Jackson also signed Joakim Noah to a cap crippling number and drafted Frank Ntilikina. Doesn’t solicit a lot of confidence, does it?
This is how it ends for LeBron? With an anti-superstar, poor decision making has been making roster decisions for one of the greatest players in history? At least when Michael Jordan crippled the Wizards, he came out of the suite and laced them up to play with the mistakes he made. You can best believe Phil Jackson isn’t coming anywhere close to that bench. And what happens the first time he says something negative about James the way he did Anthony? James isn’t Anthony and isn’t here was Jackson’s unprofessional behavior.
With the Lakers in a great cap situation, the question becomes, do they have the front office chops to know how to use it? It was speculated earlier that Kyrie Irving has interest in the Lakers.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 11, 2019
But with Jackson and Rambis in charge, would they even pursue Irving? If they do, would he want to play with them running the show? With Jeannie Buss in charge, it isn’t like Jackson or Rambis will be fired. They are there to stay because of their relationship with Buss. Does Irving really want to spend the next four years with Jackson?
That’s why the Lakers is the new circus in town (sorry UCLA basketball). They are ruining the second half of the career of LeBron. Their front office is a disaster. They gave power the Kobe Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, and he’s over his head. There’s not a player on the roster who can consistently shoot from the perimeter and you have a coach who could get swallowed up by expectations.
All the Lakers need are a couple of clowns and some acrobats to complete the show.