Many are frustrated with the current direction of the Los Angeles Lakers. Once the league’s model of stability and on-court success, the Lakers have been lost in the wilderness for some time and, even after an infusion of optimism with the arrival of LeBron James, things devolved again with an injury-riddled campaign and an off-season mess with regard to the front office and coaching search. To that end, opinions are flying around about what the Lakers should be doing and noted super-fan Flea has ideas of his own.
The bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers weighed in with a lengthy Instagram post this week and he wasn’t shy.
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This is my favorite Laker of all time, Michael Cooper. I’m not saying he is the best player the lakers ever had, but he embodied everything that I love in a basketball player. He had a free spirit, he poured all his heart out every damn time he stepped onto the hardwood, he always put team first, he shut down Larry Bird, beat Patrick Cummings ass and he was FUN; bursting at the seams with an unquantifiable love-ability. He made sense to me. Right now, the Lakers are making no sense. Explain me this: They have Lebron James, incredible young talent, all the cap space in the world, yet they appear to be in the most dismal place in franchise history. This is inexplicable to me. I don’t need to hear insults hurled at Jeannie Buss, or anyone else in the organization, that scapegoating explains nothing, it is petty and without substance. I know they need to hire a smart and experienced president of basketball operations. Duh. The lakers have not made the playoffs in six years, and this year, with the season on the line, with all players eligible except for Lonzo Ball, they lost a crucial game to the lowly Phoenix Suns. There is a weakness, a malaise in the organization and it is breaking my heart. One problem, and a thing I have heard from the Lakers at all levels of the organization, and from the local media are these 3 baseless falsehoods: Laker fans only care about winning championships, nothing else matters………That is absurd, us Laker fans would be ecstatic just to make the playoffs, show some fight and be in the mix. If they were out in first or second round, yet battled in a heartfelt manner, left it all on the court and played like a team, we would stand and applaud with great enthusiasm. 2. The Lakers have to get another superstar…..this might be the lie that bothers me the most. We fans DO NOT care about celebrity on the court. We care about smart players who give their all, and prize winning above all else as a result of a unified team. Just get quality players, 12 guys who are skilled, selfless, and dedicated. 3. The Lakers are the crown jewel of the NBA and deserve to magically have the best players fall into their laps…those days are long gone
There is a lot to tackle here, with Flea making sure to push back on the common push to scapegoat Jeannie Buss and the front office, but also noting that the Lakers “need to hire a smart and experienced president of basketball operations.” Elsewhere, though, Flea shares a trio of tenets with regard to the fan base and the headliner is likely his assertion that the days of the Lakers being the “crown jewel of the NBA” are “long gone” at this juncture.
It’s important to note that Flea also believes the Lakers don’t need to have “celebrity on the court” in the form of a second star to go along with James and he doesn’t enjoy the notion that “nothing else matters” if championships aren’t achieved. Still, there has been league-wide push-back on the Lakers operating as if they are above the fray despite their prolonged struggles and it is interesting to see someone invested in the team’s success come to grips with Los Angeles not being in a unique position when compared to the rest of the league.
Having one of the best players in league history helps and the Lakers, as Flea notes, do have young talent and reasonable flexibility moving forward. It feels safe to add him to the list of those frustrated, however, and there is truth to his assertion that Lakers exceptionalism may be a thing of the past.