It was a brutal end to the season for the Los Angeles Lakers, with the organization effectively squandering LeBron’s first year with the team as they failed to construct a viable roster around him and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season.
But the misadventures didn’t end there. Magic Johnson abruptly resigned as team president without notifying anyone first, essentially because he got sick of dealing with it all, and they proceeded to part ways with Luke Walton shortly after. They’ve since managed to bungle what should’ve been their easiest organizational decision yet, reportedly low-balling Tyronn Lue on their offer to make him head coach and prompting him to withdraw from the running.
Now they have ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups calling them out on television, the mayor calling L.A. a Clippers town, and even hometown boys The Red Hot Chili Peppers turning their backs on their once-beloved team. It’s a bad look all around. So bad, in fact, that certain players on their roster are reportedly ashamed to even be associated with the organization, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
“It’s the Lakers organization as a whole right now, Haynes said. “You said it in your opening. It’s a laughingstock right now. Just the way everything was handled. It’s really frustrating for people who are involved with the team, and certainly for some of the players I’ve talked to. They call it an embarrassment. I’m talking about players for the Lakers. They consider an embarrassment what’s going on, and it’s not the ideal situation to be in.”
It’s tempting to speculate exactly which players, in particular, feel this way, but it also probably wouldn’t be too much of a surprise. The point is that the situation with the team continues to devolve as overall morale plummets to an all-time low, to the point that fans congregated outside Staples Center on Friday.
The front office has a lot of work to do this offseason if they want to try and salvage what has already been a calamitous start to the LeBron James era in Los Angeles.