Never in a million years did I think I would see the Lakers franchise in the state it’s in right now. They have been in a free fall in recent years but now we may have witnessed rock bottom and they will dwell here for a while. A poorly run, losing franchise in L.A. that’s not named the Clippers? We’re in The Twilight Zone for real. The worst part about all of this is there is little hope for salvation. To give you just an idea about how bad it is in Tinseltown, Magic decided to put himself out of his own misery. While Luke Walton has looked as relaxed as unbothered as we’ve ever seen him since the rumors of his impending departure started floating around. He, of course, was unceremoniously fired after the regular season. I’m sure both of those guys are happy to be out of there.
Let’s examine this for a second. Magic Johnson quit his job for the Lakers. One would have to wonder what type of extenuating circumstances would cause him to come to such a pass. No one expects that being President of Basketball Operations of an NBA franchise is a relaxing, stress free job but I think one does only expect to deal with a certain type of stress. Magic was probably dealing with some things he didn’t foresee. Also, I’m pretty sure his intentions were to collect assets and build and develop a competitive roster. With the acquisition of a particular high profile player last summer, those plans were scrapped for attempts at instant gratification. Of course that did not go as planned. What Magic saw during that process that he probably didn’t have a true understanding of prior to this was how unwilling teams would be to “help” the Lakers and I’m sure that the perceived disinterest of high profile players to come to L.A. in free agency was a shock as well. Honestly resignation was Magic’s only recourse. After the Anthony Davis trade fiasco, most of his players no longer trusted him or the franchise. Attempts at making trades (the trades he wanted at least) were unsuccessful. And it isn’t looking like they are going to lure any of the big fish to the Staples Center in July. He was on a sinking ship that was steadily taking on water. So he did what any intelligent person would do in that situation, he jumped overboard and swam to safety. Let’s be real here, if you were Magic Johnson would you stick around and deal with chaos and dysfunction? I wouldn’t. Hell, I wouldn’t do it now. Magic picked going to the beach and sending out tweets that sound like they came from a 3rd grader over managing the demands of a prima donna. I don’t blame him one bit.
While Luke Walton didn’t leave on his own terms, I’m sure he is happy to be away from the circus as well. A high stress job with astronomical expectations that most likely were never going to be met and he will undoubtedly receive the blame for? Yeah Luke isn’t sweating getting removed from that situation. He didn’t land in a bad spot either. Sacramento is a young, talented team coming off a promising year. He will be allowed to do his job void of any unnecessary hoopla. Even throughout this season, Luke’s body language was never that positive to me. He always seemed to be just going through the motions. And whenever he spoke he just seemed to have a “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” attitude about him. I mean I honestly can’t blame him. How engaged can you truly be when you feel like you’re on the chopping block from day one? I’m sure no one was envious of Luke Walton.
Who would have expected that we would see a storied franchise like the Lakers in a such a state of disarray? This was supposed to be their reemergence after a few years in the NBA cellar. Instead what we have is dysfunction, confusion and uncertainty. The worst part about all of this is there doesn’t appear to be any solidified plan to rectify this. All we’re hearing is hopes and dreams of players rushing in to save the day via free agency. Sad times in Lakeland. I guess it does rain in Southern California.