I honestly can’t recall a moment in time where I questioned the direction of the franchise this severely. I started blogging a few months before the Pau trade altered the direction of the franchise and I did it because I could see a team that had Kobe freaking Bryant playing at a mediocre level, at best, for many years to come. Mitch and Dr. Buss altered the narrative in stunning fashion and we won 2 more banners. Since Phil decided to come back for his last hurrah things have gone steadily downhill and only seem to be increasing speed.

After Phil signed off on one more year the Lakers have seen:
-The passing of Dr. Jerry Buss
-Kobe blowing out his Achilles
-Kobe desperately trying to be Kobe and failing. Injuries and age caught up and Kobe exited the game awkwardly, save for his last performance which was simply legendary.
-The Buss Family go to war…with each other with Jeannie emerging victorious.
-Magic quitting on the Lakers for a 2nd time.
-A pool of talent leave with nary a 2nd round draft pick as compensation.
-Luke Walton moves on with nobody really in charge except for Rob Lowe Lite.

Luke keeping his job was never a certainty but I at least wanted someone with a vision to make the decision. Rob “we need tough guys!” Pelinka is 100% not that guy. He can’t even get trade exceptions for players he knows he’ll let leave. He and magic built the most ill-fitting team around a super-star in recent memory. He’s entering his 3rd season which is considered a growth year and they’re about to make him the focus of the franchise.

Frankly, I am at a point where I need to turn this noise off. It’s really disappointing to see the Lakers make poor choice after poor choice, doubling down on the poor choice and following that up with a choice that is unexplainable. Why would you let you coach go without even trying to squeeze a draft pick out of one of the interested teams? Why would you let Rob ‘2 years on the job’ palinka make any decision that would affect the franchise in any meaningful way?

The Lakers have become the Clippers, minus the racism. At least I hope minus the racism because at this point nothing would surprise me. Any shred of silver lining that came with Magic’s departure has vanished in a cloud of stupidity, ignorance and, frankly, panic. There is no plan. There is no direction. the culture, if you can even call it that, is one of fear and isolation. Much like America is acting today.

Panic is not a word I had ever associated with the Lakers, until now. Not when Magic contracted HIV and retired unexpectedly. Not when we didn’t make the playoffs the following season. Not when Shaq was traded. Not when we missed the playoffs. Not when Kobe said he’d play on Pluto. not when Kobe blew out his Achilles. Not until today.

Panic and fear, the new words that define the Los Angeles Lakers. I need an old school mamba24 roll call to boost my spirits and I don’t think it’s very likely to happen. What a dark day.