The State Of The Lakers

I didn’t think it could get any worse than Magic quitting the front office for Twitter.

Jim Rome
May 09, 2019 - 12:40 pm
Ty Lue and LeBron James

USA Today

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Let me take a moment here to apologize. When I’m wrong about something, it’s important that I step up, admit it, and own it. That’s how this show is. Nobody is going to be right about everything and when you’re wrong, it’s good to acknowledge that. It takes a big man to stand up, be accountable and admit they’re wrong. And I’m that guy.  Because I stand before every last one of you, and admit…I was wrong. And I’m here to own it. And apologize for it. Here goes….

I said, I didn’t think it could get any worse for the Lakers than Magic quitting the front office for Twitter. And not telling anyone. I thought the face of the franchise walking out on the team without telling anyone so that he could hop on Twitter to congratulate guys who play for other teams, was rock bottom. I said it. And I meant it. Except I was wrong.  I own it. And now I’m apologizing for it. Because it has gotten worse. So much worse. Magic dug them a hole, and then the rest of the front office jumped into it and kept on digging.

But I’m not falling for this a second time. That’s why I’m not going to say that the Lakers failing to land Ty Lue is rock bottom. Because when you read how that whole thing collapsed, I have confidence that this crew can do even worse. Much much worse. This is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Ramona Shelbourne tweeted: Negotiations really deteriorated w/ Ty Lue when the Lakers refused to offer more than a three year deal that was designed to line up with LeBron James’ contract. Lue felt insulted the Lakers only saw him as a coach for LeBron, sources close to the process told ESPN.

Nice work. Really nice work. They could not have handled that any worse than they did.  Wait. Yes they could. And they did. Because not only did they insult Ty Lue with their crappy offer, they also reportedly wanted to tell him who to hire as assistants. Fantastic.

Think on that for a moment. If the perception of Ty Lue is that he’s only there to coach LeBron, maybe you do something to change that perception. Or you completely underline it by having his deal match LeBron’s. You’re just telling everyone that you never believed in him in the first place.

Never mind the fact that Monty Williams got a five year deal in Phoenix. And that Ty Lue has an NBA title on his resume. There’s no way he’s taking less. He shouldn’t.

And you’re also allegedly try to force assistants on him? Are you serious? He’s not some assistant who’s never been a head coach before. He has a title. He’s been to three straight NBA Finals.  

Way to insult the guy who was going to be your next head coach. And way to insult the guy who you allegedly were going to bring him in to coach.

Oh, and speaking of Monty Williams, Marc Stein has reported that the people in the organization who believed in Lue thought the only way to make him the favorite was to wait for Williams to get hired. Great plan, everyone. Really professional.

Isn’t there anyone, anywhere in that building, saying, hey listen, we’re already a laughing stock around the league: statistically, we’re the worst team in the league over the last six years; and if we screw it up and it gets out how we screwed this up, it is going to look horrible. It’s going to make the Knicks look like a well-run franchise by comparison. It’s going to make Jim Buss look smart in comparison to Jeannie. Is there not one person in that room to say, the hell are you all thinking and doing?!?? There’s no way that a guy who’s won a title and been to three NBA Finals is taking a job just to have a job. If you think so little of him as a head coach, why are you hiring him in the first place?

The hell happened to the Lakers?? The hell are any of you doing around there???

Jeanie Buss is the smart one. She’s the ruthless one. She was the one who canned her brother to change the organization. That was the coolest and coldest thing ever. And now it feels like a mistake. Seriously. Bring back Jim Buss.

When Magic Johnson quit for a social media app that was a chance to become professional. Go out and get some legitimate, experienced front office people. Instead, Kurt and Linda Rambis became more involved. And you doubled down on Rob Pelinka. And that’s gone horribly. Just as everyone thought it would. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Lakers biggest problem right now is themselves. The Lakers have to stop being the Lakers. And this whole month has been the most Lakers month ever. Taking advice from Mr. and Mrs. Rambis? Not exactly Jerry West we’re talking about here.

I don’t know what Kurt and Linda bring to the table. I really don’t...

But I know what they don’t have - a ton of coaching excellence. Let me throw some numbers at you: 15 and 17. Those were the number of wins that Kurt had the only time he’s ever coached a full NBA season. He went 15 and 67 followed by 17 and 65. And he’s allegedly playing a huge role in all of this?

So what now? Jason Kidd, knowing that he’s the backup choice? Juwan Howard? Give him a three month deal? Ladies and gentleman, head coach Mario Chalmers. Is Boobie Gibson or Delonte West available? How playa is that?

Now what?  They’ve interviewed Jason Kidd.  Juwan Howard: I absolutely can see Jason Kidd. If not kid, then Juwan Howard would be pretty hilarious. Yo, Juwan, it’s me, Rob Pelinka. We played together at Michigan, remember. You don’t. I look like Rob Lowe.  Yeah, yeah! I knew you remembered. Listen, I run the Lakers now. Well, LeBron runs the Lakers now. Anyway, how would you like to coach an NBA team for free. We’re willing to do that and sign you to a ten day contract. You’re not into that? Cool; yo, listen, Jerry, do have what’s his face’s name. That other guy we played with you: that dude who called time out in the NCAA title game….what’s his face. Or Jalen Rose. Or Ray Jackson. Or Jimmy King. Or Dugan Fife. Or if not on the Fab Five want it, and Juwan doesn’t want it, maybe their teammate Chris Bosh will. And if not Bosh, then you have to hire my man Mike Miller.  Or roll out to the presser to introduce head coach…Mario Chalmers! Or they could go with one of the dudes he ran with in Cleveland: my man, Delonte West! Planes, trains, automobiles, betta have my doughnuts!   Or if Delonte won’t take it, my other dude, J.J. Hickson would probably jump at it. Oh wait, I think he was apprehended for robbery with a knife. Planes, trains, automobiles, armed robbery with a knife!

Or bring back old man Phil Jackson. At this rate, Kurt and Linda will just end up offering the gig to Kurt and they’ll still somehow manage to find a way to screw up that offer.

Because they’ve screwed up everything else, starting with the fact that LeBron James fell into their laps and they have no idea what to do with him. And if I’m LeBron, I’m looking at this trainwreck and heading for the nearest exit. If Ty Lue was LeBron’s guy and that’s how they treat him, what kind of a message does that send? And even if he wasn’t LeBron’s guy, what kind of a message does that send? The clock is ticking on LeBron’s career and the front office is puking all over itself.  

And by the way, this isn’t some garbage team and garbage NBA franchise we’re talking about. It’s the Los Angeles Lakers. One of the greatest organizations in North American sports history. And they’ve turned into a joke. The Lake Show is a clown show. And instead of being the crown jewel of the association and that organization that everyone respected and wanted to emulate, the entire league is laughing at them. And why not, because it’s funny as well. And the Lakers have become the biggest joke ever. And apparently, that’s not going to change any time soon.