LeBron has disappointing first season in La La Land

LeBron has disappointing first season in La La Land
April 23
12:42 2019

The Los Angeles Lakers will be watching the NBA playoffs from the couch like the rest of us this season. The arrival of LeBron James was supposed to turn around the fortunes of the iconic franchise, but it just wasn’t to be for the Lakers in the 2018-19 season.

Not only did the Lakers not make the playoffs, but they also had to endure the resignation of president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, and the firing of third year head coach Luke Walton. This could not have been a worse year for James in L.A.

Coupled with all the previously mentioned situations above, the most embarrassing of them all has to be the failed trade for New Orleans Pelicans forward, Anthony Davis. That probably set the team back just as much, if not more, than the injury that James suffered on Christmas Day that kept him out for 17 games.

This year probably went the exact opposite of the way that James envisioned when he signed his four-year deal with the Lakers this summer. To be honest, this year did not go the way I thought it would go for James. I knew switching to the Western Conference would be a more difficult task for James, but to not make the playoffs was not something I thought would happen.

The injury to James was the start of the downfall for the Lakers this season.  At the time of his injury, the Lakers were the fourth seed in the West with a 20-14 record. With James out of the lineup, the Lakers went 6-11 leaving their record at 26-25 when he returned. Even after James returned, the team did not fair well, going 4-9 in their first 13 games. They were never able to recover from that hole they put themselves in after that point.

It did not help team morale that the front office publicly offered basically the entire roster in exchange for Davis. That trade did not go through, which probably did not make the young players on the roster feel very welcome. There was no way the team was going to recover from that. For weeks, every time you turned on the television, you would see a report about the trade, which had to be deflating.

Magic Johnson leaving was just the icing on the cake for L.A. That was something that no one saw coming.  I felt Johnson was in it for the long haul to see how far LeBron could take the Lakers over the next couple of seasons. I have heard several reports as to why he decided to resign, but no one really knows, except Magic himself. I have read that the main reason for Johnson leaving was that he wanted to fire general manager Rob Pelinka, but would not be able to do so because of his relationship with team owner Jeanie Buss.

Once Magic left, it was only a matter of time before head coach Luke Walton got the axe. Walton has routinely been the fall guy for many of the Lakers woes this year, which is unfair in my opinion. He had to deal with a completely changed roster, the mystic of LeBron James, and a myriad of injuries to key players. What more did the team executives expect from Walton under those circumstances?

I’m sure next season will be a successful one for the Lakers, pending key off-season additions. It can’t get any worse than this year was.

Good luck.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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