There is a historical precedent for this.
The Lakers won three consecutive titles from 2000-2002, then lost in 2003 to the Spurs. The next season they had nine new players. That 2004 team lost in the NBA finals to Detroit, The next year they had 10 new players.
So while the Lakers won it all the two years before this, Derek Fisher warned of what could come if they fall short now to the Dallas Mavericks, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“If you want to stay on this bus and take this ride and play for the Lakers and everything that this brings to you, then do everything humanly possible to push through,” Fisher said. “Management is still going to make decisions that they feel like are best. But the best way to impact that decision is to win.”
Coach in waiting Brian Shaw echoed the same thoughts.
“When it doesn’t work out and you have the talent that this team has, you think going forward, it’s not going to be the same afterwards if you don’t get through it,” said Shaw on Thursday.
For the record, the Lakers have their core under contract for next year. They have eight guys under deals and both Matt Barnes and Shannon Brown have player options that could bring the total to 10. But if the Lakers do fall short, Mitch Kupchak may be busy on the phone lines.