Everyone is upset about the Los Angeles Lakers. Fans in Southern California are mad that the team is likely to miss the playoffs this season. LeBron James is no doubt upset for that same reason as well. Meanwhile, the rest of us have to hear about the No. 11 seed in the Western Conference ad infinitum because too many people who want to live in 72° weather year round.
It’s a no-win scenario, pun intended.
This weekend, Lakers fan Snoop Dogg released a video talking about how disappointed he was in this Los Angeles team missing the playoffs during LeBron James’ first season. The video was a bit spicy (fair warning, there is strong language ahead).
Now it appears that Flea, the bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is upset with the Lakers’ performance as well. Posting to Twitter, Flea called for the front office in Los Angeles not to chase stars to the detriment of the roster’s development.
On one hand, this is patently ridiculous. The Lakers have won five championships since the year 2000, and are one of the most storied franchises in NBA history. That anybody could be mad about the team missing the playoffs despite having landed LeBron James in free agency is not seeing the forest for the trees.
Then again, this is take is sort of spot-on from Flea. Los Angeles had quietly become a bit of a League Pass darling as they developed young talent under Luke Walton, who garnered significant attention after he helmed much of the 2015-16 season for the Golden State Warriors.
That the team seems destined to jettison that development plan in favor of the perpetual dysfunction that surrounds roster and coaching moves related to LeBron is disappointing. From a social mechanics standpoint it makes sense, but it doesn’t mean it’s not wack. It’s also going to be a rough watch if LeBron starts to age out of his impact — missing chunks of time seems most likely as he gets older — but his demand for roster and bench control never weakens.
I’m excited for the Lakers to miss the playoffs, be a second round exit next year, be a conference finals exit in 2020-21, then be a second round exit the year after that. I have never been as sure of something as I am of this. It’s just disappointing we’re going to have to keep talking about the Lakers as though they aren’t cosmically doomed.
The Lakers are 30-34 after Monday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.