8 Reasons Why the Lakers Are So Despondent Right Now
The Los Angeles Lakers are navigating uncharted waters off the reaches of Southern California. They’re exploring what it’s like to be bad. The Lakers don’t do bad. Sure, they’re the Evil Empire of the Left Coast, lording over the Western Conference and effortlessly bouncing from first-ballot Hall of Fame superstar (West) to first-ballot Hall of Fame superstar (Wilt) to first-ballot Hall of Fame superstar (Kareem) to first-ballot Hall of Fame superstar (Magic) to first-ballot Hall of Fame superstar (Shaq) to first-ballot Hall of Fame superstar (Kobe) — but watching the Lakers extinguish hopes and dreams is as American as muscle cars, Ronald Reagan, and speeding tickets.
Making it worse for everyone else is the undisputed fact that the Lakers are the second winning NBA team where it counts, their 16 championships coming in second only to the Boston Celtics’ 17. (Lakers fans like to point out that the Celtics won a bunch of those back in the day with Bill Russell. Celtics fans like to point out that 5 of Los Angeles’ titles were won in Minnesota. So it goes.) They’ve missed the playoffs exactly 5 times in their entire franchise history — ’58, ’75, ’76, and ’05. That’s all.
Compare that to the Orlando Magic, who have seen the Lakers steal away their two No. 1 draft picks in free agency ten years apart. Or the Milwaukee Bucks, who lost Kareem to the Lakers and haven’t touched the NBA Finals since. You get the idea. For fans of the 29 other NBA franchises, our collective schadenfreude at the misfortunes of the purple-and-gold unites us like a great fast break. Here are nine reasons for Lakers fans to grimace, and for everyone else to rejoice.