9 Failed Moves That Contributed to Los Angeles Lakers Downfall

Over the course of their preseason slate, the Los Angeles Lakers have looked every bit a lottery-bound team—a collection of ill-fitting pieces and cast-off talent few believe is capable of crashing the Western Conference playoff party.

Lack of stakes aside, L.A.’s poor play is merely the latest in what’s been a cascading wave of discouraging dominoes for the once-dominant franchise.

In the wake of a 27-win season—percentage-wise, the team’s worst in nearly six decades—the Lakers are at something of an organizational crossroads. Do they continue building around the aging, atrophying Kobe Bryant? Or do they clean house as soon as possible and find new cornerstones through lotteries and free-agent feeding frenzies?

More compelling still is how such a time-tested, Finals-forged franchise got here in the first place.

Today, we’ll look (in no particular order) at the nine moves most responsible for L.A.’s downfall—the bad contracts, shortsighted signings and caustic chemistry issues that turned a perennial title contender into a league laughingstock.

Storied as the Lakers are, getting back to the top is more a matter of when than if. Assuming, of course, that some of the franchise’s more egregious errors aren’t replicated.

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