Carlos Boozer Addition Leaves Lakers in Uniquely Unsettling Position

LOS ANGELES — What do parents do if they've spoiled their children for many, many years and then realize that their kids are woefully unready for the harsh realities of normal, rugged life?   

That's essentially the question the Lakers must now answer, and one I posed to general manager Mitch Kupchak on Sunday in Las Vegas at the NBA's annual summer league gathering.

To be precise, I asked, "For Lakers fans who are impatient and want to see something big happen, is there anything you can tell them besides, 'Hey, next year there will be another free agency and we'll keep going for it—and then one after that'?"

"We're not giving up on this summer and this year, that's for sure," Kupchak replied. "There still are possibilities. But we're just going to keep working at it and look for opportunities to remain competitive, contending and flexible."

Both the question and the answer speak to the vague limbo in which the team exists right now.

The Lakers missed the playoffs for just the third time in the past 38 years—with 10 NBA championships in that time and six other NBA Finals appearances in that period. Lakers fans don't know what to make of this world in which they have been asked to accept mediocrity. They don't know that rebuilding usually takes time and a little unforeseen good fortune.

They are spoiled rotten.

Again, it's only a byproduct of the parenting. Over the years, the Lakers have given their fans every reason to grow comfortable with a certain standard of living.

But with happy days gone and not on the horizon, fans are already frustrated.

Los Angeles' acquisition of Carlos Boozer on Thursday prompted the latest toy-throwing tantrum by fans of wanting to win now-now-now!

In Boozer, the Lakers got a solid NBA player for a below-average salary—a bid of $3.25 million, per's Marc Stein—in an...

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