How Long Will Laker Nation Wait Before Slamming Panic Button?

Hopefully the Los Angeles Lakers still remember how to sound the alarm.

Panicking is often considered beneath the mighty Lakers, who have played decades of terror-free basketball and used near-flawless gambits to string 10 championship banners across the rafters since 1980.

But different, desperate times call for exceptional measures.

Visions of rekindling Showtime were destroyed last season, when Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant failed to actualize championship expectations. It was Howard's eventual departure and Kobe's injury that ultimately put the nail in the coffin, prompting Los Angeles to stagger into this season worse for wear, longing for summer 2014.

The 2013-14 campaign, by Lakers standards, was lost. Maybe they could muster a playoff berth if Kobe came back healthy, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol remained healthy and miscellaneous role players performed majestic miracles, but that was their ceiling.

There was, and remains, no 17th championship to be won this year. That was always the reality, even before Kobe signed his extension. Eyes were fixated on this summer, when Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James could become available and the Lakers would spring into action.

Almost halfway through the season, though, the Lakers, already subjected to diminished expectations, are failing. Miserably.

Injuries ravaged the roster, restricting their potential, and the result—a 14-22 record—puts them six games outside the playoff picture, inching closer to the panic button they've desperately tried to avoid.


What Is the "Panic Button?"

It's a fair question.

These aren't last season's Lakers, projected to dethrone the Miami Heat and every other powerhouse standing in their way. Howard and Metta World Peace are gone, Nash's career is in jeopardy, Kobe is on the cusp of injury-prone, and general manager Mitch Kupchak gave ...

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