How Will History Remember This Year’s L.A. Lakers?

The Los Angeles Lakers came into this season as favorites to not only get to the NBA Finals, but to win it—the Lakers and the Miami Heat were given 9-4 odds (via LA Times) to raise the Larry O'Brien trophy. Those odds were given in the preseason. Fast-forward to today—the Heat are playing in the Finals and the Lakers haven’t played since April.

Sure, the Lakers were a tremendous letdown this season, but were they the greatest disappointment in NBA history? Absolutely.

Let’s throw all of the injuries out the window—the Lakers had far too much talent on their roster to use that as an excuse. Players get hurt, it’s something that every team in the NBA deals with. Los Angeles brought in Steve Nash, a surefire Hall-of-Famer, and Dwight Howard, the most dominant center in the league, to join forces with Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest players ever.

My first impression when the team was assembled was one of awe; the Lakers were sure to dethrone the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference and could definitely win a title.

In the first month of the season, the Lakers went 8-8. All new teams struggle at first, and this would be no different. In the first season that the Heat brought their “Big Three” together they started out 8-7, so LA was fine. No big deal, I thought.

The biggest mistake committed by Los Angeles was made after just five games (1-4) when the team decided to fire Mike Brown and bring in Mike D’Antoni. This was a panic move, one that would eventually haunt them down the line.

Under D’Antoni, Pau Gasol and D12 didn’t get enough touches in the pick-and-roll oriented offense. Bryant was forced to become a distributor, a role that he fully immersed himself in, with Nash on the sidelines with injuries. D’Antoni’s scheme, although proven to be successful on other teams, just didn’t fit the Lak...

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