Is This the Darkest LA Lakers Period In Recent Memory?

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently traversing the darkest hours in recent memory.

Their best players have been in and out of the lineup with injuries, and as a result, the Lakers have struggled. The Lakers simply do not have the talent to compete with even the average teams in the league, and thus, they look like one of the worst units in basketball.

The Purple and Gold have been through some tough times before, and it’s fair to wonder where this season ranks among them.


The early 1990s

Prior to Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant joining the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1996 summer, things looked bleak in the City of Angels.

Magic Johnson announced his retirement prior to the start of the 1991-92 season and shook up the basketball world. With arguably the greatest player in franchise history stepping away from the game, the Lakers were in trouble.

The team was not prepared to transition into the new era, and the roster certainly reflected that. The Lakers were built to complement Johnson’s talents, and without him, the players were doomed.

In the first two seasons without Johnson, the Lakers won 43 and 39 games respectively. They were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in both campaigns. The team hit rock bottom in 1993-94.

The Lakers missed the playoffs entirely by virtue of one of the worst records in the division. As bad as things got, Los Angeles recovered fairly quickly.

Indeed, two years after losing the greatest point guard in league history, the Lakers won 48 games and made it to the Western Conference semifinals. The team had a combination of talented young players mixed in with veterans.

Nick Van Exel and Elden Campbell gave Los Angeles some youthful experience, while the likes of Kurt Rambis and Sedale Threatt provided the group with experience.

Times were difficult fo...

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