Los Angeles Lakers’ Biggest Red Flags Entering This Season

A new season brings increased expectations and the promise of a fresh start for many NBA teams. For the Los Angeles Lakers, however, hope is being tempered by red flags.

Unable to entice any major free agents over the offseason, management has once again surrounded 36-year-old Kobe Bryant with a ragtag army of walking wounded, chronic underperformers, castoffs and untested rookies.

That’s not to say there isn’t any potential, or that the roster is utterly lacking in talent. It is to say, however, that the path forward is cluttered with waving symbols of doom and gloom.



The No. 1 red flag is injuries and has been for years. At the end of the 2012-13 season, trainer Gary Vitti said, per the team’s website: “It wasn’t a tough year, it was a tough 10 years in one.”

Last April, during an interview with Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, Vitti said: "I didn't think it was going to get any worse than that. And then we had this year, which was worse."

Here we are six months later, and the injury bug has already reared its ugly head.

Here’s the rundown: Nick Young tore the radial collateral ligament in his right thumb the first week of training camp, and that injury necessitated surgery. He is expected to be out until early December.

Steve Nash is dealing with the same back and nerve issues that have plagued him since arriving in Los Angeles. He’ll turn 41 in February, and his basketball future looks less than bright—it may be nonexistent.

Xavier Henry flew to New York City to get a second opinion on his surgically repaired right knee and will then travel to Germany for Regenokine treatment. The 23-year-old swingman has yet to play more than 50 games during any of his four NBA seasons—injuring his right knee repeatedly and also tearing ankle and wrist...

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