Los Angeles Lakers: Franchise in Unfamiliar Territory

The Los Angeles Lakers are not having a good season, and the road ahead may have a few more bumps before success is found again.

This is not a familiar situation for a franchise that is used to winning.

There was a definitive plan to keep this team heading in the right direction, but somehow this team has struggled to assemble the pieces into a winning formula in 2012-13.

If you look at the history of the Lakers going back to the Showtime era, there have been a number of fortunate events that have helped the team maintain success over a long period of time.

The Showtime era was clearly a successful time for the Lakers, as fans enjoyed Magic, Kareem and “Big Game James.” After a brief lull, the team finds itself with a young Kobe Bryant, either due to the brilliance or luck of Jerry West.

Shaquille O’Neal is enticed to come to Los Angeles and work on his movie career. More NBA titles are won.

The Diesel leaves, but somehow the Lakers convince the Memphis Grizzlies to give them Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown. That trade is still a complete mystery.

Regardless, Gasol arrives. More championships.

As the team starts to age, there is the inevitable expectation that another star must be coming soon. Who comes next? Dwight Howard, come on down!

This offseason should have been the next step in maintaining the greatness of the Lakers. Dwight Howard and Steve Nash arrive. The team chases more titles before Kobe Bryant says goodbye. Howard signs a long-term deal and Los Angeles uses its geographic advantage to attract another high-profile star to pair with Dwight.

All is well with Lakers Nation.

The plan was good, and the Lakers wouldn’t have had to trifle with the normal decline and rebuilding process that is experienced by just about every other team in the NBA. After all, the Lakers deserve to be contenders every year, right?

At the midpoint of this season, the plan has ...

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