Los Angeles Lakers Have No Choice but to Tank, Go All-in on 2014 NBA Draft

After spending the better part of the last century in their good graces, it appears the Los Angeles Lakers have finally fallen out of favor with the basketball gods.

Just when the Lakers had started crawling up off the canvas, they were blindsided by a knockout blow. 

Only six games into his comeback from the torn Achilles that ended his 2012-13 campaign, Kobe Bryant is back on the shelf with a broken bone in his left knee that could sideline him for the next six weeks, according to USA Today's Adi Joseph. Bryant's backcourt mate, Steve Nash, just had another four weeks added to his rehab schedule as he's still suffering from nerve-root irritation in his back.

This latest slew of injuries has left the franchise with a host of uncomfortable questions and some even more uncomfortable answers.

With hope diminishing for the present and no relief slated for the future, it's time for the mighty Purple and Gold to start waving the white flag. The 2013-14 season is already lost; the Lakers can't afford to give away a chance at a better lottery pick.


Writing on the Wall

It's been sitting there for months. Even in a best-case scenario, the Lakers figured to be fighting an uphill battle in a fully loaded Western Conference.

This season, obviously, has not been that best-case scenario.

L.A. has been decent (12-13), but decent doesn't cut it out West. The Lakers might be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference, a force even, but an invitation to switch alignments isn't coming. Not even for teams that are begging for one:

Here's a sad reality for one of the association's proudest franchises—embracing a tank won't look that much different from its current product.

Standings aside, this is not a good team by any stretch.

The Lakers are one of only four Western Conference clubs with a negativ...

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