Los Angeles Lakers: Who Is Most to Blame for Postseason Struggles?

Let the finger-pointing begin.

The Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 on Monday night, officially ending their season. Hollywood drama never rests, and with the franchise’s second straight down year, a shakeup is stirring in L.A.

But before any rash decisions are made, here are the guiltiest culprits of triggering the Lakers’ demise.


3. Lamar Odom

The Candy Man’s bitter exit took the Lakers a step back this past offseason. The irony of the entire situation is quite sickening.

Los Angeles was ready to ship Odom along with Metta World Peace and/or Luke Walton to the Philadelphia 76ers. And no, the interest wasn’t just one-sided. The swap was going to go down until, as HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy reported, Odom basically blocked the trade:

As I said last week, the Lakers appeared ready to swap Odom for Iguodala, but the 76ers backed out because they didn't want an unhappy Odom.

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 27, 2011 Odom’s refusal to play in Philly foreshadowed David Stern’s veto (oh, I’ll get there) months later. After Odom heard that the Lakers had agreed to deal him away, he demanded a trade...after he refused to be traded.

So instead of ending up with Andre Iguodala, L.A. landed a first-round pick that turned into Jordan Hill.


2. Andrew Bynum

Moments after the Lakers’ Game 5 loss, “#IdTradeGasolFor” took over as the top trending topic on Twitter. For example (via @TristanYV):

#IdTradeGasolFor the fat white guy from Space Jam

— Tristan (@tristanyv) May 22, 2012  But as fans force the vast majority of the blame on Pau Gasol for the Lakers’ downfall, it’s Bynum that deserves the blame.

Los Angeles’ offen...

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