The Events That Drastically Changed the Course of Los Angeles Lakers’ Season

Regardless of whether the Los Angeles Lakers win every game remaining on their 2013-14 schedule, they’re poised to finish with the worst record in franchise history since moving to L.A. for the 1960-61 season.

Simultaneously, Kobe Bryant has had the most turbulent campaign of his 18-year career. His frustrations came to a tipping point in March when he said, “This is not what we stand for, this is not what we play for,” per the Los Angeles Times’ Mike Bresnahan.

Bryant’s injury woes are a huge reason for the Lakers’ abysmal stretch of losing, but numerous events fell into place that drastically altered the course of the NBA’s storied franchise.

Their outlook went from playoff contender to bottom-feeder in the blink of an eye, and now the organization will be lucky to compete during the twilight of Bryant’s legendary career.

But how exactly did Purple and Gold get to this point in the first place? Not surprisingly, the issues run deep. In fact, they date back to a time before the 2013-14 season had even started.


Dwight Howard’s Departure

Although Lakers fans have done their best to distance themselves from the enigma that was Dwight Howard's one-year stay in L.A., deep down they should be able to admit that the franchise desperately needed to re-sign him.

In addition to launching a full-blown campaign (complete with billboards) to entice the former three-time Defensive Player of the Year into staying, general manager Mitch Kupchak hammered home the importance of his return by saying, “He’s our future.”

Lakers fans know the rest of the story. D12 signed with the Houston Rockets for less money—a nearly unprecedented move, but a smart decision from a basketball standpoint given Bryant’s Achilles injury.

By losing the talented big man and...

About the Author