Timeline of LA Lakers’ Shocking Descent into Mediocrity

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most storied franchises in basketball and yet they have rapidly joined the rankings of the mediocre.

The 2012-13 season was perhaps one of the most disappointing campaigns the Purple and Gold has faced given the amount of talent on board. The Lakers participated in the 2013 playoffs as a seventh seed and were swept out of the first round by the San Antonio Spurs.

This is the same franchise that celebrated a world title three years prior. However, a series of moves have come back to bite the Lakers and send them into a tailspin.

2009-2010 season

Kobe Bryant concluded the 2010 postseason with his fifth title and perhaps the best postgame response by a player when pressed on the meaning of that championship. Feel free to relive the moment:

Once the champagne stopped pouring, the offseason took place and the front office made a few transactions that, in hindsight, precipitated the decline of a title team.

Mitch Kupchak selected Derrick Caracter in the June 2010 draft and then allowed Jordan Farmar to depart in free agency. He was replaced with Steve Blake, and then management secured deals with new players in Matt Barnes and Theo Ratliff.

Los Angeles' goal in the ensuing season was a fourth straight strip to the finals, which would be a difficult proposition.

The old Lakers teams from the 1980s are the last ones to appear in four straight NBA Finals. They accomplished the feat from the 1981-82 season to the 1984-85 campaign.

The regular season coupled with the playoffs are particular taxing both physically and emotionally. Consequently, teams that keep their core mostly intact simply have not been able to make four consecutive trips to the championship round.

The early 1980s Lakers added big contributors in James Worthy and Byron Scott during their four-year finals run. Thus, Bryant's unit needed some ...

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