What Plan B Should Have Looked Like for LA Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers really went for it in the summer of 2012, but all they got for bringing in Steve Nash and Dwight Howard was a harsh reminder that things like chemistry, age and attitude matter just as much as talent.

That bold experiment was a failure, and there's plenty of blame to go around.

Blame Howard for acting like a child and butting heads with everybody in Southern California. Blame Kobe Bryant for engaging in his typical alpha-dog routine that alienated D12. Blame Mike Brown for failing to galvanize the roster from the outset. Blame the front office for hastily firing Brown five games into the season and hiring Mike D'Antoni solely because he had a good relationship with Nash.

Hell, heap some on blame D'Antoni's inability to author a consistent system and toss some toward Nash for being 39 years old while you're at it.

Everybody's a little culpable, but it's not very productive to muddle around in the past.

In the end, L.A.'s big plan didn't work out. Critically, though, its failure doesn't mean the scheme was a bad one. The real downfall of the Lakers' designs was the team's inability to forge a contingency plan based on the knowledge acquired from their mistakes.

And now, Los Angeles is in a position that might actually be worse than the one it was in immediately after Howard walked away as a free agent this past July. The Lakers refused to build around Howard and chose not to acquiesce to his demands, so he left. That was probably a smart move by L.A., considering the childishness it had seen from Howard and the overall horrible impression he'd made to that point.

But Los Angeles is in rough shape now and doesn't have a clear way out.

That's because there was never a Plan B in the event the star quartet didn't work. And that's actually fine; putting together a superstar group like that was designed to produce brilliant short-term success. ...

About the Author