Why the L.A. Lakers Will Never Be Forced to Rebuild

I should be clear about this before I get to why the Lakers will never be forced to rebuild: Never is a long time.

A lot of things will happen between now and when time ceases entirely. The Lakers taking a step backwards and not being a contender will likely be one of them. This is the nature of professional sports, and it's best to understand this going in.

However, the Lakers have proven through their history that they never stay down for long. Since their inception in 1948, they've won more games than any other franchise, been to 31 championship series (winning 16) and have only missed the playoffs five times.   

So, while never is a long time, history tells us we're not off-base in saying they'll never be forced to rebuild. Their success has been sustained through a move from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, multiple owners, countless head coaches, and hundreds of players. 

And, in forecasting to the future, it is set to continue.

The Lakers are one of the few (only?) organizations that have the holy trinity of traits in order to build and maintain a winning roster: They're located in a large market with nice weather, they have a storied history, and they spend money.

These advantages matter for a lot of reasons, but first and foremost because they make the Lakers an ideal destination for free agents.

If the money is anywhere close to equal, the Lakers can always sell the extra incentives of a fantastic market and a winning culture to close the deal. Said another way, the same motivations that drew Shaq to L.A. 15 years ago as a free agent will likely keep Dwight Howard in town when he enters into unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2013.

These same draws apply to role players as well. The list of veterans who have taken less money to play for the Lakers, either to try to win a championship or simply because they enjoy the city, is too ...

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