Special thanks to Luke Tarsitano for writing this take and giving us the privilege to add it to TheLakersNation.com. Again, if you guys see anything Lakers related that you think deserves to be put up, just e-mail us at articles@TheLakersNation.com.
In the waning days of this off-season of inactivity, I have come to the realization that the Lakers’ Front Office probably knew all along that they wouldn’t continue to try to make vast roster improvements if they didn’t land Kevin Garnett.
The sad truth is, the Laker management’s main concern is making money. They know that as long as they have the world’s best player on the floor they will sell out games. Since this is the case, from management’s perspective, the status quo is completely acceptable. Who cares if the Lakers lose in the first round?
Season ticket holder renewal rates are still in the nineties. I believe that their plan is to ride Kobe untill he retires or opts out, at which point Andrew Bynum, whom they feel will undoubtedly become an all-star, will be the team’s focal point. Jim Buss and his underlings are so convinced of Bynum’s future dominance, that they are willing to sacrifice Kobe’s prime years to give Bynum time to develop.
In the meantime, they are content with the current roster and expect a frustrated Kobe to lead a mediocre team to another first round playoff exit. It’s alright. At least we’re filling up Staples Center every night. As sad as this is to accept from a fan’s point of view, keep in mind that the NBA is first and foremost a business.
Some may say that with our current team healthy, we can go pretty deep into the playoffs. This may be true, but personally, I am not truly satisfied with anything less than a championship. I’m sure Kobe feels the same way. Of course, the Front Office should only be concerned with winning. Unfortunatley this can’t the case.
If it was, Jason Kidd would be in Purple and Gold at this very moment. What is most startling to me is that the Front Office is willing to put seemingly all its eggs in one basket. They are counting on Bynum to lead the future. They foolishly assume he will suddenly develop into a Dwight Howard-type player. I don’t know if I’m the only one to notice, but Andrew Bynum is no Dwight Howard. Yes, Bynum is younger than Dwight. Yes, Bynum’s potential is sky high, but I have my doubts.
Where’s his passion and work ethic? And let us not forget whose Bynum’s mentor is. While Kareem could be considered to be the best player ever, his style of play was effective in a different era. It’s this style of play that he is passing down to Andrew. The big man era of grace and evading the defense dominated by Kareem and Hakeem is over. It has been replaced with the scrappy, aggressive, dunk-in-your-face mentality of today.
I worry that Bynum won’t be effective against big men like Greg Oden, Amare Stoudemire, and Dwight Howard. As strange as it is to say, I hope that I’m wrong. I hope that as soon as I submit this article that Mitch pulls off a huge deal. I hope Bynum comes to camp with fire in his eyes and Dwight Howard’s shoulders. I hope he goes on to be the next Shaq.
The truth is I just don’t see it happening.