^ They're also one of the most loved teams, for the same reason they are one of the most hated. Can't name a team with more fans than the Lakers, it's not even close.
And the Lakers will be fine. They were awful in '92-'94, way worse than they have been the last couple years, and they landed on their feet. Those events listed by the op are so insignificant. It's the Los Angeles Lakers, that brand will not be tarnished because Ramon Sessions went to the Bobcats lol. We replaced him with hall of famer Steve Nash, so I don't think our reputation took a hit there. Lamar Odom is a total scrub now, Fisher hasn't done anything of any significance on the court in years, Dwight Howard was a one year rental. He didn't choose the city of Houston over the city of Los Angeles, he chose the personnel in Houston over the personnel in Los Angeles. He wanted to be with younger players, he wanted a coach who values bigs.
Point being, the Lakers are just in a weird transitional phase. With the death of Jerry Buss, the departure of Phil Jackson, Kobe is on his way out but he's still good enough to be the man, so it's gonna be hard to persuade a young superstar to come play second fiddle to him for a few years. There's just a lot of weirdness surrounding the team right now, similar to the end of the Magic Johnson era. We won't be contenders for a little while in my opinion because of this, but it's the Los Angeles Lakers, they will bounce back.
The Lakers are the most recognizable basketball franchise in the world, they don't have a bad reputation. LA is the second biggest market in the country, basketball means more in Los Angeles than any other sport, so there will always be players who want to come here. Just have to get through these "dark ages" first.
I always come back to the Yankees when talking about the Lakers (and I hate the Yankees lol), but I would never say they have a bad reputation. The Tampa Bay Rays have a bad reputation. The Charlotte Bobcats have a bad reputation. Not the Yankees. Not the Lakers.
Edited by djcovi, September 12, 2013 - 09:11 AM.