Just some of my thoughts about the team and season and how they effected where we are and what some of us think. This was the last season of hope for most of us for Bean to get #6 and tie MJ. In hindsight there were a lot of skeptics but the majority of people thought this squad was going to beat OKC in the WCF and eventually challenge the Heat.
I think the beginning of the end of this team started in the 11-12 season prior. Basketball styles were starting to shift. Role players appeared to have a larger role in winning basketball games and what not.
The biggest mistake Jim/Mitch made was not trading Pau after the CP3 trade was vetoed and retooling the roster. There were still options out there. Instead they overlooked his weaknesses and how teams would take advantage of him and eventually the defense. Pau was still playing the 4 where teams were running out stretch 4s and bigs that were very athletic and dynamic on the competing teams: Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Bosh.
1. The Nash trade should've never happened. Steve Nash was still a good basketball player, but in the 11-12 season he was getting his back stretched out on a losing team. He was a disaster on defense ready to happen and had already lost his ability to penetrate to the rim vs a focused defense. Some can point to the results that LA lucked into their picks today (using hindsight) but what about what COULD have been?
2. Pau and Dwight was never going to work on either side of the floor effectively. Pau could not check 4s and Dwight wanted to post up to validate himself as a "big man". The loser of this pairing was Pau and in turn the team.
3. MDA was a good hire overall but the roster was not a good fit for any elite level of basketball. It's always said that they should've hired someone else, particularly Phil. Phil said he didn't want the job. Also listening to Phil over the years I personally believe he didn't really want the job b/c he knew they would fail unless there was a roster overhaul.
4. Kobe was one of the worst defenders in the league that year. Largely responsible for why they were so bad on defense. The pressure was on, he probably felt the age and fatigue and stop trusting in team. My fav Kobe years were 08-10 b/c we saw him trust the team, Phil and flat out win ball games. All the things they were great about him were display. Funny how the only thing that gets celebrated by a lot of the extreme fans are things that contributed to him actually losing: Chucking, not trusting his squad, gambling on defense
5. Dwight was a clown and the LA front office had to be out of touch to think it was going to work. It's almost as if they did no intel on him. I guess they believed if he was in a Lakers uni he was going to change. Huge mistake. Another mistake was pushing for the dude to play when he wasn't physically ready. It's been reported that he shouldn't have been on the floor until January. Getting him healthy should've been 1st priority but obviously competing for a ring was 1st priority but those are conflicting interests. So why even make the trade? Did they know Bynum's knees were shot already? Who knows. We do know Philly got the worst out of that trade. Lost Iggy and a 1st in that deal. Rarely gets talked about though (another day).
6. The positive part of the season was just seeing Kobe kill it offensively. We saw some foreshadowing of how a typical pace and space offense worked today that year in LA. He ran a lot of high PnR to get buckets and shots at will. Something I wish we would have gotten more of from him. Kobe could have easily put up James Harden type numbers with the right team makeup and willingness to trust his squad.
7. It was the last season until this past one that I believe most of us enjoyed even watching the team. Up until this season I was team tank. Lakers absolutely needed to tank to get to where they are today. Getting rid of Jim/Mitch was required. I battled with this but the proof in the work Magic/Pelinka have put in has shown those 2 getting fired was LONG overdue.
8. Hopefully the front office looks to this season and see the mistakes made and never repeat them. The front office ate well for years on the backs of 3 generational players and didn't have to put in much work to be a top team.
I believe this was the same season I joined this forum. I was one of the few guys talking that it was over and they need to rebuilt talk before most. Even had some dude on here that they thought was my BURNER account in Harry Styles lol. I hope we never have another season that heartbreaking again.