“All of this, falling apart like this is all on you! We had a good thing…we had Fring, we had a lab, we had everything we ever needed, and it all ran like clockwork. You could have shut your mouth, cooked, and made as much money as you ever needed. It was perfect! But no! You just had to blow it up! You and your pride and your ego. You just had to be the man. If you had done your job and known your place, we’d all be fine right now.”
This was Mike Ehrmantraut’s final rebuke of Walt White on AMC’s hit drama Breaking Bad. If we step back and observe the Lakers’ debacle of a season, we can find a few people who are deserving of such criticism. Who you may ask? Well, let’s start with Jim Buss.
No Lakers fan in the space time continuum has ever said, “Boy I do love Jim Buss and the job he is doing running the Lakers!” He is a know-it-all. A person who has lots of money and feels entitled to make basketball-related decisions when he has no business doing so. It seems that he allows his personal and professional insecurities to make him take responsibilities that should solely belong to Mitch Kupchak. The most recent example was the hiring of Mike Brown, firing of Mike Brown, and the decision to hire Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson.
Which leads to the next person worthy of Mike’s tongue-lashing: The Lakers current head coach, Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni has stubbornly refused to adjust his system to accommodate his star players. He insists on imposing his philosophy which calls for a quick, young, athletic, 3-point shooting team on a Lakers squad that is slow, old, and has a mediocre perimeter game. It is a ridiculous idea for one of the best post players in Pau Gasol to be taking 3-pointers. D’Antoni’s public embarrassments of Gasol is wrong in every way.
To Laker fans, D’Antoni is an outsider and he hasn’t earned the credit to bench Gasol and reason that he “wanted to try to win the game”. Guess what, Mike. Gasol has been consistently been helping us win games since 2008. He helped us win two titles. So maybe you should learn to adjust your gameplan for a guy who gets paid more money in year than your entire 4-year contract.
TJ Simers of the LA Times put it best:
“The Lakers have a huge problem and its not Pau Gasol.”
I just can’t decide if its Jim or Mike.