Congratulations to Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, you’ve created a Fox News style cycle where the talking heads debate endlessly regarding the self-proclaimed “King.” Now we have to ask, was it worth it? Was the media circus, trade rumors, locker room drama worth missing the playoffs for the 6th straight year?
I’ll answer that question for them. No. It was not worth disturbing the development of the young core, nor will it be worth it when a promising young coach loses his job.
“But LeBron is a winner! LeBron has not missed the playoffs since 2005!”
Easy, the record remains the same between super-star-devoid 2018 Lakers and the dumpster-fire-botched-trade 2019 Lakers. How does the team who had a player being paid $12 million to ride the bus do the same as the team with the “greatest player of all time?” Sure I’ll accept LeBron’s first major injury as well as Lonzo’s, but that isn’t an excuse for the lack of leadership shown on and off the court by the veterans. I’d argue that the veteran leaders of this team are Rajon Rondo (reported to have stayed after practice with Lonzo to work on his inside-outside game) and Tyson Chandler (cited by Ivica Zubac as mentoring him).
Even Brandon Ingram has been more of a leader than LeBron. He’s never been seen on the bench drinking wine or sitting apart from the team, instead he’s frequently the last one to walk the tunnel in order to high-five his teammates. Perhaps this season has been a joint conspiracy against Luke Walton and by proxy, Jeanie Buss. During a summer tour stop with the Petros and Money Show, Buss was quoted as staunchly supporting Coach Walton amid (even then) rumors of friction between Walton, the new front office, and LeBron.
Say they fire Walton, who would be the replacement? Tyron Lue? Didn’t LeBron routinely ignore him in the huddle, perhaps leading Lue to a health crisis? We know Magic Johnson is a big fan of former Lakers coach Byron Scott, Lakers fans remember how his last tenure went. I don’t think Lakers fans know what to expect in the future and I’d be surprised if the front office knows either. A second superstar won’t fill the potholes created in 2018-2019, perhaps a more experienced president and general manager might.