|Filed Under:||Sports / Basketball|
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The Lakers are bad: 22-44, likely headed for their worst record since moving to L.A. Even worse, they're dull. Even enemy fans can't get worked up. It was one of the Lakers' few sunshine moments this season, a historically bizarre victory in Cleveland when backup center Robert Sacre was allowed to keep playing despite picking up a sixth foul.
After back-to-back losses by a combined 63 points at Oklahoma City and San Antonio, Lakers don't play again till Wednesday. That may be a good thing. These four-day breaks used to be the ones the Lakers loved, whether they came late in the regular season or after knocking out another playoff opponent.
The Lakers had never lost this badly to San Antonio and are officially eliminated from playoff contention. SAN ANTONIO — Sure, why not. Another ragged moment for the Lakers and their fine tradition.
The Lakers coach says Jackson will be a good fit as the Knicks' president and the team will benefit from Jackson's basketball knowledge. SAN ANTONIO — Lakers fans lost one of their favorite chants earlier this season, the "M-V-P" mantra reserved for the still-injured Kobe Bryant.
Phil Jackson won't be coming to the rescue, no matter how much fans want him. Lakers' ownership announces they've signed Kobe to a max contract without knowing the status of his health, Phil announces he's signing with the Knicks, and Webster's dictionary announces they're putting a picture of Jim next to the word "Blunderbuss."
The triangle is back for the Lakers, but not in a good way: It centers on how to sort out differences among Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Mike D'Antoni. OKLAHOMA CITY — The triangle offense is back in Los Angeles, but not in a way that would make Phil Jackson smile.
Gasol says he respects his teammate for speaking his mind and says Bryant is trying 'to make sure everybody's doing the best they can for him to be in a position to be able to win.' OKLAHOMA CITY — Pau Gasol heard about Kobe Bryant's front-office rant. He understood it.
LAKERS AT SAN ANTONIO
His going to New York to become president of basketball operations for the Knicks, according to reports, slams the door shut on any possibility of him helping revitalize the team he formerly coached. The most painful loss in a throbbing Lakers season came hours after Kobe Bryant was officially declared done until October because of a perpetually achy knee.
Lakers are coming off a stunning victory at home over the Thunder. When: 6:30 PDT.
The injured superstar won't return this season, which will help the Lakers get a high lottery pick. He says management must get its act together, especially when it comes to Phil Jackson. As last-second shots go, this was one of his best.
Current and former stars of the team want the Lakers' front office to get things right now. Bryant says he has no patience to wait for the team to improve. Kobe Bryant couldn't help himself. Neither could Magic Johnson. They both demanded action from the Lakers' front office at nearly identical times Wednesday.
Only three current Lakers (Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre) have contracts guaranteed next season. Among the other 12, who is likely to be back? Jodie Meeks was the star of the Lakers' show last Sunday, outscoring Kevin Durant but also reminding his team of something less enthralling.
The Lakers are about to lose one of the greatest minds in basketball, reportedly to the Knicks. If the Buss family wants the team to succeed, its members need to stop bickering over Jackson. They are losing more games by larger margins than anyone could imagine. They are losing more fans in bigger chunks than anyone thought possible.
In the past week, the Lakers gave up an average of 136 points in losses to New Orleans, the Clippers and Denver but beat Portland and Oklahoma City. The Lakers will probably be mathematically eliminated next week from a playoff spot, four weeks before the regular season ends.
The Lakers stun Oklahoma City behind the play of Jodie Meeks, who makes 11 of 18 shots and all 14 of his free throws. It's a little unclear what happened the past week to the Lakers.
The Oklahoma City Thunder guard and former Laker has vowed to retire after this season, but teammates are planning to talk to him. The Thunder lost, 114-110, at Staples Center on Sunday. Derek Fisher made what may have been his lastShow More Summary
Players from rival schools like UCLA and USC or Duke and North Carolina often become NBA teammates. It can be awkward, but also fun. There was no getting past it. Ryan Kelly could be the best Lakers teammate Kendall Marshall ever had, and it still wouldn't compensate for two things.
He will be getting paid anyway, so who better to coach a bad team? Some Lakers fans were undoubtedly hoping General Manager Mitch Kupchak would pull a Pat Haden and meet his embattled coach on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport late Thursday night before he could board the team plane and coach another game.
L.A. plays its next two games against Oklahoma City before playing two in a row against San Antonio. The Thunder and Spurs have combined for 91 wins and 32 losses. And now for the truly hard part of the Lakers schedule.