The last three seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers have been terrible, but nothing compares to what happened last night and what that might mean for the future. That may sound like an exaggeration but hear me out.
The Lakers lost by 48 points in Kobe’s last game in Utah, tying the franchise’s worst and giving Kobe the worst loss in his career. The score isn’t even the most troublesome thing that happened last night; it’s what’s happening to Clarkson, Russell, and Randle. The Lakers core of young talent – that has some people excited for the future – went 8-34 from the field and combined for a whopping 19 points. Now I don’t know if the long season of losses is wearing them out, but these guys can’t make it look like they’re quitting.
In eight more games there will be no more Kobe. This franchise will have a stack of money to spend while trying to answer the question of what’s next. It’s no secret that there a number of big name, big ticket free agents out there that the Lakers will be targeting. Mitch Kupchak can sell them on the history, the big stage, and most importantly the young core of talent they will have to play with.
Jordan, D’Angelo, Julius, you have eight games (8 games!) to show that you’re hungry to make it big in this league. The world’s eyes will be on Kobe; but Durant’s eyes and DeRozan’s eyes and Drummond’s eyes will all be on you. Prove that last night was not a sign of what’s to come. Prove that the old man who can’t walk isn’t the guy who will have to guard the other team’s best player every night. Prove that you won’t quit working and fighting every second. Prove that the Lakers have a bright future, and maybe they will.