Unless you live under a rock, and that rock is on another planet in another galaxy, you’ve probably heard about the D’Angelo Russell-Nick Young-Lakers soap opera that is playing out in real life Hollywood this week. Long story short, DLoading secretly recorded Swaggy P talking about his infidelities, the video got leaked, and now everybody (except Iggy Azalea) hates the Lakers star rookie. This post isn’t going to be about my opinion. I’m not picking sides. I’m not even defending anyone. This post is just a place for me to ramble about my feelings as a Lakers fan during this ridiculous time.
Earlier this week, I wrote about the embarrassing 48-point loss to the Jazz being a turning point for the future of the team. Well, I was wrong; this is the turning point, and I’m sick. With seven games left in the season, the Lakers are wrapping up their worst campaign in history. They will be watching the playoffs from home for the third straight year, a first for the franchise. It can’t end soon enough. On April 13th, with tears in my eyes, I will watch Kobe Bryant one last time. I will then turn this team off until the draft lottery in May and then (hopefully) the draft at the end of June. I honestly can’t wait for a whole month without thinking about the Lakers.
So what happens next? I really believe (call me optimistic) that D’Angelo Russell has the talent and the potential to lead this team back to the promised land. Obviously he needs some great pieces around him; but I believe he is the guy to be the face of the franchise as Kobe leaves the building. That is why the TMZ worthy press surrounding him this week is so hard for me to take. You can’t have the future face of your franchise hated by the rest of the team. Re-signing Jordan Clarkson is a huge priority this off-season, but he won’t even look at Russell. If Kupchak has to choose who to keep, he has to keep the guy who he drafted #2 overall only one year ago. And if Clarkson won’t look at him or speak to him, will any other big name free agents want to look at or speak to the Lakers? Do Kevin Durant and DeMar DeRozan care about the “guy code” that D’Angelo broke (I think this code is BS, but that morality story is too long to include here)? Will everybody eventually just get over it? I guess we’ll find out soon.
For now, I’ll just enjoy a little more Kobe and look forward to watching the NBA Playoffs – also known as my Lakers vacation.