Pretty Much Screwed: The 2013-14 Los Angeles Lakers

  • Jake O'Donnell

Welcome to “Pretty Much Screwed,” our definitive guide to the upcoming NBA season. This team-by-team preview details why it’s probably not your favorite team’s year. That’s why we’re finally looking at the Lakers, who are probably your favorite team, will suck this year, and are screwed going forward.

Dwight Howard left and you got nothing in return. You could have, but something stopped you from seeing the writing on the wall. Even though you knew that he wanted Kobe out and you wouldn’t do that. Even though you knew he wanted D’Antoni out and you wouldn’t do that, either. Even though you knew that he’s the kind of guy who needs to get want he wants to be happy, or else he’s a miserable frowny faced fart.

Knowing all this, you still thought that because you’re the Los Angeles Lakers, he’d stick around, and that everything would be fine. Well he left. And you suck now. And you deserve it for being cocky.

Now, most prolific franchises lead by a top-tier star have to face the music at some point, and either A) wait for him to retire (and try and figure out a way to build a team around him that can compete) or B) trade him. Well, it looks like Kobe Bryant (who’s already said he will not take less money) is sticking around, and the Lakers won’t trade him or let him walk. Ok, so option A it is. Let’s talk about the pieces you’ve added around him, so as to not make his twilight years quite so pathetic.

Jordan Hill
Jordy Meeks
Jordan Farmar
Nick Young
Wesley Johnson
Chris Kaman
Steve Nash
Pau Gasol

Really? There’s nothing close to an All-Star on that team, and none of them can play a lick of defense. The roster sucks, quite frankly. You’ll desperately be looking to pick up something big next summer when all that cash comes off the books from Kobe and Pau’s contracts. Too bad no one will want to come play for this team.

Dwight Howard has already sounded the alarm for this generation of superstars. Kobe’s a dick. Don’t go there. Play for the Clippers if you like the celebrity lifestyle and weather.

It’s true. Carmelo is staying in New York and LeBron isn’t moving anywhere but Cleveland (or the NFL).

Sure, it’s feasible that Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook end up in L.A., but Kobe would have to take a pay cut for that to be possible. He won’t — out of principle and because he can get a max deal — and that’s precisely the kind of attitude teammates hate. Kobe still believes in his heart that he’s the same guy he was five years ago. He still thinks he’s better than everyone. He’s not, and he should find a way to take less money if he wants to win another championship and tie/surpass Jordan’s championship total. Which is what he wants. He wants to be thought of as better than Jordan. He’s about 600 points away from passing MJ’s career points total, and 7,000 away from Kareem’s all-time record of 38,387. He’ll hit those benchmarks if he plays another few seasons with this type of team…

The championships, though — they won’t come unless the Lakers add some star power. In fact, they’ll need two major stars to win a title again, and who knows how they’re going to do that. Maybe tanking this season and get an early draft pick (Kobe is sitting out to start the year). Shop Pau Gasol around. Acquire a few top notch role players. Hope one of them turns out to be way better than anticipated. Or just ask guys to come to L.A. and play with a curmudgeony Kobe as he hobbles his way into the history books. We’re rooting for it to happen, but don’t be surprised if they get blown off by some big names…

Actual Season Prediction: 36-46 because Kobe won’t play much, and when he does, he’ll be slower on both sides of the ball. This team will give up the most points of any team in the NBA.