Roger Herring| BKD TV Insiders & Published by Demarus Dye| BKD TV Insiders
What will the impact Of Kobe Bryant’s retirement have on this upcoming 2016-2017 NBA Season?
For over 20 NBA Season’s Kobe Bryant was a pivotal player for The Los Angeles organization. He helped lead the team to five NBA Championships and was a beloved figure in the city but, with old age and some major significant injuries it was time for Kobe to retire. His legacy will forever be one of the greatest players summited in Laker glory next to Hall of Famers like Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Now the Lakers have a fresh start with a bunch of young talent to make a push for the playoffs but the will they get there?
The Lakers fired Byron Scott who had a dismal last two seasons with the Lakers as the team struggled to be respectable. His records of 21-61 in the 2014-15 and 17-65 in 2015-16 have been some of the worst in franchise history. It wasn’t Byron Scott’s entire fault because he never had the right players that could run the system that he wanted to use. Not to mention Kobe’s skills as a basketball player was declining right in front of everyone’s eyes. He couldn’t carry the team the way he use to when he was younger. So Byron Scott got the raw end of the deal because the talent wasn’t there for him to succeed as the Lakers coach.
Most of the blame for the Lakers troubles in recent years comes from management. Jim Buss the executive vice president of basketball operations and Mitch Kupchak the General Manager lead the clubs direction in losing. Poor decisions from these guys and not being able to sign key free agents are the reason why the Lakers are at the bottom of the Western Conference.
Jim Buss himself has taken this once great franchise and literally turned it into one of the worst teams in the NBA because of his ego. Now we enter into a new phase for the Lakers as they have hired Luke Walton as the Coach for the team. The Los Angeles Lakers will be in unfamiliar territory, as they will have a whole youth movement. Second overall pick D’Angelo Russell will have to become a team leader in Kobe’s absents. Along with Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram that will also lead the team into a new era of basketball.
Most Lakers fans would love to have a repeat of the old days in which the team is competing for an NBA Championship. The fact that the team has been bad for this long is astonishing. It is not easy in the western conference because teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers have been a consistent threat in making the playoffs every year. Not to mention there are other teams in the West that is in better situations like the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Portland Trail Blazers. At the end of the day this franchise will have a long way to go before it gets back to the mountaintop.
Going into next season there are a lot of questions that I would like to have answered as a long time Lakers fan. How will the team rebound from being the second worst team in the league last year? If they have another bad season will Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak be fired from their duties? Also will Lakers fans be tired of all this losing and start to boycott games? Hopefully none of these questions will come to fruition. For the Los Angeles Lakers I want the team to move in a positive direction and it starts this upcoming season.