The last three years has been the worst three-season stretch in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise. The team has broken the franchise record for fewest wins in a year in consecutive seasons, but things finally seem to be turning around.
Point guard D’Angelo Russell leads the group of talented Lakers youngsters who are looking to make an impact in this league sooner rather than later. With such a young roster, expectations for the Lakers are low, but Russell and the rest of the team don’t want to use that as an excuse.
According to Baxter Holmes of ESPN, Russell made it clear that these Lakers are not looking to rebuild slowly through a bunch of losing seasons:
“We don’t want to go through losing seasons. We don’t want to go through rebuilding as an excuse of losing. We’re rebuilding, but we still find a way to win games, and we’re capable. We have the pieces. We don’t have an All-Star guy or anything like that. Hopefully some potential [All-Star] guys, but we’re taking everything serious.”
After winning only 17 games last season, making a leap into the 25-30 win range would likely be considered a successful season for this team. Even still, it sounds like Russell would not be satisfied with that.
Whether or not the Lakers will be able to make a huge leap forward, record-wise remains to be seen, however. The Lakers have looked like a much-improved team so far this preseason, and Russell in particular looks like he is ready to take the next step, but the Western Conference is so difficult that the Lakers could conceivably be a far better team than last season, yet hardly improve their win-loss total.
Russell has said that he is taking more of a business-like approach to this season and he and the rest of the Lakers sound like they’re ready to shock a lot of people across the NBA.