Vegas sure did, as they had the Lakers at 5:2 odds to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in October.
Keep your hand raised if you now think after one sub-par season, the Lakers need to press the reset button on this aging and brittle roster.
I should see a lot of (virtual) hands up.
That’s just the nature of sports in the 21st century. Few fans have the patience to wait for their favorite sports team to mesh when everything else in their lives is given to them in a nano-second. You can technically reach anyone in the world in an instant through a text message (although, standard message rates may apply). We consume the news instantly through our Twitter feeds. I could go on for days to list the ways technology has accelerated the process of globalization. However, we’re here to talk about the Lakers.
In basketball, and in many other aspects of life, you tend to do better when you accentuate your strengths and mask your weaknesses. The key is to have more strengths than weaknesses.
Depending on what your opinion on the 2012-13 season is, the Lakers either have…
a.) a myriad of talent (strengths) that was just unfortunate to suffer 857,723 (slight embellishment) games missed due to injury.
b.) a team littered with unreliable players (weaknesses) that Kobe, their one strength, was able to overcome.
Either way, I think the core of Steve Nash, Kobe, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard (fingers crossed he’ll re-sign) deserve one more kick at that championship can.
And guess what? Kobe does too.
In his exit interview back on April 30th, the shooting guard said “If we can gain something from this season. It’s getting most of the guys back. When you go from a year like this-five games out of the playoffs and then making the No. 7 seed-it does something for the group.”
“To allow that to dissipate and do that again with another group, it’s a headache.”
Bryant probably spoke from the vantage point of someone who doesn’t have many years left in the league and would like to maximize whatever number of years he has left. But hey, most of Lakers Nation, myself included, prioritizes the wants and needs of Kobe as that of the team anyways.
Another reason why the expectations were paramount for this super team that Mitch Kupchak had assembled last summer was due to the precedent set by other super teams.
Next Page: Steep Expectations