Lakers reportedly ‘not aligned really on any level’
Even with the addition of LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers are set to embark upon another uncertain offseason, and the belief is the organization’s power structure is in a state of dysfunction at its onset.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Lakers are “an organization right now that is not aligned really on any level” as the team closes out a sixth straight losing campaign.
Woj goes on to note that it’s imperative that co-owner and CEO Jeanie Buss, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka collectively formulate a workable plan so that the team does not waste another season of the LeBron James Era.
Woj adds that those three, along with embattled head coach Luke Walton, who is likely to be cut loose, and James — who has at every stop in his NBA career conducted himself as a quasi-front-office executive — have not been on the same page all season.
One particularly outspoken NBA analyst argued earlier in the season that it would be Magic Johnson’s fault if the Lakers failed to reach the postseason. It seems unlikely that Buss would fire Johnson, but she just conceded this week that the Lakers have “haven’t lived up to the brand” created by her father, the late Dr. Jerry Buss.
There has been an unsurprising abundance of criticism over the Lakers falling well short of expectations this season. That said, the organization has an opportunity to quickly reverse course simply due to James’ presence.
While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s been speculated James actually may be more of a hindrance than an asset when it comes to attracting top-tier free agents to L.A., with that belief even suggested by one of those superstars who will be available this summer.
It will be worth monitoring how the Lakers go about their business in the immediate aftermath of the season ending. It could go a long way in setting the stage for how the organization will approach this extremely critical upcoming offseason.