The domino effect out of LeBron’s Decision 2.0 has already started and affected several teams around the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers are one of those teams which saw their ambitions getting demolished, as both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony turned down the possibility of joining forces with Kobe in the City of Angels. After the two superstars took their respective decisions, lots of other significant players were moved. Pau Gasol turned down two consecutive offers from the Lakers and decided to head to the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers took advantage of the Houston Rockets’ urgent need to trade away Jeremy Lin and received him along with his huge contract.
Gasol’s departure in combination with the acquisition of Lin and the fact that the Lakers failed to land a megastar this summer brings LA in a brand new era, a strange one. The Lakers will now have to depend mainly on Kobe Bryant, who will turn 36 before the start of the new season. On top of that, there will be no second star, no second pillar alongside him. With Gasol gone, there will be no pillar to support Kobe on the offensive end for the Lakers, unless Mitch Kupchak manages to make a surprising move this summer.
The Los Angeles Lakers were aiming to return to a championship contending course in 2014 – 2015. Apparently, this won’t happen. All the Lakers will be able to do now is to try and make the playoffs next season and hope they can chase another superstar, like Kevin Love, next summer. The certain fact is that the window is gradually closing for Kobe and if the Lakers really want to stand a chance to win another championship while he is still active, they will have to act smart and quickly.
This new era will be a very strange one for the Lakers. After years of success LA struggled over the last couple of seasons. It was made clear that Mike D’Antoni’s run and gun system just didn’t fit well with the philosophy of the Lakers, or at least the group of players the Lakers had on board. This new era will also find Kobe in a different situation than the ones he was used to up to now. Kobe had a capable, star big man on his side almost throughout the last decade and that’s how he managed to lead the Lakers to success. At first it was Shaquille O’Neal and then it was Pau Gasol, when the Spaniard center was in his prime. Now, Kobe will have to try and carry the team on his own.
Lakers fans may feel disappointed with the evolution’s of free agency up to now. The major change, the upgrade or the superstar addition everyone in LA expected did not come. Now, the Lakers will have to cook up a new plan for their near future.
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BY: Chris M.