How you going to get fired on your day off? How do you manage to screw up what is seemingly the most elementary of tasks? You had one job, lose. As much as management tries to tell you different and as many times you hear rumors that Los Angeles put out feelers for such and such player, the fact of the matter is they are tanking. Sure it may not be intentionally, but life has a way of mimicking the way your parents would force you to eat vegetables and take plenty of naps, you might not like it at the time but you end up thanking them later on. Now that might hurt your proud Laker sensibilities, but as they say pride cometh before the fall, or rather in this case fall cometh before the pride. Even with the uncomfortable confines of a losing season there are glimmers of light, shiny things to help distract Lakers fans from the filthy conditions they find themselves in. However, in typical (new) Lakers fashion they are managing to screw the pooch on that one too.
This season, much like last, is a wash, a hopefully soon to be forgotten footnote in the otherwise stellar annals of Lakers lore. There were supposed to be things to hang your hat on to get you through these tough times till the draft comes around and Los Angeles fans are greeted with a top 3 draft pick. Julius Randle’s rookie season, watching him develop, go up against top-tier power forwards, and hopefully see the light come on as he begins to “get it.” Kobe Bryant coming closer to potentially passing Kareem on the all-time scoring list. Another season of Nick Swaggy-P Young and his antics. What else could a rational fan ask for? Seems like the Lakers cannot even give their supporters that as Young has missed a plethora of games while Kobe and Randall are out for the season. The one thing they can control? The last train of hope on a long arduous journey to relevancy? Losing games, and they cannot even seem to get that right.
This past week the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Philadelphia 76ers in what would seemingly be an innocuous game between NBA bottom feeders. To the those of the populace who keep track of NBA standings and draft order, this was an important game as a loss by the Lakers meant they would be tied with the 76ers for the third worst record in the league. Such a position in the league standings would then take their chances of having a pick within in the top five and keeping the selection from going to Philadelphia, from 70% to the mid 90s. You the fan must see what is at stake here right? What is a win that further inspires the confidence of a young Jordan Clarkson versus a loss that increasing the chance of seeing him throw lobs to Karl Anthony-Towns next season (for the record, if the Lakers have the chance to draft Emmanuel Mudiay, they need to sprint to the podium)? To paraphrase the Temptations, “don’t be too proud to beg,” because when in a couple of months, as residents of LA LA Land are gathered as a family around their respective televisions there will be hell to pay if their last glimmer of hope is taken away from them. The answer is simple. Lose and lose often. The descent on will always be fear-inspiring, but when you reach the pinnacle you will thank this one voice crying in the wilderness who urged you to such depths of depravity.
Jotham Ndugga-Kabuye and all the awkwardness that surrounds his life can be followed and stalked at @jothamkabuye