Magic Johnson’s sudden resignation toward the end of the regular season put the Los Angeles Lakers on an unenviable path.
Without much experience in the front office, Los Angeles had to turn quickly and find a replacement for head coach Luke Walton. Walton’s own future in Los Angeles remained up in the air until days after Johnson’s resignation.
Once Walton was exiled, it became rather clear that the Lakers were looking to hire former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, potentially as a way to cater to star LeBron James.
What could go wrong, has gone wrong.
Tyronn Lue: Not the perfect choice.
- Even before reports of talks breaking down, it was clear to the objective mind that Lue might not have been the right choice.
- Lakers head honcho Jeanie Buss has made it clear that she wouldn’t cater to LeBron James, much like what we saw during his Cavaliers days.
- By only having one serious candidate in that of Lue, Buss backtracked from this previous stance.
It’s not the same LeBron James: We’ll see that first hand this summer.
- The days of veterans taking pay cuts and stars teaming up with King James are over. He’s no longer the draw that we saw in both Miami and Cleveland.
- James’ advanced age coupled with his injury-plagued 2018-19 campaign and a bloated sense of self all plays into this.
- By catering to James with Lue, the Lakers were already making it clear who runs the ship. That’s not going to be a draw in July.
The Anthony Davis saga: Lakers deserve some of the blame.
- We understand full well that former Pelicans general manager Dell Demps did not want to deal with the Lakers.
- Even then, the drama we saw unfold leading up to February’s trade deadline continued to act as a further complication for this young team.
- James was isolated. Young Lakers players — previously on the block — were seen as expendable.
- It led to a disastrous end to the regular season and a missed opportunity at the playoffs.
Not a tight ship: Johnson’s resignation wasn’t even a culmination of it.
- Once Johnson shocked the press at the Staples Center with an impromptu resignation announcement, everything we thought we knew about the Lakers was thrown out the window.
- Seemingly fully prepared to hire Lue, talks have now broken down. Where does Los Angeles go from here?
- It’s a lack of real leadership — Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka included — that has marred the Lakers’ front office.
Lue might very well be hired to be the Lakers’ next head coach. But given how imminent this relationship looked, any snag paints Los Angeles’ front office in a bad light.
We now have to wonder what top-end free agents would want to join this sinking ship when another Los Angeles teamseems to be more attractive.
Wednesday’s report of discord between Lue and the Lakers only adds to this idea.