LA Lakers: Portrait of a Failed Superteam
At the time of this writing, the Lakers are still bad, incredibly bad. Granted, there are chances that they can save their capsized vessel from the icy depths of the seas of mockery in time to actually regain respectability, but for the time being, indulge us as we bask in the failures of what is now “That Other Los Angeles Basketball Team”. You know, the team without that tall guy with the pants-wettingly hilarious KIA commercials.
“But Jay,” I hear a handful of you faithfuls mumble condescendingly, “Look at the Heat or the Celtics. It worked out for them! The Heat even had to wait a year to win a championship.” While I advise you, mumbling fan, to address me like a man next time instead of mumbling under your breath, I will agree that your claim holds weight. It does, in fact, take a little time for such big-name athletes to “gel” and begin remembering that basketball is, indeed, a team sport. What a lot of people forget, though, is that most teams don’t have the luxury of time.
In 2007, the Celtics knew this. Bringing in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to join Paul Pierce was one of the biggest deals in NBA history, but management knew they were immediately on the clock. These dudes were already old, and in “NBA time,” players age like that jug of milk I forgot to take out of my trunk last night. Damn. The Celtics knew they needed to win quickly, and they did. Yay! The Heat, on the other hand, was the team that everyone decided would receive all of our collective hatred for at least a decade. We pointed and laughed while they struggled to dribble and run at the same time in 2010, but then they started winning. The difference here is youth. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh each had something the 2007-08 Celtics didn’t and our Lakers currently don’t: youth. Hell even their head coach looked like he could kick our ass.
Kobe’s been teasing retirement for years. Why? Could it be that he’s satisfied with his five freaking NBA titles? In fact, the Lakers have won more titles than anyone since 2000. Why do they need a super group? Enough with the questions. It’s time to get real with you all… because I think you can take it. And nothing is real-er than a comparison to superhero comic books.
We see with the Lakers what would more than likely occur if our dear Avengers group were charged with saving our dying planet. No, not Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America and those other guys. I’m talking about Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Norton (Edward Ruffalo?), and those other guys. Sure, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, and Metta “I Like to Punch Fans in the Face but Still Changed My Name to” World Peace all look good on paper, but watching them play together is borderline embarrassing. It reminds me of a group of PE teachers who meet at the YMCA on Tuesdays for a pick-up game to reminisce on how good they used to be.
When Joss Whedon brought our favorite superheroes together in a film and caused the largest collective nerdgasm in the history of unintentional male virginity, we immediately forgot who these actors were. They, respectively, were now the characters they each portrayed. If we were suddenly attacked by aliens, I honestly believe Obama has Sam Jackson programmed for speed dial, and somewhere down the list of possible ringleaders in the terrorist plot is Tom Hiddleston. But these people are not who we think they are. The Lakers are not who we think they are.
Let’s take a second to really look at who we think these guys are supposed to be. Hell, it feels like Kobe has been giving an interview every week answering the same questions. Why are we bothering Kobe? Disregarding that one little extra-marital hiccup a few years back, Kobe’s pretty much been a stand-up guy. Meanwhile, this Dwight Howard chump has made a career of whining. He didn’t like his coach in Orlando. He whines a bit. BOOM, coach gets fired. He wants to be on the Lakers. He whines a bit. BOOM, he’s a Laker. You really have to hate justice if you don’t get a little giddy watching this whole experiment fall apart.
Again, there is a chance that the Lakers could, somehow, make something out of this glorious failure. Of course, this chance is probably as likely as Amy Adams hitting me up at 3 a.m. for an impromptu booty call (I’m available). This Lakers experiment cannot and will not work out, but I promise I will bathe in the shining glory of the destruction of this once-great franchise.
Joseph Howard is a washed-up athlete who will most likely become fatter and angrier over time. In an attempt to keep his demons at bay, Joseph writes humorous articles for the internet. Follow his rambling nonsense on Twitter.