I have been a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers since 1968 when, at the age of four, I would listen to Chick Hearn call the Lakers games on the radio. Well, I was a fan from 1968 until the draft just before last season at any rate.
Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Happy Hairston, Gail Goodrich, Pat Reily, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdoo, Jamaal Wilkes, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kurt Rambis, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Robert Horry, Derrick Fisher, and Pau Gasol were just some of the many great Lakers I watched play over the years.
When the Lakers hired Luke Walton as their head coach I was thrilled. He’s a young coach who is a proven winner – just look what he did in place of Steve Kerr for the Warriors a few years back. The Lakers had a core of good young players that Walton could mold into a very strong team that could contend for a title.
But Magic Johnson, who was the greatest point guard to ever play the game, seems dead set on proving that as bad as he was as a head coach he will be even worse as a GM. (Yes, I know that’s not his official title, but please, that is what his role is for the Lakers)
Last year he threw away the Lakers first round pick on Lonzo Ball, passing up on at least three or four better players. All anyone with a clue needed to know that Ball was going to be a bust in the NBA was to watch the disappearing act Ball pulled at UCLA against Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament that spring before the draft. His rookie season last year was dismal and it will likely be his best as a pro.
Magic also bungled the chance to get Paul George onto the Lakers last year. Instead of pulling the trigger on a mid-season trade with Indiana, he smugly assumed George would come to LA no matter where he spent the final half of last year. George ended up in Oklahoma City and signed a long-term deal with the Thunder. Well done, Earvin. (Hint: Yes, that was sarcasm.)
Then Johnson fell for the hype that is LeBron James. I am not a fan of James and haven’t been since “The Decision”. That stunt he, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh pulled to create a super team in Miami was a farce that violated the spirit of the salary cap rules in the NBA. I don’t recall Magic, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan pulling the same stunt when they played.
So, as the Lakers start the season 0-3 I say good. I hope they go 0-82. I hope they go 0-82 every year that James and Ball wears a Lakers’ jersey. Magic traded away great young players to get these two jokers. Now I hope he reaps the dismal losing records that will follow.
And when James, Ball and Magic are no longer with the team, then and only then, will I proclaim myself a Lakers’ fan once again. For now, the Magic-Ball-LeBrat years are dead to me.