The Los Angeles Lakers’ once-promising season is officially a failure after the team failed to make the play-in tournament.
The Lakers’ 121-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns combined with the San Antonio Spurs’ 116-97 win over the Denver Nuggets hammered the final nail in the Lakers’ coffin, officially putting the team out of its misery.
“Extremely disappointed,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said following the loss. “Disappointed for our fan base. Disappointed for the Buss family, who gave us all this opportunity, and we want to play our part in bringing success to Laker basketball, and we fell short.” To make matters worse for Vogel, he is reportedly on the hot seat and is expected to be fired.
The Lakers were never really in the game, but the Suns blew it open with a 35-22 third quarter. Devin Booker, who came into the game with a chip on his shoulder after Anthony Davis called Suns victory over the Lakers last season a fluke, dropped 32 points while efficiently shooting 12-for-22 from the field. Jae Crowder made sure to rub it in by letting the bench hear it as the Lakers casket began to be lowered into the ground.
“We just didn’t get it done,” Carmelo Anthony said. “We had the tools. Some things were out of our control — some things we could control, some things we couldn’t. And it’s nothing else more than we didn’t get it done. You can’t make no excuses about it. We just didn’t get it done.”
Anthony Davis, who just got back from another injury, couldn’t really put the disappointment into words but blamed the Lakers’ issues on the injuries that bogged the team throughout the season.
“Our goal was to win a championship,” Davis said after putting up 21 points and 13 rebounds. “Feel like we had the pieces, but injuries got in the way of that. And that was the difference in the season. I think even though we lost games where all of us was on the floor — me, Bron, Russ — I think we’re three great players, but we would have figured it out if we logged more minutes together. But we weren’t able to do that, which makes it tough to be able to compete for a championship when your three best players haven’t logged enough minutes together.”
Russell Westbrook, who has caught a tremendous amount of flack this season and understandably so due to his poor play, expressed interest in running it back next season.
“I mean, that’s the plan. But nothing is promised,” Westbrook said. “Yes, we want to be able to see what that looks like, what that entails over the course of an 82-game season. But we’re not sure if that’s guaranteed, either. So I just hope that we have a chance to be able to do something.”
As for the group leader, LeBron James, he sat out his second straight game due to a sore ankle.
The Lakers slander was atomic as NBA Twitter piled on the once-heralded “superteam” that many picked to reach the NBA Finals before the season began.
Even the Lakers fans have to laugh at the jokes coming their team’s way. With the Lakers as currently constructed in disarray, this same team will not return, but we shall see what they do in the offseason.
Until we cross that bridge, they are going to get these jokes. You can peep all of the hilarious reactions to the Lakers failing to qualify for the play-in tournament in the gallery below.
Photo: Christian Petersen / Getty