Los Angeles Lakers: Bynum

Countdown to Christmas: Worst-case scenario

December, 15, 2011
12/15/11
9:07
AM PT
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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Lakers fans, you better sit down for this one.

Exploring the worst-case scenario for the Lakers this season can get pretty ugly, pretty quick.

Even before the Lakers have played a game things are pretty unbearable if you live in Los Angeles and root for the purple and gold.

It all began last week (seems like a year ago now) when the Lakers had a deal in place to acquire Chris Paul for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.

Kobe Bryant and Paul were supposed to form one of the best backcourts in NBA history. The Lakers were supposed to finally have a young, quick floor general to combat against the NBA’s new wave of dynamic guards dominating the game in Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Stephen Curry and John Wall. The 26-year-old Paul and 24-year-old Andrew Bynum were supposed to give the Lakers a backbone to build upon for the next five years as the 33-year-old Bryant hit season No. 16 and beyond.

Instead? Well, just follow these four events in the course they occurred. Each one seems worse than the last.
1. NBA commissioner David Stern vetoes the trade -- In an unprecedented flex of power, Stern quashed the deal citing “basketball reasons.” Lakers general manager was left with little options for recourse, telling reporters, “We did the best we can to express our displeasure.” Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, in the hospital being treated for blood clots in his legs at the time, had to have felt punched in the gut after supporting Stern throughout the lockout and even going along with the commish’s revenue sharing model, even though it meant $50 million being plucked from the Lakers’ coffers and redistributed to their opponents every season.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 9.7
AssistsK. Marshall 8.8
StealsJ. Meeks 1.4
BlocksP. Gasol 1.5