The Lakers may be done, but the K Bros keep cranking out the ear candy. It's because we care about the Land O' Lakers faithful. And we're contractually obligated to record a certain amount of shows. Among the talking points:
- Magic Johnson's "blow it up" comments, how little thought he appeared to have given to the logistics of "blowing it up," and Magic's proclivity these days for bold comments. The current Lakers definitely don't agree with his assessment and especially not the timing, given it was offered while the team was still competing.
For what it's worth, we also don't think a "Bridge Over the River Kwai" approach is the right call. For starters, the unceremonious, embarrassing playoff exit should work wonders towards motivating and focusing the 2012 Lakers. It feels very similar to how the 131-92 Game 6 shellacking in Boston shaped the 2009 title run. For that matter, the criticism lobbed at Pau Gasol added fuel to his fire, which should be the case once again.
There's also no guarantee the core players can be flipped for better talent. Plus, the window for an elite team with Kobe Bryant as a focal point is narrowing, and a brand new roster could equal a season burned while players gain familiarity with each other. The Lakers don't really have that luxury.
- Still, by definition of getting swept, the Lakers need to improve on some level this offseason. What are the areas in need of addressing?
- What to make of Andrew Bynum's obvious desire to increase his presence -- offensively, defensively, leadership -- and Kobe's assessment that Drew will ultimately "have to fall in line" behind himself and Pau Gasol (at least in terms of touches). The issue isn't so much whose vision of Bynum's role makes more sense -- although it certainly bears examination -- but rather Drew's potential dissatisfaction with what could be his gig for the immediate future. Beyond his health concerns and obvious trade value, would the Lakers need to move Bynum to avoid a potential problem?
Of course, if Kobe isn't willing to alter the pecking order throughout games or during crunch time to any degree under any circumstances, the issue might resurface with, say, Dwight Howard, among other stars potentially landed for Drew.