Editor’s Note: the following article is (obviously) satire
When we last met the 2015 Los Angeles Lakers had just finished the preseason. The regular season was about to start with each member of the team holding a different set of expectations. The Lakers were set to start their most entertaining and successful season of the past three years.
Opening Night, October 2015 – the Lakers are about to start their season against the Minnesota Timberwolves
Byron Scott: I decided to throw Russell and Randle into the starting lineup but I really didn’t want to. We had a couple of good vets who I thought gave us a better chance of winning, but you know, development and all that crap.
D’Angelo Russell: I was so pumped to start. Starting point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers? That’s a dream come true.
Scott: Luckily we had plenty of ball-handlers so we really didn’t need D’Angelo to set up our offense.
Jordan Clarkson: What offense?
The Lakers lose a big lead and start the season 0-1. Laker legend Kobe Bryant starts the game hot but loses his touch down the stretch. Is it a sign of things to come?
Kobe Bryant: No.
The Lakers try to get on the right foot against the Sacramento Kings in their next game. They do the exact opposite.
Scott: I really thought we didn’t come out ready. We were soft. The Kings just wanted it more. Another cliché. We really need to come with more energy.
Roy Hibbert: We need to play good defense.
Russell: We need to play good offense.
Brandon Bass (Lakers Backup Center, Somehow): We need to not play me at center.
Marcelo Huertas: We need to not play me.
The Lakers woes continue with the team losing two more games to start the season 0-4, setting up matchup against the Brooklyn Nets – a pivotal, important, and interesting game…Ah who am I kidding?
The Lakers win their first game of the season against the Nets. Yes, the Nets were just as big of a mess as the Lakers. No, no one needs to remember this game.
Scott: I thought Lou Williams was playing well so I had him play down the stretch over the rook. His veteran experience really came in clutch.
Lou Williams shot 2-9 and had 10 points on the night.
Russell: I thought I played pretty well. Got a whole lot of learning time on the bench so that’s cool.
Bass: We should really stop using me as a center.
Tarik Black (Forgotten Backup Center): I agree with that guy.
The Lakers continue their slide, losing lots of games, winning very few. Questions of the players’ toughness come often from the coach. Questions of the coach’s ability come far less often from the coach.
Scott: It’s pretty simple. We need to come out with fire. Show some passion. Earn playing time. See Kobe? He’s put in the work, earned the privilege to take those shots and miss.
Bryant: You’re welcome.
Fans become restless with the lack of development. Russell is demoted to bust status, basically Kendall Marshall with a jump shot. Julius Randle is more or less Terrence Jones. Jordan Clarkson? Well, he only put up stats on a bad team. The rookie’s struggles are best described by veteran Metta World Peace:
Despite the wise words, the struggles are many and no one seems to know the root of the issues.
The Lakers continue their losing ways but suddenly a curve-ball (or perhaps an air-ball) is thrown on their season. The Laker Legend, Kobe Bryant, is ready to retire and in a poem, The Announcement becomes clear.
Bryant: The way I announced it was really because I thought the whole process was poetic. My career was a full circle. I won rings early in my career; I won rings late in my career. I shot those four air-balls in Utah when I was younger; now I shoot four air-balls every game. I like storytelling and this is shaping up to be the perfect story.
The Lakers are asked about what Bryant’s retirement means for the rest of the season and beyond.
Mitch Kupchak: We no longer have an obligation to pay him all that money.
Robert Sacre: Well more than anything, it means that next season I’ll be the longest tenured Laker player and I’ll have to be the leader this team needs. I am ready for that responsibility. I already beat out Robert Upshaw in training camp so I think I’ve proven how valuable I am.
Nicholas Young: Well, you know, it just means I’m gonna be the star of the team, you know. Have the offense run through me, you know. Get some buckets, give out some swag. All of that.
Russell: It’s been an honor to play with Kobe, but oh boy am I glad he won’t be on the team next year. No more chucking.
Clarkson: It’s been an honor to play with Kobe, but oh boy am I glad he won’t be on the team next year. No more chucking.
Julius Randle: It’s been an honor to play with Kobe, but oh boy am I glad he won’t be on the team next year. No more chucking.
Scott: Well since this is his last year, guess we should do him the service of letting him shoot everything in sight. It’s only right since he’s earned it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯