Saturday, 09 March 2019 12:56

'MATTer of Opinion' SPORTS COLUMN: Lost in Los Angeles

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What is happening to the Los Angeles Lakers?

Back in July, when LeBron James told the world he would be packing up and moving to the West Coast to continue his career, the basketball world was buzzing. It was widely considered to be a great move. The move from Cleveland to LA would allow him to recruit fellow stars who could also help push the City of Angles toward another championship.

But things didn't go as planned.

Paul George had already made his desires about wanting to play for the Lakers known before being traded to Oklahoma City a year earlier. Now with LeBron James in the fold, surely, he would become a Laker.

Nope.

George chose to stay in OKC, signing a three-year contract with the Thunder. So, it was now time for plan B. The San Antonio Spurs were trading Kawhi Leonard and wanted talent back in return. The Lakers certainly had all that and more. Who wouldn't want the young and budding Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball?

Not the San Antonio Spurs.

So now what? Magic Johnson did what he could by snagging Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and Javale McGee over the summer. A team of players who may be considered misfits by some, but by all accounts are pretty good basketball players.

Although there was a bumpy start, the road had leveled out. At one point, the Lakers were the three-seed in the Western Conference, but then something happened that had never happened before: LeBron went down with a serious injury. It wasn't just a little ankle sprain, this was his groin. When all was said and done, he missed more than three weeks and the team sputtered.

But suddenly, there was hope again. Anthony Davis wanted out of New Orleans, and the Lakers HAD to have him. They offered the Pelicans the sun and the moon for Davis. At one point the Lakers literally offered to trade almost their entire roster, give the Pelicans both of their first-round draft picks and take on a bad contract in Soloman Hill. New Orleans couldn't pass up on this deal.

Until they did.

Even if the Lakers find themselves in the playoffs, they aren't going to make any noise. The real question is, how does the future look? Surely at least one superstar would love to join James on his quest for his fourth ring, right?

Well, he better hope so, because if help doesn't come, James' LA days might just turn out to be a disaster that no one saw coming.