The Glorious Schadenfreude of the Lakers' Train-Wreck Season

Jake,

Ain't it grand?

Nothing is more satisfying than watching an overrated, over-hyped team get their comeuppance. That's doubly true when the roster is a collection of high-priced, big-name talent. That's triply true, as with the Lakers, when the team is in a city that everyone loves to hate for being superficial.

Laker fans, after all, virtually invented the courtside seat as a photo-op—just so we could all know how Miley feels about a sweet Kobe dunk. These are the fans who are also famous, in supposedly mellow California, for setting their city on fire after big games, win or lose. There is also no question that the Lakers have the most fairweather fans—who never mention their supposedly beloved players in November, but get all decked out in team gear and scream at the TV during a playoff run—of any major sports team in the country. Maybe it's just the trendy nature of LA, but it's true. Just wait. LA is about to see an onslaught of Clippers gear.

So, yes it's fun. Delightful from the start of the year, when Jim Buss inexplicably snubbed Brian Shaw. Everyone knew Shaw was the guy to coach this team. He won rings in LA. He preaches the triangle offense. Instead, for reasons still unclear, Buss hired Mike Brown, which was bad. Then Buss fired Brown five games into the season, which is almost worse. Hiring D'Antoni—a coach whose up-tempo offense seems explicitly designed to exploit an aging team's weaknesses—was definitely worse. Simply baffling. By the way, in the team-meeting/bickering session you cited, Jake, the LA Times reported that D'Antoni told the team to start playing better defense. Try to stifle your guffaws.

It's difficult to believe that Buss would let his feelings for Phil Jackson, whatever they may be, carry over into a hatred for the triangle offense. Maybe Buss is just one of those owners, like Dan Snyder, who seems to run his real world team like a fantasy roster, adding and subtracting big name players as if he thought he could plug in stats, never taking the human element into account. Maybe Buss just had too much faith in the surgeons who worked on Dwight Howard's back. Oh well. At least someone in the Buss family likes Phil Jackson. Jeanie Buss recently announced on Twitter that she's about to become Mrs. Zen Master.

Patrick, is this fun for you, too? Surely you're a guy who loves to hate the Lake show.

–Hampton

Presented by

Sports Roundtable

Patrick Hruby, Jake Simpson, and Hampton Stevens 

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This wildly inventive short film takes you on a whirling, spinning tour of the Big Apple

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Entertainment

Just In