LA Sports Fans: Can It Be This Bad?
Dodgers Falter; Lakers Look No Better
November 5, 2015
By Mitch Chortkoff
This is Los Angeles. The Lakers have won 16 NBA championships. The Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988 but they’ve won their division the last three years.
LA fans expect quality. And why not? Our teams can afford what it takes to produce winners.
But what’s happening now can’t be happening. Can it?
The Dodgers have new owners who had the highest payroll in baseball history in the just-concluded season. But the team wasn’t real good. There were obvious flaws that resulted in a first round playoff loss to the Mets.
The Dodgers wouldn’t even had made the playoffs if the Giants hadn’t had a lot of injuries. Nobody else in the division put up much of a battle, including the Padres, who looked great on paper but were highly disappointing.
The Dodgers have blamed Don Mattingly, who has left to manage the team in Miami the next four years. That team has an extremely small payroll but the current roster is promising. And I think the owners will appreciate him more than the ones in Los Angeles..
The Lakers will have 16 road games out of their next 20 and are likely to be out of playoff contention by the end of December.
DeAngelo Russell, who they picked with the No. 2 selection in the NBA draft, looks lost. It appears he won’t be able to lead the Lakers into the playoffs. Why did they think he could? He had only one year of college experience.
After going three years without winning a playoff game the Lakers are putting a rookie in the vital position of point guard. And they passed up big man Jahmil Okafor, who seemed like their logical draft choice.
A collosal blunder? It looks like it.
I think the Lakers would have been a playoff contender if they paired Okafor with Julius Randle and Roy Hibbert. That would have been a front line that required respect from opponents. Then Jordan Clarkson, Kobe Bryant and newly acquired Lou Williams could have had more room to operate in the backcourt.
Speaking of Bryant, he’s off to a slow start as he battles advancing age.
Some Laker authorities I respect say Bryant isn’t getting his usual lift for jump shots. Translation: Your legs aren’t allowing you to do what you did when you were younger.
‘I suck,” Bryant said after the Lakers lost to the Mavericks Sunday night. “I’m the 200th bet player in the NBA right now.”
A reporter then asked a question about how the Lakers can overcome their slow start and Bryant answered with “It would help if I could make a damn shot.”
In the next game, the loss to the Nuggets, he scored just 11 points.
Former Laker star James Worthy isn’t surprised that Bryant is struggling.
“I played 12 years and then I was done,” he said, “Kobe is in his 20th year. It’s hard for me to even imagine that.”
So, LA fans, this is what we have now. It’s no cinch the Dodgers will make the playoffs next season if they don’t spend their money wiser.
And the basketball playoff hopes rest with the Clippers.
The Clippers? Yes, the Clippers.