Day 7 of Project 365 (details about my endeavor can be found here). –
Today is one of the greatest days of 2012 — the start of the 2012 NBA season. It was simultaneously one of the most cringe-worthy days of 2012. Why? Four words what will dominate my life from now until June: The Los Angeles Lakers.
Watching tonight’s game was — frankly — a sad (but much-needed) reminder that All-Stars can create a championship winning team, but just having All-Stars does not guarantee you that championship. All the pre-season (and preseason) hype has had the Lakers finishing close to the top of the Western Conference (as of yesterday, many cited the Lakers as a shoo-in for the top spot with the OKC Thunder trade of James Harden). Sure the 0-8 preseason record wasn’t pretty — ugly, actually — but it was just preseason, right? Nothing a group of talented starters (who were recovering quite well from injuries and surgeries) couldn’t turn around. At least that’s what the majority of fans (and likely the team itself) was thinking.
This 2012-2013 season was meant to be a great one for the franchise. This 2012-2013 season was supposed to be the start of a countdown to the 18th championship trophy (before the Boston Celtics get theirs). This 2012-2013 season was supposed to be an amazing display of talent and, ideally, cohesiveness and working together as a team. But what did we see tonight?
A reminder that the 2012-2013 Los Angeles Lakers have a long way to go from now until June. That’s not to say they aren’t capable of becoming the championship-caliber team they’re meant to be — they are. I”m just saying that there was a time in not-so-distant Lakers history (’03-’04 season) when a group of championship-level players got together in Los Angeles and did not win the championship trophy.
I’m not comparing this year’s team to the ’04 team — they’re completely different, in part because of the reasons listed here. What I am doing is pointing to the hype that surrounds this team, something that will end in just hype if the team and its fan base don’t realize the negative consequences of it. I’m just hoping this loss to the Dallas Mavericks (that honestly I expected) will remind them that All-Star talent does not always equal All-Star results.
So cheers to another long season of Purple & Gold happiness/misery, and let’s hope we see more of the former than the latter.