Apr 28, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol (16) sits on the bench during the 3rd quarter with injured teammates Jody Meeks (left), Steve Nash and Steve Blake in game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs against San Antonio at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

A season without expectations


Being a Lakers fan comes every year with the pressures of great expectations. We expect every year for our team to be a championship-contender. It just comes with the territory. Most other teams spend the year just trying to improve, get healthy, etc. Many fans aren’t used to, or don’t know what it’s like to see a few losses, see their team struggle, then suddenly start to question the championship fortitude of their squad. Laker fans have been admittedly spoiled, and now we’re being brought back down to earth, and I for one, am very much welcoming the trip.

Since the Pau Gasol trade in 2008, the Lakers have been consistent at at least one thing every season; experts predict them to be a playoff, if not title contenders. Since 2008 the questions have been such as “How far can Gasol, Bryant and Odom carry them?” “Will they be able to repeat, defend their title?” “What moves does Mitch have up his sleeve?” “Will Andrew Bynum remain healthy long enough to form the formidable front-court with Gasol?” Every one of those questions, at least for me, came with  anxiety and great expectations, watching every game every season. These were all championship caliber questions. Last year was of course no different, possibly one of the most stressful seasons I have ever endured; “How will this super-team mesh?” “How long will player A be out, and when will player B be back?” “Is Dwight happy, will he stay?” “Will MDA figure this thing out?” “Will they make the playoffs?” Again, a “yes” or “no” to any of these could have meant championship, or no playoffs at all.

The questions facing the Lakers this year are much more simple; “When will Kobe Bryant be back?” “Will he return to his all-star form?” “How will MDA’s offense run without Howard?” “Can Nash get his groove back?” And of course, further down the line “Who will the Lakers target in free agency?” There is one element in there that is missing; the Lakers are not expected to compete for a championship this year. BOOM! No expectations, or pressures. No one is expecting Mitch to hit one out of the park again.  We as fans can watch and enjoy a full season of Lakers basketball just for what it is; Lakers basketball. In a city, and a team that is always surrounded by drama, the (hopefully) complete lack of it this season is a welcome change I look forward to.

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers

  • Jim213

    The Lakers expectations will always be to play competitive ball to place us in those situations (rings). The franchise has been competitive ever since moving from Minneapolis. Attain solid depth like we had before KB24/Shaq joined the Lakers thus requiring just another star to place us back as contenders in the near future that will hold the fort down once KB24 retires. That’s what I expect!

  • Daryl Peek

    WOW! It sounds as if this writer has been listening to what I’ve been saying for a while. LOL While I fully expect Kobe and crew to compete, there is no pressure of championship expectations this season. As the season progresses expectations will adjust good or bad depending on many different factors that cannot be projected right now. Better team chemistry and fun Lakers basketball is my expectation. That’s all I’m gonna predict right now.

  • savi

    from three time NBA finalists to everyone claiming that Lakers are gonna be pathetic. What has this organization come to. Well I know what trick Mitch has this time around. He’s letting MDA run the show, we all know, given proper training camp, this guy can make mediocre players look good and I hope MDA does stand upto his reputation this season. I also hope all the players stay healthy, that ll solve all our expectations.