The Los Angeles Lakers are no strangers to criticism, but is there an overwhelming media bias against the purple and gold?
For the past five years the Los Angeles Lakers have been at the bottom of the NBA relevancy scale. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2013, and at one point were the laughing stock of the NBA.
All of that changed when the best player in the world, LeBron James, decided to take his talents to Hollywood and play for the Lakers.
After the move, the Lakers made other smaller moves like re-signing Kentavious Caldwell Pope and signing Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, and Lance Stephenson all to one-year deals.
However, I feel that recently their has been a lot of negativity and criticism in the basketball media pertaining to the Lakers. I just think that some people are not giving the Lakers the credit that they deserve.
A recent example is when ESPN’s Kevin Pelton released his win projections and playoff seeding predictions for the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season. This list has the Lakers winning 41 games and missing the playoffs as the 9th seed.
Naturally, this had some Lakers fans scratching their heads.
Now, as Kevin Pelton puts it, these are just statistical projections, but c’mon.
I understand that the Lakers lost significant pieces in Julius Randle and Brook Lopez, but to think that the Lakers young core won’t make a big enough leap this season paired with the LeBron factor to make more than a 6-game improvement from last season is ridiculous.
But this list is not the only problem I have.
Throughout the weeks, their have been certain people in the basketball media who I feel have been overly critical of the Lakers offseason.
After the Lakers signed James, a lot of people were excited about LeBron joining the Lakers and felt that it was a way to enhance his ever growing legacy, if he were to ever win a title with the purple and gold.
Others feel that he has officially decided to exit the hunt of winning championships and his only priority now is becoming a Hollywood mogul.
Analyst such as Fox Sport’s Rob Parker and Jason Whitlock have hammered this home ever since Lebron James signed and recently TNT analyst and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley echoed that same sentiment suggesting that LeBron has no interest in winning championships anymore.
Barkley’s comments even went as far as being approved by arguably the biggest LeBron James hater and detractor, Skip Bayless.
The notion that Lebron James will be able to indulge himself in Hollywood while playing 82 games in a gruesome NBA season is just moronic and it just goes to show that these analysts are just saying outlandish things in order to get some sort of reaction.
I understand it is their job to generate interest in their respective shows by saying these types of things, but as a passionate Lakers fan, it bothers me that when the Lakers do bad they get criticized and rightly so, but when the Lakers do something great, it’s always never good enough for some people.
Not to mention that through this whole ordeal there is one factor that no one seems to bring up when talking about the Lakers upcoming season. The Lakers young core of talent.
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All of the spotlight has been put on the recent free agent signings by the Lakers, however, people seem to forget that the real spotlight should be on players such as Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart.
But, no one seems to bring them up much. People just like to hamper on the fact that the Lakers brought in three guys who have a reputation of being hard to coach and could become volatile in the locker room.
The only time that the Lakers young core has been talked about was when analyst such as ESPN’s Rachel Nichols suggested, as did everybody else, that the Lakers should have traded them all away in order to acquire Kawhi Leonard.
Now that they didn’t, people are starting to call the Lakers smart for not mortgaging their future for Kawhi, although Rachel still believes that they should have pulled the trigger on a trade as she suggests that James is not getting any younger even though LeBron has shown no significant drop off so far.
Not to mention this constant narrative that people like ESPN’s Brian Windhorst have stated that you have to surround James with 3-point shooters. The Houston Rockets tried to echo that blueprint and look at how that turned out.
Sure they were up 3-2 on the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, but ultimately it was their horrid performance missing 27 straight 3-pointers in Game 7 that sealed their fate. I guarantee you that the Golden State Warriors would not have missed that many threes in a row.
The Lakers are taking a new approach in trying to dethrone the Golden State Warriors by trying to be physical with the Warriors and surround Lebron with playmakers who can get their own shots.
But to some, its a method that is doomed to fail.
At the end of the day, this is just my own personal opinion and I felt like this was something that a lot of Lakers fans feel and is something that needs to be brought up.
No team or organization is above criticism and the Lakers have not been the most glamorous team in past years. However, they are a team on the rise and I feel like the media should give the Lakers a ton of credit. If the basketball media wont oblige, then I know Laker Nation would be happy to fill the void.
But again, this is just my opinion.