There are bad seasons and bad predictions, and then there is ranking the 2020-21 Los Angeles Lakers as one of the top 10 Lakers teams of all-time like I did at the start of the season. Yet, that prediction should say something about the expectations of this Lakers team early this season when they were 20-7 and rolling.
With great expectations can come even bigger disappointment, and that is why the only list this team belongs on is this one, the 10 most disappointing seasons in franchise history.
But somehow that is not my worst Lakers-related prediction, I once foresaw Dwight Howard becoming the next legendary Lakers center and also guaranteed Paul George would be a Laker before the 2018 free agency period, and we all know those two things never happened. Just like my failed Lakers prediction from this season, this year was also not the Lakers’ biggest disappointment in their history.
Throughout their history, the Lakers have generally had championship expectations going into most seasons, and sometimes bearing the weight of that pressure is too much for that collective group to handle.
Most of those seasons came on heels of a championship or a major free agent signing that was expected to carry the Lakers to the promised land. From the days of Jerry West not getting over the hump over the rival Celtics, to Kareem’s disappointing first season as a Laker, to the failed Dwight Howard experiment the first time around, the Lakers have had plenty of disappointments and bumps on the road to 17 championship seasons.
One team can not win the championship every season, even though Los Angeles Lakers fans may like to think that way.
Seasons like these are what make the championships even sweeter and fuel the fire to get to the top of the mountain again.
In 2006, Carls Jr. came out with an iconic Lakers poster that had West, Kareem, and Kobe Bryant with their worst Lakers record listed underneath, and the quote above reading “Those who endure conquer.” This group of Lakers will have to endure the pain of not repeating, but they will likely rebound and conquer the league again.