The Los Angeles Lakers have played four games of the 2023-24 season and perhaps the biggest point of frustration among the fanbase is Max Christie’s role on the team thus far. As it stands after four games, Christie has played a grand total of one minute.
This is not what fans were expecting heading into the season. Christie played well in the Summer League and it looked like he was making a leap from his rookie season to his second season. After strong play in the preseason, fans were convinced that Christie would play a big role off the bench for LA.
That has obviously not been the case as Cam Reddish has been getting most of the backup two-guard minutes thus far. This has some fans up in arms with Darvin Ham and the rotations that he has been deploying thus far. Some are even questioning if Christie himself is already getting fed up with the team.
While it can be frustrating in a vacuum to not see Christie on the floor after the kind of summer he had, fans are failing to look at the bigger picture and realize that maybe Christie was getting a bit overhyped before the season began.
Max Christie not being in the Lakers rotation should not be surprising
It isn’t uncommon for a fanbase to hype up its own players and expect more out of them than is realistic. Christie simply became a product of that hype machine and it led to unrealistic expectations for the young guard.
Fans seem to forget the fact that Christie is 20 years old and is only in his second season as a second-round pick. It should not be surprising at all that a second-round pick who is not even 21 yet is not playing a role in a rotation on a title-contending team.
Sure, Christie looked great in the Summer League and in the preseason but Lakers fans have seen this song and dance before. Talen Horton-Tucker was in a very similar situation. He was a young, second-round pick who looked great in the Summer League and in the preseason.
Yet when the games mattered and he was part of the rotation he was awful as he very obviously needed to develop more as a player. Christie and THT are completely different players but the need for further development is there.
Is it surprising that Christie isn’t seeing any playing time at all? Sure. But even if he was playing, it was always going to be such a small role on this team, at least early on this season. That should have always been evident to Lakers fans.