Is the Lakers' Championship Window Still Open?

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gemfow
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A Championship window is open for only so long. A championship window's time of being open is directly related to the core player's age, effectiveness and the moves the FO makes to keep it open. Personally I feel that the championship window of the Lakers has been closing since 2010 and it shut close fully in 2012. This is why I have been a big advocator for getting into the top 7 of the draft. Some of you have foolishly called it tanking. No, I felt we should have went young and the lottery would end up being in our future anyway. There isn't any need to sit your best players who are healthy or anything of that nature.

The Lakers did go young, they signed players that no one else really wanted and the guys have actually played well together. We WERE one of the best three point shooting teams and had a couple of upset victories. A lot of us started to like what we saw out on the floor. We knew it wasn't a championship team but who cares? They were playing together, they were playing with energy and enthusiasm and it was hard not to cheer for them.

I'll describe why I feel the window is closed:

The FO just isn't good. I have no faith in Mitch or Jim. I don't put all of this on Jim, I see that they both share in this mess. Why are people saying give them a chance as if they've just stepped into the job? Mitch has been GM since 2000, that's 13 years going on 14. Jim was ascending up the ranks since I believe 1998 when he was assistant GM to jerry West. This is what he said in 1998 "Evaluating basketball talent is not too difficult," Buss said. "If you grabbed 10 fans out of a bar and asked them to rate prospects, their opinions would be pretty much identical to those of the pro scouts." � Sports Illustrated. He was firmly in place as the Lakers' Vice President of player personnel in 2005, he was credited with the Rudy T hiring as coach. Has any fan identified a clear-cut vision of what this team is and how management wants to mold them? Do they know their players? Fans didn't like Mike Brown, they don't like D'Antoni but management hired them both. The management team also allowed age and slowness to ravage this team until this season. They've traded 2 first round picks and 2 second round picks for Steve "Broke-back" Nash. They've made way too many puzzling moves to consider them a good FO. The time to move Gasol was in 2010 when he b**ched out because of girlfriend problems. I can understand a death in the family or something like that but your girlfriend? He hasn't been the same since. Now he is a 19 million dollar albatross hanging around the Lakers' necks. Plus they just handed Kobe 49 million over the next two seasons. How do you suppose to build a team around a 35 year old when he gets 1/3 of the cap? Some of our very own Lakers will be enticed to go somewhere else because other teams will see their value. Other teams will offer Jordan Hill some good money. Jordan Farmar and Nick Young may get some pretty good offers as well. The Lakers are trying to add some max level talent too? Well, that's what they told Kobe. That's baffling to me.

The core player's age and effectiveness is a big issue in LA. I think a few fans had it wrong when they felt that Kobe could step in and elevate this team. It still remains to be seen whether this team will excel under Kobe or continue to falter under his lead. No, this isn't a Kobe-bashing post. This is me stating my opinion in regards to this team's window being closed. Kobe has actually looked better than I anticipated from his return. Kobe will only get better and grow more confidence but this team will not get better imo. Kobe has came in and put his official stamp on things already. At the beginning of the season we knew that the Lakers would be terrible defensively since Pau was patrolling the middle. Has anyone seen more layups and reverse layups in front of a seven footer? Even through the bad defense the Lakers were playing good team ball. The ball had been moving side to side and the guys were getting shots in rhthym. There were high screens, dribble hand-offs to the pgs, the guards were driving baseline and getting the ball to open three-point shooters and they were getting knocked down. Enter Kobe and we see the game slow down to his liking, not the coach's but his own. Kobe heads to the spot where he likes to get the ball and he waves for it. The ball that I've witnessed has been buddy ball between Kobe and Pau at the expense of the other three guys on the floor. Are we actually trying to have a 33 year old Pauer forward whose best years are behind him and a 35 year sg rehabbing from achilles surgery? He will be 36 next season and still wants things done his way, he still wants to be the man and he just isn't as effective as he was some years back. This isn't the Kobe from 2008 we are talking about. He's really good but it's not enough to elevate this team to beat an Indiana, OKC, Clippers, Heat or Spurs in seven games.

At some point you have to start over. People say reload not rebuild. We as fans aren't being realistic. The Lakers have had a championship window since 1996 essentially. It was closed shut in 2004 since Shaq and Kobe had to be separated and a few years later we acquired Gasol and the window was opened again. This is something different though. Our core guys are both up in age, both of our core guys aren't really all that effective one due to lack of heart and one due to injury from wear and tear. There is no reloading this team, I just can't see any scenario that will allow that to happen and play for a championship.

I'm curious as to other's thoughts. Is the Lakers' championship window still open with Kobe at the lead spot?


WILT100
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Championship window has been boarded up!


LakerDymes
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For this particular group the window closed years ago. Unless the FO can swindle someone out of a superstar which is unlikely, then I don't see how this team can be a contender anytime soon. And the worst part is that we don't have any picks to make these rough couple of years ahead feel any better.


SPQR
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Gem, Nice post. Also a realistic one. I always am partial to that kind of thinking. I really enjoyed reading it. I agree. The window is closed. The FO should have known after both the Dallas and OKC series that it was time to move on. The window really started to close when you looked at the Dallas series. In that series, for the first time in my memory, Kobe was no longer the best player in a series or the league. That year, Dirk was the better, more effective player. And since then Lebron and Durant have passed Kobe by. You can't underestimate the impact this has. The major reason we won those two rings was because Kobe was the best player on the face of the earth. That gives a team such an edge. Just ask Miami now. Or Dallas back then. When you lose that edge, its m*rd*r. After the OKC series, the Lakers, had they been looking at this realistically, should have gone into a major rebuilding mode. Instead they tried like hell to quickly build another title team around Kobe. We know the ugly particulars, trading old man Fish and a first round pick to get rid of him. Then turning around and trading two firsts and seconds for an even older PG in Eve Ash! Trading one of top two centers in ball (when he was healthy, which he was at that time) Drew for Howard and losing yet another first round pick and expecting some massive improvement at a position that was not even a weakness when Drew was playing at the level he was. Trading another first round pick for Sessions, a PG who had failed to get a starting job with several teams, and a guy who was not being beaten out by....


ralppcobarde
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I truly agree with SPQR and Gem. this team needs a new star. just saw how Paul George have transformed the pacers, he is just becoming a legit superstar and a threat to Lebron or Durant's throne as one of the best players in the league. this is nothing new to me, this season we just saw it coming, older Nash who isn't even playing , older and unmotivated Pau and unhealthy Kobe plus the unproven coach in Dantoni. it was expected at first, this team will lose more as the season goes and hope the lottery pick can turn this franchise around. Jabari,Wiggins,Exum,Randle. you name it, those guys are going to be special in the future. for us, we need a new young star, new blood and most importantly new culture. for the past 30 years we lived in Magic Johnson culture, team play & showtime. it was fun and we are winning for the past 20 years it was Kobe culture. isolation,clutch shots,winning shots and it as fun because we are winning. now, we need a new culture and a new star who can brings this team fun and winning. losing is no fun at all.


lakerdudeinindy
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I have to say I agree with all the post from above and this is a good post by Gem. I won't beat a dead horse in saying the window has been slammed shut and it's going to take some alot from this FO to turn this team around. At this point the win-now mode will be around for a couple of years and because this team has made the mistake of holding on to Pau for waaaayyyyy to long has hamstrung this team as much as re-signing Kobe to his deal and not leaving much room to operate in 2014, which honestly not horrible, because this free agent class is not really worth much, but that's just me. To me; the FO is saying that the next few years are going to be lean and wait till 2015 or 2016 and we will get back. I don't trust them that far.

The window is closed and in danger of being boarded up if the FO does not make some shrewd moves, make a smart pick ( because let's keep it real, the lottery is starting to be a reality.) and build towards 2016. No matter what we do NOW, it does not make this team a contender and using bubble gum to patch up the Hoover dam as the FO is dangerously close to doing is going to cause a lot of woe in Laker Land.


TERRY-TEAGLE
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Gem... Another thread about the same stuff and beliefs


Kannaps
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Nice posts Gem and Randy. Yes, I agree the championship window closed after the Dallas series, it could've been extended provisionally for a couple of extra years, had the right moves been made at the time, but now it's definetely closed for good, no matter what the FO, Kobe or any other player does, it's going to take us at least 2 two seasons, if not more, to get back on track. And like you said, it's no longer getting Wiggins that will turn us into a contender, it'll be a top draft pick that will give us a possible future core piece to build around after Kobe definetely expires and than eventually turn into contenders once again. Couple of things I'd like to add. When people state that the Lakers will simply reload, not only are they being unrealistic as to cap space aspects and what pieces you can get and give through trades and/or free agency. They are also being unrealistic as to the reality that the current CBA, now in full blown effect, has put over the league. Let alone, the way a team is built and how little a couple of free agents would be able to contribute given that the rest of the team would be sub-par to championship standards. Is it just me who finds it curious that 5 out of 6 teams that currently have the best records in each conference are some of the smallest markets in the league? It's no longer the era of buy and trade and big trios, even if you can still go down that route, it no longer makes you better, it's just another way of building your team. Smaller markets truly now have been able to level the plainfield business wise. If you know how to build, run and sustain your team then you....


zheck13
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our championship window is currently closed, but i believe that the single most contributing factor is the hiring of mike dantoni as the head coach. there are three things necessary for a championship team: strong post play, tough defensive cohesion, (and most importantly) a leader of men on the sidelines. mike dantoni possess none of those qualities. had we gotten jerry sloan as coach, we would have a totally different brand of basketball, identity and hierarchy. we are still three players short of being contenders, a scoring point guard, a rim protector, and a legitimate small forward. those things can be accomplished now via free agency. but even if we get that done, dantoni will still piss the opportunity away. for one, he can not control kobe. two, he can not teach defense, and three, he does not manage super stars very well. kobe is kobe. and as great a player as he is, his greatness is also his weakness because he believes that he knows best. if you don't use kobe's force and greatness constructively, he becomes a detriment to your team. plain and simple. dantoni has already banished his system and settled for kobe running the triangle. and even before kobe played a single minute, he said that kobe will be the ultimate determiner of how many minutes he plays. really? i thought you were the coach. kobe can not be absolved for the mess we're in now, but he also not the sole reason. guys like kobe, melo, AI and jordan are a different breed of players. they need a general on the sidelines or everything goes to piss. there's a reason bryant lobbied for coach k to take over laker nation.....


RustyRay
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The window closed when they were swept by Dallas in the playoffs. The rebuild should have begun then...but they hung on and actually tried to rebuild the team last year but traded away valuable picks in today's NBA and added a Diva in Howard, overpriced aged vet who has barely played Nash, and resigned an aging SG for a max contract without seeing him play after the a major injury.

I am a huge Laker supporter...and always believe they are trying to win and have a plan because they always have....but the new CBA changed the way you can do things and the Lakers have made more then a couple fatal mistakes the last two years..

I think we are doomed to start over again once Kobe's current deal runs out...which puts them in a tough spot financially for the next two years. It is what it is...so ill enjoy Kobe while I can...and watch the team and hope for wins or signs of hope and things to look forward too...

Right now I think we have taken steps backwards instead of forward...and it will need a full reboot with draft picks and smart young FA additions...in the NBA today you have to build it, you can no longer buy it.


BaadMaster
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The window started closing when Jim "The Wrong" Buss gave away four draft picks and 27 million to an aging point guard.

It closed further when Jim The Genius took a guy with no rings over a guy with eleven because he was dating his sister.

It closed a little more when D12 said he wanted to play for PHil, didn't like D'Antoni (who does?) and Jim Ballcap brought Daphony to the pitch meeting.

And it slammed shut when The Inheritor signed Kobe sight unseen for fifty million bucks. This also showed what a poor businessman Jim is. No one -- and I always use the Pawn Star gang as an example -- ever buys something pricey sight unseen.

It is closed because of bad move after bad move.

I will keep this short because everyone on this trail was very detailed and accurate in their assessments. I have nothing to add except Lakers, R.I.P.


SPQR
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Zcheck,

You are right about SA and their D. Also about Duncan's age. I would add a few other points as well. SA plays offense the way its supposed to be played. This is not only a product of what Pops demands, but also in no small part due to their aging star, Duncan, who really doesn't care one bit who the man on the team is or how many points he scores on any given night or even a season. The other thing they have that we don't is a legit star, still pretty much in his prime, Tony Parker. But even given all this, even how good they have been the last few years with the aging Duncan, the reason they have not won a title is because of Duncan's age. If he had been 27 years old last year, for any of the last four or five years, would they have won another ring in that time? I suspect so. And that's why it's such a killer when you have that transcendent star who is now too old to be as effective and troublesome as the new, younger superstars who themselves are on good teams.


zheck13
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SPQR wrote:
Zcheck,

You are right about SA and their D. Also about Duncan's age. I would add a few other points as well. SA plays offense the way its supposed to be played. This is not only a product of what Pops demands, but also in no small part due to their aging star, Duncan, who really doesn't care one bit who the man on the team is or how many points he scores on any given night or even a season. The other thing they have that we don't is a legit star, still pretty much in his prime, Tony Parker. But even given all this, even how good they have been the last few years with the aging Duncan, the reason they have not won a title is because of Duncan's age. If he had been 27 years old last year, for any of the last four or five years, would they have won another ring in that time? I suspect so. And that's why it's such a killer when you have that transcendent star who is now too old to be as effective and troublesome as the new, younger superstars who themselves are on good teams.

you're exactly right about playing the way pop demands and the adjustment to duncan's age. those things are clearly because of pop's leadership abilities. although i don't think the spurs can win because parker is now the focus as opposed to duncan, they will always be in the mix. and if they run up against a team like miami that doesn't have a legitimate big man, they can win.

you're right. we can no longer win with just kobe and he's kidding himself if he thinks so. we have to get a legitimate scoring PG, a defensive big man and a lock down SF that's can also score the ball. but even if we get all of those things, we'll go nowhere with dantoni. i'm not saying that sloan would guarantee us a championship. i'm saying he would have the same influence as pop. we would have a chance because old school guys like that breed a winning culture...the RIGHT way.


Kannaps
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SPQR wrote:
Zcheck,

You are right about SA and their D. Also about Duncan's age. I would add a few other points as well. SA plays offense the way its supposed to be played. This is not only a product of what Pops demands, but also in no small part due to their aging star, Duncan, who really doesn't care one bit who the man on the team is or how many points he scores on any given night or even a season. The other thing they have that we don't is a legit star, still pretty much in his prime, Tony Parker. But even given all this, even how good they have been the last few years with the aging Duncan, the reason they have not won a title is because of Duncan's age. If he had been 27 years old last year, for any of the last four or five years, would they have won another ring in that time? I suspect so. And that's why it's such a killer when you have that transcendent star who is now too old to be as effective and troublesome as the new, younger superstars who themselves are on good teams.

Don't forget that while Tony Parker might still be in his prime, the Spurs have kept their team reinvigorated. First, they only get guys that fit their system and mentally are in the right place and have the right ideals (spare Jackson twice).

Also, while once it was their old core of Robinson, Elliot & co with young guns Manu and Duncan, now it's those players that find themselves surrounded by guys like Leonard,Splitter, Bellinelli, Green and previously George Hill,Blair and Gary Neal.

This also weighs a ton, because it cuts out work for Duncan, Manu & Parker, not only minute wise but also the load on the court, I am pretty sure that before Duncan and Manu retire in two years time, they will have found another player to pair up with Leonard and the by then aging Parker.

They also know the value they have in their coach and front office and in both departments have been feeding the league as of late, with coaches and guys with executive places who now are in other teams as GM's.

This completely self sustainable enviroment in every department is what has made them a constant threat and an example not only for how a small market should be run, but also how a sports team should be run. This is also what has ironically not closed the Spurs title window.


fluke32
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I am of the opinion that the Lakers' chances are pretty slim. It'd take a lot of injuries in the west, and massive exodus (Both Roster and Front Office) to the team in order for Lakers to win it in the last few years Kobe has left on the team.

The coaching isn't an issue for me, but if LAL had a reputable coach like Phil, some bad vibes might have been prevented. Don't get me wrong, I don't like D'Antoni one bit. I think he's a fringe coach, and LA had better guys out there. But one thing I am sure of is that he is not to blame for some of the things that went wrong in Lakerland, and he is one of the main reasons why LAL have a surprisingly better record than the team should probably have. This team's inability to win some games they should've won is a big issue, and most of it lie on the backs of the Lakers' inefficient big men.


SPQR
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Joao,

Yep, you are exactly right. Their FO has managed to surround Duncan, Ginobilli and Parker with good, viable players. And Green is a very good player, not just a viable ancillary guy. And he will get better. The cultures of the two teams, from FO effectiveness, to their coaches, to what their two aging stars think is important, to drafting, really to everything, is all so much different right now. And so are the results.


CALIGUY23
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The window closed when Kobe decided to pick his money over a 6th ring. I had the assumption that 2014 free agent class was ours for the taking. However, Mitch and jim had other plans. Did Kobe earn his money? Personally I'm 50/50 on it. Yes he did earn us a playoff spot and even ruptured his achilles for us but this is a business after all people. There is no loyalty in the nba just ask Shaq. Jim needs to become that kind of owner that Cameron Diaz was in Any Given Sunday. She was all about winning and getting a championship even if it meant cutting the has been former all star player.

Now we are going to have to wait another year in 2015 to try our luck because Melo is no game changer. Even then we can probably still can only get 1 all star. So with all that we may have to wait another 5 years when you think about it to be in championship talks again. Sad but true.


LosAngelesLakers
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What window?


Tempy
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SPQR wrote:
Joao,

Yep, you are exactly right. Their FO has managed to surround Duncan, Ginobilli and Parker with good, viable players. And Green is a very good player, not just a viable ancillary guy. And he will get better. The cultures of the two teams, from FO effectiveness, to their coaches, to what their two aging stars think is important, to drafting, really to everything, is all so much different right now. And so are the results.

How many coaches from san antanio go on to become head coaches. For a "small" market team SA know how to get it done better than LA, NY and most the big market teams


BaadMaster
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All this bla-bla-bla (including me) comes down to one frightful realization: we went from the greatest owner in NBA history to the worst owner in the current NBA. This is a total mindf*ck. It sucks.


dub4twenty
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This only lands on one place and we are all going to either going to love it or hate it. Its the front office who opens and closes the window, us as fans and the lakers organization itself is at their disposal.


Kannaps
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Tempy wrote:
How many coaches from san antanio go on to become head coaches. For a "small" market team SA know how to get it done better than LA, NY and most the big market teams

I'd also say that some of the league's best GM's came from the Spurs organization.

Besides RC Bufford...Sam Presti, Danny Ferry, Dell Demps & Rob Hennigan (among others) all came from that organization

Even if Hennigan made some questionable moves at the beginning in Orlando, since Howard left he has turned things around pretty quickly and actually came out the winner of that deal.

All those are pretty good Gm's and all have been running their small markets pretty good, especially Demps & Presti.

Ferry although yet a sophomore, has had quite the impact and seems to have the Hawks on a good path.

Sadly as far as coaches go, Mike Brown has been their one true miss and the one we actually fell for...still a great percentage for the Spurs though and also remarkable how they run their business.


SPQR
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Tempy wrote:
How many coaches from san antanio go on to become head coaches. For a "small" market team SA know how to get it done better than LA, NY and most the big market teams

Tempy, Joao,

Right on. When you consider that SA is a small market...wow..

Can you imagine if that owner, that FO and Pops were running the Lakers with the advantages that brings? With the money they could spend on top of their drafting and trade acumen? You would see rings galore.


Lakedog
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To have a "championship window," we must first have a championship caliber team. We don't! And, as Big-Time Laker-Fan pointed out, we haven't had since being swept by Dallas. Since then there have been a series of managerial blunders, including the hiring of "Mike x 2," letting Dwight Howard walk, trading draft picks for Nash, and the most recent resigning of Kobe.

We are a superstarless team of role-players with no credible draft choices. Had we kept Howard and let Kobe spit and fume and then go play elsewhere, we would have had a better chance of attracting LeBron. But, of course, that window is now shut. So, the better question is: When will the Lakers develop another championship window?

Answer? Due to the new "Collective Bargaining" agreement, the next championship window will likely have to wait until Andrew Wiggins comes into his own as an NBA superstar -- for after all, we still are a premiere organization that players want to play for.


Lakedog
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Let me amend my above post. We had the start of a championship window when we signed Howard, but we just as quickly screwed it up by our coaching hires. Yeah, I know -- Dwight "Coward," you say. But in my mind, he was not going to be the superstar, but the means of attracting a superstar ... say, a LeBron James, perhaps!


LALayup
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Oddly enough, San Antonio has really stuck tight to their core group, particularly Duncan and Ginobili. They've hung with them far longer than most critics would have. But to their credit, they do tend to keep a nice mix of younger talent, such as Leonard and Green, along with all those older seasoned players.

Most of the credit has to go to the playing time allocation of Popovich though. He's always preserved his players for the stretch run extremely well. I don't think you can overplay your key veterans like the Lakers have for several years now and not expect them to burn out. It's not just D'Antoni either. Jackson played Pau and even Kobe way too many minutes. He made it obvious that he wasn't really into developing younger players.


MAGICLAKEZ
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Fenster wurde geschlossen (German)

ventana ha cerrado (Spanish)

fen�tre ferm�e (French)

finestra � chiusa (Italian)

venster gesluit (Afrikaans)

occlusit fenestram (Latin)

par�thyro �chei kle�sei (Greek)

Window has closed (English)

Global/Universal fact: Lakers championship window has closed.



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