Lakers reeling and grasping at straws after getting eliminated by Nuggets

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Game Five
Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Game Five / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

After losing to the Nuggets in the first round in five games the Lakers have bowed out of the NBA playoffs with a whimper for the second straight year. Like clockwork, the media narratives started leaking out, the excuse train started rolling, and the blame game and finger-pointing has ramped up.

This has been a staple of both the Lakers and LeBron James, whatever team he’s been on. Everyone is trying to get out in front of the issues and make sure somebody else falls on the sword. Surely, it can’t have been LeBron’s fault or organizational failure, so how can the Lakers use the media to change the narrative and avoid the fact that their team is just not that good.

Darvin Ham the first potential scapegoat

The final buzzer had barely sounded and Shams Charania of the Athletic was already publishing a pseudo-hit piece on Darvin Ham, the Lakers head coach. Ham certainly isn’t the best coach in the league, but he’s not the reason the team didn’t reach their championship goals.

This is another classic tact we’ve seen in the past with LeBron teams. The front office wants to do anything they can to keep LeBron happy and keep their own jobs. Oftentimes, that means a new head coach and it seems that will be the first and most obvious domino this summer.

Lakers open to drafting Bronny James

The next domino came shortly after when another report from the Athletic came out. Charania, along with Jovan Buha and Sam Amick reported that the Lakers are apparently “very open” to drafting LeBron’s son, Bronny.

Bronny played one underwhelming season at USC and is seen as a marginal NBA draft prospect at this point. But LeBron has long expressed a desire to play alongside his son in the NBA. 

The Lakers are acutely aware of this, and now apparently they are using the idea as a type of leverage ploy to keep LeBron happy in Los Angeles. James has a player option this summer which he can decline, making him a free agent. The Lakers are almost certainly hoping to retain James’ services at all costs and it appears that two of those costs may be firing Darvin Ham and drafting Bronny James.