The lack of player development on the Lakers was a problem fans discussed for years. Byron Scott was a disaster of a coach, and it turned out that Luke Walton and his staff were not good.

Last year, under Dave Joerger, the Kings were close to being a playoff team; this year, Luke Walton took almost the same team and they expanded on an 0–5 start to the season by now being 12 games under .500.

I’m really happy that my favorite young Lakers are finding their way in the league, but every deal that was made to clear salary cap (Clarkson and Nance, Bryant, Zubac, Bonga, Wagner), remove bad locker room energy (Russell), or to put on the trade block (Ball, Ingram, Hart) all got the Lakers to the point where they have LeBron and Davis, and a legitimate shot at winning another title.

The Lakers have never been a team that wins with home grown talent and smart moves on the edges of the roster. West and Baylor were superstars, but they didn’t win a title until they got Chamberlin. They were lucky enough to draft Magic and Worthy, but they already had Kareem. Jerry West was wise enough to draft Kobe and Fisher, but he still had to put together the deal to get Shaq.

I have zero regrets about the young guys. Ingram is a deserving “real” All-Star, and may end up (according to some writer on the Ringer) “better than Ben Simmons.” But he needs the ball in his hands and an open lane. That wasn’t going to happen with the Lakers, and now that Zion Williamson is dominating the league, it may not happen for the Pelicans.

I feel nothing but joy this season.

With the exception of the minutes Rondo is on the floor.

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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