The Lakers must remember the importance of players

A few exercises can more effectively bring a smile to a sports fan’s face the way famous players of the past can remember it. We can spend hours just naming former Lakers whose names have not been hung in Crypto Dot Com Arena (still weird) and whose numbers have since been forwarded. However, names like Derek Fisher, Michael Cooper and the like will live forever in their own way.

Somewhere along the line with Rob Pelinka at the helm, the Lakers stopped caring about effective players—a recurring mistake that paralyzed the organization. Now, with two different paths identified among them, they will have to get rid of this bad habit.

Behind door number one sits this off season Kyrie Irving. As talented as he is crazy, he’ll instantly pump out a star power that’s a hugely better fit for him than the last great guard Pelinka ever had.

Behind Door #2 is a commercial package for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, two players who will never reach the peak that Russell Westbrook or Irving has in their careers, but are two very capable NBA players who would fit in incredibly well with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Oh, and there aren’t nearly as many questions about their interest in coming to work every day.

There are two more doors that technically represent some other options, but for now, that’s the focus of this week’s episode of “The Anthony Irwin Show.” Also, admitting that the Lakers could technically only turn last year’s heart is so frustrating I’d rather pretend the door is closed forever.

Let’s take a look at this championship team from 2020. Yes, James and Davis were undoubtedly the engine and rotor for this boat but the crew tasked with helping ensure it runs at optimum levels has been very important. This battle-tested group has since been stripped away and replaced by an unrecognizable and uninspiring group of men who we’re not sure can steer any boat in the right direction.

The insane part of all of this is Rob Pelinka, who was an integral part of the championship team, and was instrumental in stripping the championship roster of its valuable players. The message at every step: If you’re not a star, you’re an alternative. Lesson learned at every turn: This is an incredibly stupid message!

Yes, James undoubtedly prefers Irving’s path even after his bodyguards burst joyfully in his face just a year ago. Yes, Pelinka is now fighting for his job and appeasing James is probably the surest way to keep it. And yes, Irving’s commitment to basketball in ways never seen before in the past few years is perhaps offering the highest ceiling.

But if the Lakers really want to show that they’ve learned from the catastrophe of the 2021-2222 campaign, the choice here is relatively easy: implement trades that bring in NBA-caliber multiplayer. Go back to the approach that won the championship just two seasons ago.

Role players do not win the headlines and will not sell tickets individually. But players like Turner and Heald have a higher chance of helping win basketball games. Somewhere along the line, the Lakers forgot that’s kind of the point, and it’s time to remember it.

This week, I brought in longtime friend Adam Maris from DNVR to discuss this, Tim Connelly’s giant fence swing and Kobe Bryant’s admiration for Nikola Jokic.

You can listen to the full episode below, and to make sure you never miss a show, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast at ItunesAnd the spotifyAnd the Stitcher or google podcast.

And for a short shaped brief case, check out Lakers Lowdown, where Anthony Irwin summarizes the previous day’s news and prepares you for the day ahead at LakerLand, every weekday morning in Silver Screen and Roll Podcast Nutrition.

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