The Los Angeles Lakers had a completely opposite season of what the front office had hoped while creating the 2021-22 season\’s roster. The Lakers were considered the favorites to win the championship in the preseason. However, the franchise was eliminated even before the start of the postseason. Russell Westbrook received a lot of criticism for his performance this season. Thus, the Lakers are looking to get rid of him as soon as possible. Lately, the Lakers fired their head coach Frank Vogel seconds after the final match of the regular season. Vogel was forced to leave LA two years after he helped them win the championship in 2020.
Meanwhile, several internal sources have suggested that the Lakers\’ front office is still not ready to take responsibility for an embarrassing season. With Frank Vogel out, the front office is internally blaming Kluch Sports, the agency that represents LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers front office has claimed that pressure from Klutch Sports and LeBron James was why the franchise acquired Westbrook.
Did LeBron James Threaten To Leave LA For Westbrook?
The trade decision to acquire Westbrook ultimately came from the Lakers\’ front office. Star players can convince their management to consider players. However, players have no say in the trade, and the management is the one who makes the final call. Moreover, star players need leverage on their franchises to exert immense pressure to get the player of their choice. But, neither James nor Davis had leverage on the Lakers\’ front office. James was under a two-year guaranteed contract, while Davis has three seasons left in LA. Thus, it is highly unlikely that the two MVPs threatened to leave the franchise to get Westbrook. And if they did, it was a stupid interpretation of the situation by the front office.
It is clear that the Lakers are still dealing with the blowback leading to internal gossip and a blame game. However, the front office has failed to figure out a way of working together effectively. In addition, the ultimate goal of the best players and the management is to work together towards a common goal of winning the championship. Instead, the management has involved themselves in a blame game in an attempt to save their jobs. Thus, the higher-ups at the Lakers are more concerned about saving their jobs than thinking about the team\’s interests. The same situation could have been the case with the mismanagement of the team\’s roster this season.
While Frank Vogel was kicked out, there has been no scrutiny on GM Rob Pelinka and advisor Kurt Rambis who have been the brains behind building the current roster. But it seems like James, Anthony, Pelinka, and Kurtis are all set to return next season. Hence, the front office should be focused on rebuilding the tainted work relationships instead of blaming others for the mistakes which are past them.