Attracting free agents is becoming a real issue in Los Angeles, at least for some teams.
When Jeanie Buss talked about the media as the Lakers biggest problem this season, a lot of people were quick to point out the media doesn't make the top 10 of their issue. The end conclusion was that the Lakers are still more focused on the "Laker brand" than actual team building. Magic, Pelinka, and Buss have all failed at their job and as much as they want to blame the media, Pelicans lack of good faith, etc. the results speak for themselves. (via The Herd Live)
Think about it for a second, would you ever say the Suns, Knicks or Magic were a better team than the Lakers in past years? Probably not. When you as a fan do it, it's acceptable, but when the top brass in the Lakers organization acts like they are "one star away," that becomes a problem.
It doesn't help that LeBron isn't the free agent magnet he used to be, especially for superstar players who have little upside and a lot of downside in playing next to him. It would appear the same goes for coaches.
Doc is having a spectacular season as the Clippers coach; they've been playing great basketball and have fantastic chemistry on the court. This all with a cast of outcasts and players labeled as overpaid and lacking a superstar. Someone, we can't say who, leaked the idea that Doc Rivers could become the Lakers coach next summer.
If you are a fan of crime movies, the first thing you do is look for motive. Who do we know wants to change Luke Walton at the end of the season? Did anyone publicly put him on notice early in the season?
Ok, next step is to check the M.O. Who constantly tends to try and lure great personnel to the Lakers instead of developing it in-house? Did anyone work for the Lakers at a time when such a strategy worked?
Is anyone under a lot of criticism for underperforming at their job? Made any bad decisions lately?
If only we possessed some Magic ability to look back into the past and find out.
Doc was quick to stop any rumors spreading and told reporters he has no intention of leaving the Clippers. He did get an extension that enabled him and the Clippers to terminate his contract at the end of this season, but Rivers informed us that he has a verbal agreement with Balmer and paperwork is being sorted out.
I can tell you that. Straight and up front, I'm going to be here until [Clippers owner] Steve [Ballmer] says get out. I plan on being here a long time.
If you remove the strength of the brand, this is a no brainer decision. On one side, you have a team with a lot of young talent, two max slots and Kawhi one foot through the door. A billionaire owner that earned his way to the team and a front office led by Lawrence Frank, Jerry Lewis on speed dial.
On the other hand, you have an aging LeBron who has a track record of burning through coaches, an unclear roster situation with young players vs. trading for AD or a superstar. All this will supposedly be sorted out by a rookie front office in Magic and Pelinka that traded away players that are currently kickin' ass around the league and brought in Mcgee, Stephenson and Beasly. At the top sits an owner who inherited the team and has no significant track record of success on her own.
Between quality vs. brand, Doc Rivers made the smart play. Let's see how the media is to blame for this one.