A lot has been written and discussed about the Lakers failed season. While there are many views on how much blame do the Lakers get for trading Russell or Randle, how do we allocate blame between Lebron, Magic & Pelinka and Jeanie Buss, two things are universally accepted. Not making the playoffs is a failure and trading Ivica Zubac was a horrible move.
To remind you, the Lakers traded Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasly for Mike Muscala. This was an instant head-scratcher. Zubac has been improving month to month, proved to be compatible with LeBron and was consistent in his performance. Given the valuation of the players, everyone assumed the Clippers pursued the trade and took on Beasly as well, as it was perceived that Zubac is the most valuable player in this deal.
As it turns out, the Lakers wanted a big man that can shoot, and Muscala was supposed to be that guy. He now barely plays, and Zubac is doing great for the Clippers. It caused some laughs with the Clippers after the deal was done.
Now that Zubac is settled into the Lakers, we have a rare opportunity to get insight about the two organizations who played for both teams in the same season. Many say LA will always be a Lakers town. I wouldn’t say always, but it would take a few decades of Clipper’s dominance to start getting generations of fans to switch. Ownership is the single comparative advantage, and for now, I’d go with Balmer over Buss. As confident the Lakers are, there is some insecurity in their ranks. (via the Orange County Register)
“I was taught to hate Clippers, you know, since I was with the Lakers,” he said. “So I never liked Clippers before. But since coming over here, it’s been amazing. The team, the franchise, the organization is like a family, a big family, everyone’s so close and it’s been awesome.”
Doesn’t sound too confident if you have to hate on the rivals. Zubac also mentioned that winning basketball games regularly is a new experience for him, something that didn’t happen a lot in his time with the Lakers. He’s making an effort to reach out to LA basketball fans and convince them to give the Clippers a chance.
With all the free agency rumors about Lakers striking out with superstars and Kawhi being one foot through the door, the era of Clipper being the better team may continue for longer than these six years.