In something that no one could see coming at the outset of this season, the Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from playoff contention after their 121-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers’ seventh straight defeat. After bringing in the likes of Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers entered the season as a championship favorite, but now won’t even qualify for the Play-In Tournament.
There are a number of different things that can be pointed to as to why the Lakers wound up submitting one of the most disappointing seasons in the history of the franchise, but Anthony summed things up very simply following the latest loss.
“I would say this is a season where we just didn’t get it done,” Anthony said. “We had the tools. Some things were out of our control and some things we could control and some things we couldn’t. It’s nothing more than we didn’t get it done. You can’t make no excuses about it. We just didn’t get it done.”
Regardless of injuries, coaching issues, roster construction issues or anything else, the Lakers simply did not get the job done that they expected to. But rather than make excuses for the team’s failures, Carmelo stated the obvious about why things went wrong.
Even with the disappointment surrounding the team, Anthony was able to find at least one positive within this team and it is one that has held true all season. Even when the team has been at its lowest points this year, the players never splintered and held on to the belief in each other and Anthony made note of that.
“We stayed together. You didn’t see much of guys straying away from each other. It’s weird. We knew our backs were against the wall. I think situations like this and seasons like this it’s easy for teams to kind of just go their own way when things get thick and backs against the wall. Again, I didn’t see none of that. I didn’t experience none of that in the locker room, in practice, on bus or on the plane. None of that. Guys were still locked in and understanding what was at stake.
“Now the wins didn’t add up to what we were feeling and what we knew. Again, we just didn’t get it done, man. That’s all I can say. We didn’t get it done.”
Unfortunately, following a season like this nobody is going to want to hear about a positive such as this. The Lakers always have championship expectations and they didn’t come close to meeting that this season, but it does say something about the leadership and camaraderie within the locker room that the players continually supported each other all season long.
In the end, that simply never translated into the on-court success that the Lakers so greatly desired and now the franchise will head into the offseason looking to figure out a way to get back to the top of the NBA where they expect to be.
Anthony believes he and James should cherish milestones
Despite the team disappointments this season from the Lakers as a team, both Anthony and of course, LeBron James, have made some history. While the success for the Lakers didn’t come the way they hoped, Carmelo doesn’t want LeBron to not be able to enjoy his individual accomplishments.
“Now, him passing Karl Malone on the scoring list. Myself having an opportunity to move up a notch on the scoring list, No. 9 or 8 or something like that, these are moments that we got to cherish. We shouldn’t take these moments for granted.
“I won’t allow him to take these moments for granted because we don’t get moments like this often, so we got to take advantage of that. We just got to celebrate the accomplishment. I think so much when you are dealing with sports it’s all about competing and wins and losses, but at the end of the day, you have a milestone like that, you have to celebrate that.”
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