The 2016-17 NBA season has been a difficult one to digest for the fans of the Los Angeles Lakers. The 10-10 start to the season brought much excitement, as rookie head coach Luke Walton embarked on a campaign that banked on the development of the young core.
Once the NBA trade deadline approached, it brought about a symbolic investment into the new era of the franchise. President of basketball operations Magic Johnson wasted no time at the deadline, deciding to depart with veterans to acquire picks for the future.
Those acquisitions also allowed Walton and the Lakers to experiment with different lineups for the remainder of the season, to evaluate their talent. This sometimes translates to difficult stretches of basketball, as their 21-52 record hasn’t been easy to put up with.
Rap icon and Los Angeles native Ice Cube has been a Los Angeles sports fan through thick and thin, a regular attendee during the Lakers many championship runs. However, Ice Cube wasn’t shy in stating that the ‘tanking’ objective isn’t something he approves of, via Kurt Helin of NBC Sports:
“I don’t really like tanking. I don’t like that concept.”
At the end of the day, the Lakers understand the scenario regarding their protected first-round pick and the importance of the lottery pick in the guard-oriented 2017 NBA Draft. The top three protected pick is expected to be a ball handling, point guard prospect, which can make the players around him better.
Although Ice Cube doesn’t agree with the decision to incorporate the youth, he still expressed his faith in the players on the roster, notably D’Angelo Russell.
Russell was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, with lofty expectations as the key figure that can lead the Lakers out of mediocrity.
Russell faced a lot of flack this season, which culminated when he was recently demoted to the bench. However, Ice Cube isn’t ready to give up on Russell, stating he needs another year to properly adjust to the NBA:
“I think they need to work with him a little more with this same squad. I think you’ve got to give him another year.”
Ice Cube is the owner and creator of the BIG3 league set for summer of 2017, as former NBA players are given another venue to demonstrate their love for the game. Stars such as Allen Iverson, Steve Francis, Jason Williams and Julius Irving will coach and play in the 3-on-3 league.
The new ownership era of the Lakers also took another step in the right direction on Monday, when Jim Buss lost his trustee status, in place of sister Janie. As Ice Cube would say, today is a good day.