The Los Angeles Lakers have had a successful start to their 2016-17 season, racking up surprising wins over the likes of the Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, and Houston Rockets. The team boasts a young, talented roster with up-and-coming players like D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram, and optimism is now running high in Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, the team has hit a bit of a rough patch, losing four of their last five while seeing Russell, Randle, and Nick Young miss time due to injury. Still, general manager Mitch Kupchak told Sam Amick of USA Today that success won’t necessarily be measured by wins and losses.
“I want the basketball to be fun for our players and for our fans, something that’s fun and exciting to watch,” Kupchak said. “And I want the team to get better as the year progresses. I don’t know what that means in terms of wins and losses, but if we’re a better team a month from now, or three months from now, or five months from now, than we are today, and we’re fun to watch, I think our fans, our partners, will be on board, and I think we’d have something to build on. And once again, I don’t know how many wins that is. I really don’t.”
While the injury bug has taken a bit of the wind out of the Lakers’ sails, they have unquestionably been an entertaining bunch to watch this year. The offense, while still developing, has been given new life by Luke Walton, and players like Young and Lou Williams have turned in career performances as a result.
This Lakers team, while currently in the mix for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, is very much geared towards developing the future. As long as they improve and continue to have fun on the court, the season will be a success, regardless of what place they finish in.