When you think of poorly run organizations in the NBA, who are the first teams that come to mind? The New York Knicks? The Phoenix Suns? Yes, both those teams can be in the running for poorly run organizations, but the Los Angeles Lakers are slowly joining that club. On May 10, a “protest” was held outside of Staples Center, the home of the Lakers. It has reached extremes when fans are staging a protest. Granted, roughly 30 people showed up for the protest, not to mention that there were almost the same amount of media members as fans at the protest.
Where Did This Start?
The chaos in the Lakers front office has been going on all season but really picked up when Magic Johnson resigned from his role as President of Basketball Operations. Right after, Luke Walton was fired as head coach. No replacement was announced for the president job so Linda and Kurt Rambis became highly trusted advisers for Jeanie Buss, the owner of the Lakers. It seemed as if the Lakers had two choices for their head coaching vacancy: Monty Williams and Tyronn Lue.
Williams then took the job as the head coach as the Suns, therefore making it seem as if Lue was a shoe-in for the Lakers job. He even celebrated his birthday with a cake with the Lakers logo on it. Here is where the real chaos begins. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers offered Lue a contract around three years for 18 million dollars. Most coaches receive a four or 5-year contract.
Lue is championship-winning coach and wanted a 5-year contract. Lue also wanted to field his own assistants when the Lakers organization wanted to do that themselves. Apparently, Buss and Rob Pelinka, the general manager of the Lakers, signed off on the 5-year deal for Lue. Then, Linda and Kurt Rambis got in Jeanie’s ear and convinced her not to do the deal. Before the hiring of Frank Vogel, the shortlist for coaches were Jason Kidd, Vogel, Lionel Hollins, Mike Woodson, Juwan Howard, and J.B. Bickerstaff. Vogel seemed like the only coach that would be acceptable to coach the Lakers. Considering there were rumors of Lue as head coach and Vogel as an assistant this search for a new head coach has gone terribly. According to multiple reports, Jason Kidd was the front runner for the job. Considering Kidd’s experience in the past, that wouldn’t be a good hire.
On May 10 a “protest” took place outside of Staples Center in order to show the front office how upset the fan base was at the moment. The protest was organized by Charlie Rivers, a student at the University of Arizona. He spread the word of the protest by posting details on the Lakers page on reddit.com. Most expected to see at least a 100 people outside of Staples Center on Friday but only about 30 showed up.
Giving the Media What They Want
Out of that small amount, one protestor was Michael Martin, a student from Calabasas High School. Martin had numerous signs, including one with mugshots of Jason Kidd. He had another saying the Lakers should hire LaVar Ball as their head coach. Martin accomplished exactly what Lakers fans wanted to get out of this: media attention. Rivers decided to hold the protest at the Staples Center and not the practice facility in El Segundo where the front office executives work. The reason for this was to get media attention from different outlets including ESPN, which is located across the street from Staples Center. The protest was covered on every media network even though only about 30 people showed up. Most people are calling these protesters ignorant or clowns but they accomplished exactly what they had set out to do.
I hope the Lakers can get their act together soon and fix the team before it is too late and hopefully no more protests are needed. Hopefully the hire of Frank Vogel settles this thing down for a bit.
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.