We all knew this was going to be a rough season for the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe Bryant is working on coming back from a torn Achilles tendon, Dwight Howard is in Houston trying to be likable again and Steve Nash’s legs still hurt from when he fell asleep in his rocking chair — things weren’t looking good from the jump. And even though Xavier Henry is good at dunking and a pretty dashing fellow, when he’s one of your three leading scorers and another one of those three is Jodie Meeks, things ain’t great.
But that’s all well and good. Of course the Lakers stink. What’s truly troubling is this piece of news, courtesy of Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding:
The final score at Staples Center on Tuesday night showed a Lakers victory, 116-95.
Other numbers revealed a devastating Lakers loss.
The Lakers’ 320-game home sellout streak ended when Staples wound up 571 spectators shy of the 18,997 capacity for the game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
A Lakers game not selling out?! It hadn’t happened for seven years (Dec. 6, 2006 against the Oklahoma City/New Orleans Hornets). That was so long ago that the NBAwas using what wound up as a temporary new microfiber composite basketball—and Smush Parker, Kwame Brown, Luke Walton and Lamar Odom joined Kobe Bryant in the Lakers’ starting lineup.
I guess this is what happens when a third of the Lakers’ salary cap is sitting on the bench wearing the same black suit over and over a season after being swept out of the playoffs while starting Andrew Goudelock. It’s almost like fans aren’t excited to see Chris Kaman in person, believe it or not. That sounds crazy to me. You’d think people would appreciate his “hair” matching the Lakers’ uniforms, but I guess not.
This just goes to show why the Lakers always pursue stars. I’m not saying their fan base is a bunch of bandwagoners who only care about seeing famous people play basketball, but I’m not surprised that two Hall of Famers who haven’t looked great this season (Steve Nash and Pau Gasol) aren’t bringing the eyeballs to Staples Center. You’ve got to give the people what they want, as my friend Jalen Rose says. And I guess the people don’t want players they’ve never heard about playing fast and exciting basketball while the players they have heard of limp up and down the court looking weird. Not to mention, there does happen to be another team nearby that just so happens to have recognizable players who do cool stuff all the time.
There are a lot of factors here that could contribute to the Lakers not selling out one game in the middle of November against a team named after an aquatic bird. Plus, I’m also not not saying that stuff about the bandwagon, if you catch my drift.