Lakers legend James Worthy says LA ‘refused to build’ like Grizzlies, Bucks and Celtics

The Los Angeles LakersThe season ended in disappointment after not only missing the playoffs, but was disqualified from the role playing after finishing with a record 33-49. Injuries certainly played a role as LeBron James played just 56 games, while Anthony Davis was available for just 40. Then there was the failure of Russell Westbrook’s trial, a problem that may not be resolved in the off-season if the Lakers cannot find a business partner to take on an expired $47 million contract, or if the two parties cannot reach an acquisition agreement.

This was the second consecutive season that the Lakers’ championship chase ended abruptly, after the 2020-21 season ended as they bounced back in the first round of the No. 2 seed. Phoenix Suns, who eventually toured all the way to the NBA Finals. Injuries played a role in this situation as well, and Davis believes that if he had been healthy the Lakers would have won that series against Phoenix. Injuries aside, one of the most common questions asked about the Lakers is why have they not had so little success in the past two seasons after winning it all in 2020? Well, Lakers legend James Worthy has an answer.

“The Lakers, I think, have refused to build over the years,” Worthy said during his appearance on “The Stoney and Jansen Show.“We had some good players: [Brandon] Ingram [Julius] Randall, [Lonzo] a ball. We tried to win quickly. in kobe [Bryant]The past few years, we brought her [Steve] Nash who was a little older, Dwight Howard came in with a back injury. We’ve traded draft picks to try to win right away and I think they’ll really think about how they need to build.”

Worth continued.

“You look at Memphis, you look at the way Boston is playing now, you look at the way Milwaukee has built a team over time. We need to create players that have consistency. We got it two years ago and traded it everything away to try to win, to try to match what it was Brooklyn is doing and what other teams have been doing with their Big Three players. I think that’s going to go away. That’s an illusion, the existence of the Big Three. You see what happened in Brooklyn, you see what happened with the Lakers. Even though everyone has had injuries, you still have to play well. Better and you should definitely be in the playoffs. So the Lakers – it’s embarrassing and unacceptable.”

That’s the thing with a legacy appraisal. He ignores the LeBron James factor in everything. Yes, Boston, Memphis and Milwaukee have built their teams primarily with local talent and hit the jackpot in the draft by picking players like Jason Tatum, Ja Morant and Giannis Antetokounmue. Lakers Act Draft some top guys, but trade it off for LeBron James and the nickname. Would you rather combine Julius Randle, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and no title or LeBron and a championship? My guess is that anyone would take the latter.

While Worthy mentioned that injuries were an obstacle for the Lakers, I don’t think it can be understated how harmful it can be to lose your best players 20 games at a time. A season ago, a healthy Davis might have helped the Lakers advance beyond The Sun and beyond. This season, while Westbrook’s fitness on the team has certainly been in doubt, having Davis and LeBron in good health would have made all the difference.

It’s understandable to wonder if the Lakers were on the right track when they staked their future for the title and LeBron, but they managed to grab that championship two seasons ago. The plan they laid out actually worked, and it might have worked last season as well, had Alzheimer’s been healthy.

But it’s clear to Worthy that one tournament wasn’t enough, and the Lakers will have to find some answers to improve this summer before embarking on another title quest that will be more challenging than the last tournament with a loaded Western Conference.