The look on Kobe Bryant’s face said it best.
After dropping a game to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, Bryant walked off the Staples Center court shaking his head and looking dejected. His Lakers fell to 0-5. It is the worst start in Lakers history since the 1957-58 season when the team was still in Minneapolis.
The only people who had a worst night than the Lakers were the Democrats after the party suffered another shellacking in the midterm elections at the hands of the Republicans. The GOP is now in control of both the House and the Senate in eight years.
It seems like it has been eight years since the last time the Lakers won an NBA game.
The start of the 2014-15 season for the Lakers is about as bad as President Barack Obama’s approval rating. L.A. is struggling to stop dribble penetration, and it doesn’t have the rim protector to erase any defensive mistakes.
The Lakers are also struggling to find consistency on offense. Bryant did have 39 points against the Suns, but he was 14-for-37 from the field.
“Kobe sees the people around him and there’s nobody out there who can score except maybe for Jeremy Lin,” former Lakers standout Michael Cooper said on Time Warner Cable Sports Network. “But at the same time he has to make the players around him better. You have to be able to kick that basketball out and trust your teammates to get shots.
“But that’s Kobe being Kobe. He’s doing everything he can to try to get a win.”
Bryant said he was just being aggressive, and didn’t think the volume of shots was the reason why his team lost. But NBA Hall-of-Famer James Worthy thinks 37 shots is way too many, even for someone with the talent of Kobe.
“That’s almost 40 shots. That’s a lot of shots,” Worthy said. “It would take me three games or four games to get 40 shots. This is Kobe. Kobe is competitive, man. He has the drive. And if no one else is doing anything he’s just gonna go for it.”
It’s hard to blame Bryant for hijacking the offense. Look around the Lakers roster and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who you can honestly say is a legitimate NBA starter other than Kobe.
Lin and Jordan Hill are nice complementary players, but they’re better coming off the bench. That would have been Lin’s primary role if Steve Nash was still active. Wesley Johnson is another in a long line of Syracuse players who became NBA busts. And the Lakers are finding out why the Chicago Bulls couldn’t wait to unload Carlos Boozer.
If you look deeper into the Lakers bench and you see a bunch of guys who are D-league level. Ronnie Price, Wayne Ellington, Ryan Kelly, Jordan Clarkson, Ed Davis, Xavier Henry and Robert Sacre would be wondering additions to the L.A. D-Fenders. Sacre makes Samaki Walker look like James Worthy.
The only player with a lot of promise is rookie forward Julius Randle. But he’s out for the season with a broken leg.
Lakers fans better used to these shellackings because it’s going to be awhile before this team gets good again.