Los Angeles Lakers fans staged a protest outside Staples Center on Friday in what might be the low point of the storied NBA franchise.
To recap: The Lakers have not made the playoffs for six years in a row after missing out on the postseason just five times over its first 65 years of existence. Despite signing LeBron James last offseason, the team again failed, and Magic Johnson stepped down as president of basketball operations in an impromptu press conference without notifying Lakers brass before the media.
Then, 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams signed with the Phoenix Suns while in talks with the Lakers. Los Angeles had not offered him a contract, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on his podcast the Lakers were “ready to move toward” Williams and were “surprised” when he accepted the Suns’ offer.
Finally, the Lakers offered a contract to Tyronn Lue, who coached James’ Cleveland Cavaliers championship team — but he turned it down.
So fans took to Staples Center to protest the direction of the team.
However, the protest reportedly ‘lost steam’ when local high school students had to return to class.
Los Angeles Times columnist Arash Markazi tweeted that Calabasas High School students had to return to class and working people had to return from their lunch breaks, which meant the protest lasted less than an hour.
The protest/rally lasted less than an hour for anyone who wanted to come late. It lost steam when the Calabasas High kids had to get back to school and other people had to go back to work after their lunch break.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 10, 2019
That still gave Markazi enough time to get some photos and videos of protesters, which included a group that he said were Calabasas students.
The group, in Markazi’s tweet above, is holding three signs. One references owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka with a picture of a frustrated-looking LeBron under. Another shows mugshots of Jason Kidd, who the Lakers are reportedly considering for a coaching position.
The third sign gives the Lakers step-by-step instructions to fix the team:
1: Sign LiAngelo Ball
2. Draft LaMelo Ball
3. Hire LaVar Ball
All three moves would be highly bizarre — LaMelo can’t be drafted until 2020 anyway, let alone steps one and three — but at least this person is providing a plan for the team.
It’s more thought-out than what this fan (who might be in high school, though we’re not certain of his identity) offered — though, in all honesty, it’s a common sense idea that most struggling teams should follow.
1. “Fire everyone”
2. “Get all the best players back”
This guy’s plan to bring the Lakers back to greatness is 🤯 pic.twitter.com/rtSu7dKiUD
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) May 10, 2019
The Lakers clearly have quite a few avenues they can pursue to return to playoff contention.
With their history, it could easily be as simple as trading for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis or signing one of the top-tier free agents this season to pair with LeBron.
But until then, enjoy watching the high school students despair over the Clippers making the playoffs while LeBron failed to bring them a ring in his first season on the team.
I asked these Lakers fans what they hope to accomplish with this protest pic.twitter.com/0JQVJmNeub
— Ali B (@ali_behpoornia) May 10, 2019