The 2021-22 Los Angeles Lakers will always be remembered for being one of the most dysfunctional superteams ever put together. The team was built with the idea of using former superstars out of their prime and hoping they gel around LeBron James. However, it did not work out as the Lakers have cemented an eleventh seed finish this season.
This was NBA's 75th Anniversary Season, and four players on the Lakers were felicitated as the top 75 players in NBA history. However, having those players like LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Carmelo Anthony didn't end up resulting in even moderate success.
Another player who was on the 75th Anniversary Team was Shaquille O'Neal, who won 3 titles with the Lakers. He has been a vocal critic of the team all season long, and went into the team for being eliminated from the play-in tournament on his 'The Big Podcast'.
“You can’t have four top 75 guys on the same team and not make the playoffs," O'Neal said. "Period, period. I don’t care who playing.”
The situation with the Lakers went from bad to worse after the trade deadline. For the longest time, the Lakers looked to at least be locked for the NBA play-ins, but their torrid post-All-Star break form saw them crash out of the play-ins in swift fashion. While LeBron was putting up historic scoring numbers, it didn't matter for the Lakers as their lack of continuity and defensive adaptability saw them regularly lose.
Hopefully, the Lakers make serious changes over the off-season and retool around LeBron James while he is still performing at that level. He needs to take accountability for the season as well, along with the other stars. If the Lakers can prepare for the summer that is a ways off from now, they will be ready to prove the doubters wrong in 2022-23.