Derek Fisher is one of the most memorable personalities in Los Angeles Lakers history.
Because of his unique place in franchise lore, he is uniquely qualified to speak on all things purple and gold both past and present.
This week, Fisher delivered something of a harsh message to Lakers faithful: be prepared for the Los Angeles Clippers to be very, very good next season.
“I think the Clippers have as good of a chance at anybody of coming out of the West,” Fisher told Sports Illustrated.
“I don’t know if LA is prepared for the Clippers to come out of the West before the Lakers do, but it’s legitimately possible based on the way the teams are currently constructed, and we’re just gonna have to see how the season plays out.”
The Lakers are a discombobulated mess these days, while the Clippers boast one of the most complete rosters top to bottom in the league.
Even before Kawhi Leonard returned to the fold looking like The Incredible Hulk the Clippers looked scary. Now? They might be the favorites to come out of the West.
The Lakers, meanwhile, are struggling to figure out what their next move should be. The front office seems to understand that a trade is necessary, but appears frozen when it comes to actually making it happen.
Whichever one they go with will have massive ramifications on their 2022-23 NBA championship aspirations.
At least Christian McCaffrey is healthy enough for this. https://t.co/MIf5Zxi9Ir
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 16, 2022
Obviously the Lakers could come back strong next season, surprise folks and compete for a title. But as Fisher alluded to, that doesn’t seem to be where the smart money’s at.
The Clippers will almost certainly be better than the Lakers next season. And that’s something Lakers fans should come to terms with now to save themselves future disappointment.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.