The Los Angeles Lakers’ disastrous 2021-22 NBA season came to a conclusion on Tuesday night. While there are obviously still games remaining on the docket, the team’s 121-110 defeat to the Phoenix Suns signaled the end of their chances of making the playoffs.
Given the championship hype and aspirations LA came into the year with, how things ended was obviously a huge disappointment.
While there is a lot of blame to go around, clearly, two people are seen as having played a central role in allowing this embarrassment to happen: team owner Jeanie Buss and her close advisor Linda Rambis.
In the aftermath of the Lakers’ epic humiliation, ESPN NBA broadcaster Stephen A. Smith delivered a blistering message to both women.
“Here’s where we have to do the unthinkable, the uncomfortable, what we don’t like the most,” he said.
“And that’s holding the wonderful Jeanie Buss accountable. Because why in the hell is anybody whose last name is Rambis, relevant when it comes to basketball decisions?
“I challenge anybody in America, anybody in the world, that knows anything about basketball, to tell me one nugget of justification that Rambis, anybody named Rambis, should have something to do with making basketball decisions.”
Smith didn’t stop there, though.
“Especially Linda Rambis. I mean, at least we got something to point to when it comes to Kurt Rambis. You were a champion as a player. Not much as a coach, damn sure not much as an executive, but at least you played and won championships. What the hell has Linda Rambis done in the world of basketball to be on the phone with agents and other people trying to make basketball decisions? That is an international basketball travesty.”
It’s hard to argue with Smith’s central thesis.
Buss’ management of the freak show that has been this Lakers’ season has rightfully evoked a lot of ire from fans and casual observers alike. Her humiliating racy tweets mini-scandal only added to the overall embarrassment levels.
McKayla Maroney’s still got it.https://t.co/9SZ3MQm9Xu
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 5, 2022
Some tough decisions will need to be made this summer. Obviously Buss can’t go anywhere, but her inner circle most definitely can.
Will Buss do what’s necessary to restore some semblance of respect to a once proud franchise? Time will tell.