When a team is the odds on preseason favorite to make the NBA Finals, but fails to even make the playoffs, people are going to talk. The entirety of the NBA universe has weighed in on the Lakers disastrous 49-loss campaign. During an appearance on KTLA's morning show this week, NBA Hall-of-Famer Scottie Pippen discussed what he believe is the main reason the Lakers failing to meet expectations.
Pippen is of the opinion that the veteran-laden Lakers roster failed to play as a team.
“I just felt like, this season, the sacrifice wasn’t there. The players are obviously very talented. They brought in some players who are very knowledgeable about the game and can still play at a very high level, but I just felt like there wasn’t a lot of sacrifice from the individuals. That really caused that team to have a lot of chaos throughout the season.”
Chemistry certainly played a role in the Lakers catastrophic season, especially when it came to Westbrook, LeBron, and Anthony Davis sharing the floor, but injuries were also a major factor. AD and LeBron combined to miss 66 regular season games.
Pippen's take isn't completely unfounded though. The Lakers signed a slew of older players to one-year veteran-minimum contracts. Players who likely saw one season with the Lakers as a pit-stop, not a long term commitment. Where some of those players focused on their next contract and not doing everything they could to help the Lakers win?
Scottie Pippen certainly believes that to be the case.