The Los Angeles Lakers are limping to the finish line of the regular season, and head coach Frank Vogel is not exactly building any goodwill either.
The Lakers lost again on Sunday to the Denver Nuggets, bringing them one step closer to elimination from the play-in tournament. Curiously enough, Vogel decided not to play rookie guard Austin Reaves a single minute in either of the last two games. While the Lakers were close to full strength against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, LeBron James was out on Sunday against Denver. Reaves did not play in either contest.
That led many angry Lakers fans to question what on earth Vogel was doing suddenly benching Reaves, one of their hardest workers and top defenders.
Reaves, an undrafted rookie, has been one of the only Lakers to play with pride this season and has injected the team with energy and passion every time he has been out on the floor. For Vogel to rely on players like Talen Horton-Tucker (-11 in 18 minutes on Sunday), Avery Bradley (-9 in 28 minutes), and even Carmelo Anthony (-8 in 26 minutes) over Reaves, especially in such a crucial stretch of the season, is just unfathomable.
Vogel surviving this deep into the Lakers’ hideous season without being fired means that he is almost certainly finishing out the 2021-22 campaign as their head coach. But abruptly nailing the one-time starter Reaves to his bench is just the latest in what has been a year full of lowlights for Vogel.
Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel during the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Lakers fans appear to be getting on the nerves of one of their star players.
The Lakers faithful showered the team with boos during their blowout loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green responded by unloading on the fans, calling them “spoiled” and “bratty.”
Lakers star Anthony Davis seemed to agree with Green’s position. Davis “liked” an Instagram post about Green’s comments ripping Lakers fans.
Davis is currently in the midst of another lengthy absence due to a severe right ankle sprain. since arriving in 2019. He has taken plenty of criticism from Lakers fans due to his injury-prone nature.
While Davis might not appreciate all the heat that he personally has gotten, it is hard to blame the Crypto.com Arena crowd for booing the product that is out on the floor right now. Even with Davis sidelined, the Lakers still have four future Hall of Famers playing in LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard. They also entered the season with title expectations. Now though, the Lakers are getting beaten down on their home floor almost every single night, are displaying some really lousy body language while getting thrashed, and are in danger of missing the play-in tournament altogether. Lakers fans might take it way overboard sometimes, but they actually seem to be well within their rights to be booing these days.
Photo: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Lakers have not given their fans many things to cheer about this season, but Draymond Green does not think that gives them an excuse to boo one of the best players in NBA history.
Lakers fans have booed their on team on numerous occasions this year, most recently during Sunday night’s blowout loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Some of those boos came when LeBron James turned the ball over with a bad pass late in the third quarter. The Lakers were trailing by 19 at the time.
Green was disgusted by the fan reaction. During the latest episode of his podcast, the Golden State Warriors star unloaded on Lakers fans and called them “spoiled brats.” He said the booing was “extremely pathetic.”
“Let’s not be like spoiled brats. It’s okay to be spoiled. You can 100 percent be spoiled, we all get spoiled by things at times at one point in our life or another, but let’s not be brats,” Green said, as transcribed by Sports Illustrated’s Joey Linn. “That was about as bratty as something I’ve seen. Considering that this team just won a championship not even a full two years ago. And now you’re booing? I thought it was utterly ridiculous.”
For what it’s worth, LeBron seemed just as disgusted with his team’s performance on Sunday as the fans were. He showed that with one of his patented moves after the game. Though, he may have also been aggravated with the fans.
Fans have every right to boo. Most of them paid good money for tickets and expect a quality product, especially from a team like the Lakers. LeBron probably appreciates the support from Green, but he knows he and his teammates have deserved the boos. What they did two years ago really doesn’t matter to this year’s paying customers.
Photo: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
The Russell Westbrook experience in Los Angeles is not getting much better as the season progresses.
The Lakers guard heard it from his own team’s fans during Saturday’s game against the New York Knicks. Late in the first half, Westbrook pulled up for a wide-open midrange shot and try to bank it in off the glass. Unfortunately, the shot clanged badly instead, and the Crypto.com Arena crowd began booing him. Even ESPN analyst Mike Breen noted the jeers on the air.
It was a horrific first half for Westbrook, who shot 1-for-7 from the field with four turnovers. The Lakers fell behind by as many as 21 before taking a 15-point deficit into halftime.
The former NBA MVP Westbrook has produced some truly ghastly bricks in his first season with the Lakers. Now it appears that the team’s fans are completely fed up with his poor play.
One Los Angeles Lakers guard is asking fans for a virtue that they might not have right now.
First-year Laker Kendrick Nunn, who has not played for the team all season, took to Twitter on Thursday to urge patience from the team’s fans with his lengthy recovery process.
“Lake Show I promise I want to be out there helping my team,” said Nunn. “Stay patient with me. This process has been just as frustrating for me. I’ll return as soon as I’m healthy! It’ll be worth the wait.”
The 26-year-old Nunn continues to work his way back from a right knee bone bruise that has sidelined him all year. The team announced this week that Nunn had a setback with the knee and will have his activity scaled back.
After signing a two-year deal with the Lakers in the offseason, Nunn, who averaged 14.6 points a game last season for the Miami Heat, has now missed 45 straight games and counting. The Lakers have had a difficult time finding consistent production in the backcourt without Nunn and are now 22-23 overall. Granted, fans of the team can probably afford to be patient with Nunn since a different player is the subject of their ire right now.
Photo: Oct 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn (12) against the Phoenix Suns during a preseason game at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James apologized on Sunday night as his Los Angeles Lakers have received criticism for their poor play.
The Lakers were blown out on Saturday at Denver 133-96. The blowout loss led to criticism from notable former Lakers star player and executive, Magic Johnson.
Russell Westbrook was among those who was asked about Johnson’s comments.
James may have felt compelled to respond too.
LeBron sent an apology note to the team’s fans:
“#LakerNation I apologize and I promise we’ll be better!” James wrote.
The loss marked the Lakers’ third in a row and dropped them below .500 for the season. That’s not anything near what the fans and organization expects from the team.
The apology is a somewhat thoughtful gesture, but the fans want to see wins, not tweets. Usually an apology at this point in a season is not a very good sign.
Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.
Photo: Dec 9, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) warms-up prior to the game against the Memphis Grizzles at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Ja Morant was a No. 2 overall pick, but he is definitely No. 1 overall when it comes to clowning the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Memphis Grizzlies point guard had one of his best games of the season on Wednesday against the Lakers, going off for 41 points and outdueling LeBron James in a 104-99 home win for the Grizz. After the game, Morant said it was sweet to send home all the Lakers fans who were in attendance.
“Good game, appreciate the fans rooting for us,” said Morant. “We got a lot of energy we could feed off during the game. Had big moments where we needed it. Even better to send all those yellow, gold, whatever color jerseys you wanna call home sad. You can take that back to L.A.”
For better or for worse, the Lakers have one of the most passionate fanbases in sports. Even during away games for them, you will often seen the crowd populated with the team’s purple and gold jerseys.
As for Morant, he recently returned from a knee injury and has helped the Grizzlies put a stranglehold on the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. Wednesday’s win had to feel especially satisfying for Morant too after what happened during his last game against the Lakers.
Photo: Nelson Chenault-USA Today Sports
The Los Angeles Lakers have one of the most prominent fanbases in sports, one that is also now being revealed as the worst in one particular area.
BetOnline recently did an analysis of Twitter data to determine how much each NBA fanbase complains about officiating. The study, which was based on one month’s worth of data, revealed that Lakers fans complain the most by a wide margin, followed by New York Knicks fans and Brooklyn Nets fans. Meanwhile, fans of the Portland Trail Blazers complain the least.
Here is the full chart, per NBA writer Casey Holdahl.
Lakers fans probably take a cue from their own team. Players like LeBron James and Anthony Davis have mastered the art of the incredulous stare at the referee with arms outstretched after a foul call that goes against them. The Lakers as a team recently even went to the league with a complaint about the way that they are officiated.
For better or for worse (sometimes for extremely worse), Lakers fans are among the most passionate in the league. If you follow any of them on Twitter though, you probably agree with what this study had to say.
Photo: Nov 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
If there are two things that Steve Ballmer likes taking shots at, it’s Apple products and the Los Angeles Lakers fanbase. This week saw him get in a bit more of the latter.
The LA Clippers owner spoke on Friday with Bill Plaschke of the LA Times and took a few digs at Laker fans.
“Why did so many in the town cheer against us?” said Ballmer. “At some points it gets like this. For a long time the Clippers were nothing, so nobody had to pay attention. For people who had been Lakers fans forever, there’s no threat. We’ll, we’ve gotten pretty good. We’re actually serious. You can see we’re serious. We’re not the old screwed-up franchise in town. We’re getting our act together. I think because we’re getting our act together, it gets people like, ‘C’mon, you can’t get your act together. It’s just my team. My team is the only one that matters!’
“I have been surprised by animus from Lakers fans,” Ballmer added. “My message has sort of been, “Why, you don’t have enough confidence in your guys? There are 29 other teams you have to beat to win a championship. But you must be pretty worried about us. The Lakers are a great organization, a great franchise. But Laker fans, you must be a little worried about us.”
The last couple of years have marked perhaps the first time in NBA history that both the Lakers and Clippers have been contenders at the same time. As such, it has become apparent that Laker fans care more about the Clippers than they care to admit. Many of them were extremely mad online when the Clippers broke ground on their new state-of-the-art arena in Inglewood, Calif., and some even cheered Kawhi Leonard’s injury last postseason.
Los Angeles has always been a Lakers town, but moving to their own arena will help the Clippers finally escape out of the Lakers’ shadow. Ballmer can sense the shifting power balance as well, which is why he has gotten in shots at the Lakers before.
Alex Caruso is getting paid elsewhere, and Los Angeles Lakers fans have nothing but love for him.
Caruso agreed to a 4-year $37 million deal with the Chicago Bulls in free agency. The Lakers and the team’s fans knew there was a possibility Caruso would leave in free agency, and that time has come. Even though Caruso is headed to the Bulls, Lakers fans were supportive of the 27-year-old guard.
Many Lakers Twitter accounts shared love for Caruso and wished him well.
Even Jared Dudley, who has spent the last two seasons with the Lakers, had something nice to say about Caruso.
Celebrity fan O’Shea Jackson Jr. gave Caruso a big shoutout.
The 27-year-old guard spent the last four seasons with the Lakers. He averaged 6.4 points and 2.8 assists in 21.0 minutes per game last season. Caruso also won a ring with the Lakers in 2020.
It’s a good thing for him that his June arrest didn’t cost him free agent interest.