Even Kobe Bryant’s retirement tour couldn’t stop the Los Angeles Lakers from taking the worst loss in franchise history Monday.
Kobe and the Lakers hit the road for an encounter with the Utah Jazz, a team they had already lost to twice this year. Most expected a third, which is what they got.
By a 123-75 margin.
That’s 48 points folks, the worst loss in Lakers history.
“I hope they do a little soul-searching,” head coach Byron Scott said, according to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register.
Two Lakers managed double-digit points in the embarrassment. Jordan Clarkson scored a meager 12 and Louis Williams came off the bench to post 16. Julius Randle scored two points. D’Angelo Russell, five. Kobe, five. As a whole, the Lakers shot 26-of-85 from the floor while the Jazz hit 52 percent of their shots from the floor, 53 percent from deep and dished 26 assists.
So much for letting the young talent develop in a positive environment. So much for the shot-happy Bryant gunning his way to keeping the team somewhat competitive—he went 1-of-11 from the field.
That said, the focus remained on Bryant and the sweet swag the Jazz gifted the legend:
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 28, 2016
Nice, but it’s a sorry state of affairs in Los Angeles when the focus goes to how Bryant’s latest stop in a locale commands the headlines. Or how he interacts with fans during the game:
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 29, 2016
Supposedly a team focused on the future and willing to sacrifice a high-profile draft pick at the cost of player development, the Lakers continue to show they’re anything but.
The Lakers are keeping the pick.
As Bryant says goodbye, what the Lakers say means little when the play on the court speaks so much louder. The Lakers continue to tank and Bryant doesn’t appear to have much of a say in the matter.
Look on the bright side—the only way to go from here is up.