Once-proud Lakers fall on lean times with dismal 0-4 start

Mon Nov 3, 2014 3:48pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "How the mighty have fallen" would be a massive understatement for frustrated Los Angeles Lakers fans after their team's worst start to a National Basketball Association season in nearly 60 years.

A once-proud franchise which can boast 16 NBA championship banners hanging from the rafters at its home venue in downtown Los Angeles lost their first four games to remain rooted to the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

Not since 1957 has the team launched a season so poorly, and that was when they were based in Minneapolis, Minnesota where their former standout center George Mikan was head coach. The Lakers began that 1957-58 season 0-7.

"No, it doesn't bother me," five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant said with heavy sarcasm after he and his team mates were pounded 127-104 by the Golden State Warriors on Saturday to slip to 0-4 for the season. "Festive and jovial about it."

Bryant, who piled up a team-high 28 points on 12-for-28 shooting, later conceded: "I'm not happy about it. Also nothing you can do about it. Gotta move on to the next one.

"Just stay the course. We still have a lot of room for improvement, but we're moving in the right direction."

The Lakers were always likely to struggle this season after assembling a roster that many viewed as inferior to the one that ended 2013-14 well under .500 with a 27-55 record, having never before lost so many games in a single campaign.

Though they acquired Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer, plus Julius Randle, the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, they lost four-time All-Star Pau Gasol, who opted to leave for the Chicago Bulls.   Continued...

November 1, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) reacts after fouling Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11, not pictured) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Lakers 127-104. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports