Worst team in fran­chise his­tory?

With their 60th loss and one game left in the sea­son, Lak­ers look to beat 1957-58 record.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Mike Bres­na­han


SACRA­MENTO — There’s only one thing left to say about the Lak­ers. If they lose to the Sacra­mento Kings on Wed­nes­day, they’ll be the worst team in the fran­chise’s 67-year his­tory.

The sea­son is al­most over for them, as im­bal­anced and of­f­cen­ter as Van­der Blue’s jer­sey.

Who is Van­der Blue, you ask? And what’s wrong with his jer­sey?

First a few per­ti­nent de­tails from yet an­other loss, 102-92, Mon­day to the Kings at Sleep Train Arena.

Jor­dan Clark­son was on his way to play­ing all 48 min­utes but landed on Ray McCal­lum’s foot and sus­tained a sprained left an­kle. He stayed on the court long enough for two free throws be­fore limp­ing to the locker room with 23 points and six as­sists.

“It hurts,” he said af­ter­ward with a squeezed face, adding quickly that he hoped to play in Wed­nes­day’s sea­son fi­nale. “Real im­por­tant.”

Very much so, par­tic­u­larly if the Lak­ers want to avoid be­ing worse than the 1957-58 Min­neapo­lis Lak­ers, who had a .264 win­ning per­cent­age. The present-day Lak­ers (21-60) have a .259 suc­cess rate. Yuck and yuck­ier. Even the famed pur­ple and gold jer­seys were off the mark Mon­day.

Blue was signed so the Lak­ers would have more than two healthy guards, but his No. 12 jer­sey was askew, the first nu­meral shifted too far to the left.

The Lak­ers had been in Sacra­mento since late Sun­day night and ini­tially or­dered a No. 2 jer­sey from their Los An­ge­les-based uni­form sup­plier. One prob­lem: No. 2 still be­longed to Wayne Elling­ton, who was de­clared done for the sea­son only two weeks ago be­cause of a shoul­der in­jury.

Upon re­al­iz­ing their mis­take, the Lak­ers hur­riedly had a No. 1 sewn to the left of the per­fectly cen­tered No. 2 and sent the jer­sey up to Sacra­mento with a team at­ten­dant.

Blue re­ceived it with lit­tle time to spare. He didn’t even see how it looked.

“I no­ticed it ac­tu­ally dur­ing the game,” said Blue, who scored seven points. “One of the other play­ers said, ‘What hap­pened to your jer­sey?’ I looked down and was like, ‘Oh, I guess that pretty much shows the day I had.’ ”

Blue flew in from Dal­las to join the Lak­ers, barely sign­ing a con­tract be­fore the of­fi­cial 6 p.m. cut-off time.

If Blue didn’t play, for­ward Ryan Kelly might have been the Lak­ers’ third guard. The team has now lost eight guards to in­jury or re­tire­ment this sea­son: Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Nick Young, Jeremy Lin, Ron­nie Price, Xavier Henry, Dwight Buy­cks and Elling­ton.

The Kings (28-53) re­cently shut down All-Star cen­ter DeMar­cus Cousins and high-scor­ing for­ward Rudy Gay, but it didn’t mat­ter Mon­day be­cause Omri Casspi had 26 points, nine re­bounds and six as­sists.

Jor­dan Hill and Jabari Brown each had 18 points for the Lak­ers, who turned their at­ten­tion slowly to­ward Wed­nes­day’s game.

Is this the worst Lak­ers team ever? Re­ally?

“Def­i­nitely don’t want to be a part of that,” Hill said.

But it def­i­nitely could hap­pen.

Rich Pedroncelli As­so­ci­ated Press

JA­SON THOMP­SON shoots over Lak­ers for­ward Jor­dan Hill dur­ing Sacra­mento’s 102-92 win.

Rich Pedroncelli As­so­ci­ated Press

RYAN KELLY shoots over Sacra­mento’s Omri Casspi dur­ing the Lak­ers’ 60th loss of the sea­son.

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