Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 1/11/13

At the beginning of the season, it seemed like the Lakers had it all. Kobe Bryant, one of the best players in NBA history. Dwight Howard, who is widely considered as the best center in the game. Steve Nash, who will end his career as one of the top three assist leaders in NBA history. Pau Gasol, one of the top five international players to ever play the game. Not to mention a supporting cast that included Metta World Peace, Antawn Jamison, and Jordan Hill. Yet here the Lakers are, with the eighth playoff spot only getting further away. Yes, there have been injuries. Yes, there has been a controversial coaching change. Yes, the defense is downright abysmal. But there is a deeper, underlying problem that the Lakers face that will be nearly impossible to shake this season: stability. Mike Brown starts 1-4 (with Steve Nash hardly appearing in two games). Fire him. Antawn Jamison can’t hit a few shots. Bench him. Pau Gasol looks “soft” and is struggling to fit into a new system that he has never played in. Trade him. Dwight Howard is still recovering from major offseason back surgery and is slower on the court. He just doesn’t want to play defense anymore. This has been the appalling mindset of Laker fans all season long, and it truly shows a lack of knowledge, as well as a lack of respect for the process of forming a championship team. I have been ashamed to call myself a Lakers fan this season, and not solely because of their performance on the court. The negative attention that both the fans and media give the team each and every night is ruthless.  The Lakers have turned into the laughing stock of the league, similar to the New York Jets, Boston Red Sox, or Dallas Cowboys. Photo Credit: Rick Bowmer/AP Do you think every time Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, or Tony Parker look old and drop a few games that Spurs fans demand change? Or how about when the Thunder traded their third best player, did Thunder fans scream bloody murder? When Chris Bosh’s numbers went WAY down and he started playing “soft”, did Heat fans tweet millions of times calling for his head? How about when the Celtics Big 3 looked way past their prime heading into the playoffs last season? Yes, there were trade rumors. No, nothing was done. Yes, they were one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals. Why? Stability and trust in the organization, two things the Lakers rank last in the NBA in. Winning is no longer a victory for the Lakers, but rather a relief, and no team will be successful with that mind set. The Lakers are not just your NBA 2K13 franchise where you can put together the highest rated roster, hire a brand new coach, and implement the highest scoring offense. In real life, players aren’t programmed to automatically run whatever system they are put in. Players actually have to develop chemistry, and learn the tendencies of the teammates around them. Knee tendonitis, back spasm, torn labrums, sprained ankles, and concussions cannot be ignored by simply pressing A. Nagging injuries linger throughout a season, and actually inflame and become more painful when a team travels. Laker fans: I know patience is thin, trust me, but the more the ******** and moaning continues, the more the team will continue to struggle, which at this point will lead to the team missing the postseason. Give the team a chance. Let them learn defensive rotations. Let them run a system that can be effective if executed properly. Let a game be determined by stats not shown on Sports Center after the game. Act like a Pats or Spurs fan, which understands greatness isn’t achieved over night, but rather over the course of an entire system. No, you haven’t waited “long enough.” This mind set came as soon as the Lakers started 0-2. Last but not least, DO NOT ACT surprised when teams are afraid to play the Lakers come April. -Langer

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