Nick Young #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers is one of the many players not guaranteed to be back with the Lakers next season.
On Wednesday evening in San Antonio, the Los Angeles Lakers wrapped up the 2013-14 season with a win on the road against the best team in the NBA.
Sure, Tim Duncan did not play, and Tony Parker only played the first half, but the Lakers only had nine guys available to play. With the 113-100 win over the San Antonio Spurs, the Lakers finished with the sixth-worst record in the NBA and the worst season in the history of the franchise since moving to Los Angeles.
The 2013-14 Lakers finished with a mark of 27 wins and 55 losses.
For those fans already looking to the NBA draft lottery, the Lakers enter the ping pong contest with a 6.3 percent chance at the no. 1 overall pick.
The result of Wednesday’s game did not mean all that much, but it did show that the Lakers did not give up on the season until the final buzzer sounded on the final game. Considering most of the players did not have any guarantees on returning to LA next season, Wednesday was another example of the team playing unselfish team basketball.
Eight of the nine players who stepped onto the court scored in double digits for the Lakers.
Only three Laker players have guarantees to be back at the start of training camp: Kobe Bryant, Robert Sacre and Steve Nash. Of those three, Nash’s future is in question, as the Lakers have the ability to waive the 40-year-old point guard and stretch his contract across three years should they choose to do so.
Ultimately, only two Lakers—Bryant and Sacre—are truly guaranteed to be back at the start of the season, and Bryant was already vacationing in France before the final game of the season started.
Bryant seemingly detached himself from the team in the final months of the season, but he did take a moment to tweet out that this season was one to forget. The all-time great promised that next season would be “epic.”
Earlier in the day, news broke that Bryant was finally cleared to resume training once he returned from his vacation. Bryant is expected to be healthy and ready to go at the start of training camp.
Along with the uncertainty in the squad, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni was also in the spotlight, and the coach deserved credit for finishing the season strong. He kept his players engaged until the end in an unbelievably difficult season.
Entering the offseason, the Lakers have more questions than answers, but for one final night, the Lakers were winners again. Hopefully, the way this season ended carries into the 2014-15 season.