The Lakers exited the playoffs Sunday night in the most painful, humiliating way possible. Kobe Bryant watched in street clothes, joined by Steve Nash, Metta World Peace, and others. Dwight Howard was ejected. The Staples Center crowd saw their team get destroyed by 20 points. It may as well have been 50 points.
And so begins the most important offseason in recent Lakers history, at least since Kobe Bryant flirted with leaving before signing a new contract in 2007. A drama-filled year will most certainly be followed by a drama-filled offseason. So what went wrong, and what are the scenarios for next year? Let’s sift through the rubble, and see what some worst cases and best cases are for the Purple and Gold.