Los Angeles Lakers fans have had few things to cheer about this season. Injury woes concerning the likes of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, dismal form and rumours of dressing room discontent have meant that the supporters by large have been left doubting whether things will get better anytime soon.
Let’s face it though, they can’t get any worse. With a current record of 22-44 heading into tonight’s game against the San Antonio Spurs - whom they were destroyed by during their last outing - the short-term future is bleak. Many blame the new ownership, bought in of course when former owner Jerry Buss died in early 2013.
Things have never really taken off since the changes at the highest level, and it would appear that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is the most recent high-profile individual to add his voice to those speculating that the loss of Buss has hit the Lakers harder than any thought it would.
"Jerry Buss was the Lakers, so I don't know if the Lakers will ever be the Lakers,'' Cuban said.
"I don't think there was a smarter owner in the history of the NBA than Jerry Buss, so that's tough to replace.
"I don't think people realize just how good of an owner Jerry was. I looked up to him a lot. Absolutely. So I don't know if the Lakers will ever be the Lakers.''
Of course there are those who would be inclined to disagree with Cuban, given the fact that it was always going to take time for the franchise to find their feet after the loss of Buss’ influence. Whether or not they will ever return to the days when they were the dominant force in the NBA remains to be seen, but surely their performances this season won’t be carried over into next year when the likes of Bryant return.