Chris Kaman: Lakers 'Aren't Trying to Chase Picks'

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2014

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, left, talks to center Chris Kaman on the end of the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic in Orlando, Fla., Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers aren't trying to lose games. They just aren't any good at this whole basketball thing.

Chris Kaman, who's now reclaimed a spot in coach Mike D'Antoni's rotation, said L.A.'s mounting loss column isn't intentional—it's unavoidable with this injury-ravaged roster.

"Everybody knows we want to win," he said, via Serena Winters of "It’s not like we are out here trying to chase picks, that’s not what we’re doing at all, I promise. I don’t think anybody thinks that way."

After Tuesday's 96-79 home loss to the youthful Utah Jazz, the Lakers (18-34) have lost six straight at Staples Center and nine of their last 11 overall.

Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

For a franchise as proud as this, this stream of setbacks is almost foreign to the fanbase. At their current pace, the Lakers are headed for their lowest winning percentage (.346) since moving to L.A. in 1960.

They may not set the franchise's new standard for futility, but it might be a while before things get any better.

Kobe Bryant (knee), Pau Gasol (groin), Nick Young (knee), Jodie Meeks (ankle) and Jordan Farmar (hamstring) all sat out Tuesday's loss, and Steve Nash left after less than 17 minutes of action because of nerve root irritation in his leg and back, according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times.

Even at full strength, the Lakers figured to be facing an uphill climb to the postseason in the fully loaded Western Conference. The roster is in dire need of a talent upgrade, and this upcoming draft supposedly holds an historically strong collection of game-changing players.

Hypothetically, the Lakers could embrace the loss column and aim to improve their draft lottery odds in hopes of landing a cornerstone piece. Kaman, however, isn't the first to say the Lakers have no interest in tanking:

Of course, having an excuse doesn't make these struggles any less depressing.

"It's frustrating," Kaman said after Tuesday's loss, per Joe Resnick of The Associated Press (via "A lot of our guys are just trying to figure out where they're supposed to be and what they're supposed to be doing, because we've had so many guys hurt and then come back."

The losses may eventually prove beneficial if the Lakers pull a prime piece out of the 2014 NBA draft.

Still, they're going to sting for the time being. And those aren't self-inflicted pains.