The Los Angeles Lakers have limped to a horrid 19-39 record through 58 games this season, a pace that has the storied franchise projected to finish 27-55, which would mark the most losses in one season in Lakers history.
With 16 NBA championships and a combination of even more Hall of Fame players and coaches, the Lakers are one of the most decorated franchises in all of sports.
The Purple and Gold have claimed the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy five times since 2000 and seemed on the verge of another after acquiring both Dwight Howard and future Hall of Famer Steve Nash ahead of last season.
However, as Lakers fans know, that image has been distorted on numerous occasions since.
Five games into the 2012-2013 season, the Lakers fired coach Mike Brown. Then, instead of bringing back the legendary Phil Jackson, management opted for Mike D'Antoni to fill their vacancy.
D'Antoni coached Nash in Phoenix from 2004-2008, when the pair led a fast-break offense not too different from the "Showtime" Lakers of the 1980s. While the D'Antoni-Nash reunion seemed promising, Nash has battled recurring injuries since arriving in Los Angeles.
To add insult to injury, Howard bolted Hollywood for Houston following last season, while Kobe Bryant—one of the best Lakers of all time—both ruptured his left Achilles' tendon and fractured his left knee in an eight-month period spanning across the past two seasons.
In comparison to some of the title-winning teams, the Lakers' current roster resembles that of an amateur team. Besides the injured duo of Bryant and Nash, only center Pau Gasol boasts a career average of over 12 points per game, a reality that can't sit well with an offensive-minded coach like D'Antoni.
So while many organizations can only dream of one day duplicating the Los Angeles Lakers' previous success, this season's team is more of the nightmare variety.
On the bright side, every additional loss increases the Lakers' chances of landing a top pick in this summer's NBA draft, where the franchise's next star may be discovered.