Concluding, as they are, one of the most woeful seasons in franchise history, the Los Angeles Lakers need something—anything—to wash away the pain and distract from the fact that, the way things are looking now, next year might not be much better.
How about a brand new shiny building?
PRESS RELEASE: Lakers Announce Agreement to Purchase Site for Future Training Center/Offices - http://t.co/jVxej9mhCu— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 2, 2014
Lakers have a deal to purchase five undeveloped acres in El Segundo to build a new practice complex and team offices.— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) April 2, 2014
According to the team’s official press release, the new complex will serve as a training facility for both the Lakers and their D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Think a state-of-the-art practice center does little good beyond providing more comfortable digs for coaches and players? Think again.
Lakers looking for something more modern...not to mention eye-catching for future free agents. Clippers' facility, btw, is state-of-the-art.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) April 2, 2014
Now it all comes into sharper focus: The Lakers feel like they're losing the battle—if not the war—for the hearts and minds of L.A. hoops fans and wanted to flex their monetary muscle in any way they could.
Some of these tweets make the Lakers’ old practice digs, the Toyota Sports Center, sound like a dog food factory. In fact, it’s only 14 years old.
No word yet on how much the facility will cost, but knowing the Lakers, nary an expense will be spared.
And for good reason.
With the science—how athletes train, how they eat—playing an ever-more crucial role in today’s professional sports, it’s only natural teams would seek to outfit their charges with the best bells and whistles available.
That L.A. is planning on building its new complex within walking distance of the Toyota Sports Center (per Mike Bresnahan) means its conceivable they could continue using the latter as a kind of ancillary resource.
In a 2005 story by Jerry Crowe and Roger Vincent of the Los Angeles Times, then Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy underscored the import role such amenities could have—not just for a player’s brawn and brains, but their brotherhood as well.
Ultimately, if you have your own place, have your own offices, your weight room there -- the whole bit -- you get your guys there a lot, hanging [out] with each other. They get to know each other better, create better relationships.
A new practice facility won’t be enough to land Kevin Love or Carmelo Anthony, but given their questionable financial decisions these past few years, this seems like it could be money well spent for the desperate Lakers.