The Los Angeles Lakers are fast approaching laughingstock status.
Wednesday's 110-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets dropped the Lakers to 0-4 for the first time since 2015-16 and just the third time since the franchise moved to Los Angeles.
Playing without the much-maligned Russell Westbrook, the Lakers still couldn't find a rhythm on either end of the floor. LeBron James finished with 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds but turned the ball over eight times and made just eight of his 21 shot attempts.
"I wasn't aggressive enough in a lot of my turnovers," James told reporters. "I was coming off a lot of screens, looking to pass, get guys involved, and I wasn't aggressive enough. ... That's an easy fix for me. I'll be much better on Friday with that. I've done it over and over the course of my career. That's an easy fix. I'm not worried about that."
James may not be admitting concern publicly, but this season is already an unmitigated disaster. The Lakers look listless on both ends of the floor, the front office looks incompetent for still not recognizing Westbrook's poor fit on the roster, and somewhere Frank Vogel is collecting a check likely thankful he can't be blamed for this year's mess.
Oh, and social media is letting the Lakers have it.
Kevin O'Connor @KevinOConnorNBA
Lakers at 0-4 with lots of problems beyond Westbrook.<br><br>Even besides Russ, they might go down as the worst 3-point shooting team ever. AD's back is bothering him and if he misses any time their defense will collapse.<br><br>Pelinka can make moves to improve the roster, but to what end?
The fact of the matter is the Lakers' issues start at the top with owner Jeanie Buss. The daughter of the late Dr. Jerry Buss fully took the organizational reins in 2017 and has not shown the acumen to lead a successful franchise.
While the Lakers won a championship in 2020 under her stewardship, they did so simply thanks to James' desire to live full-time in Los Angeles and thanks to Klutch Sports' relationship with Anthony Davis. It's not even clear if the Lakers would have won that title if a once-in-a-century pandemic did not hit and allow the veteran-laden roster to have multiple months to rest and recover.
Rob Pelinka, the man in charge of constructing the failing rosters that followed the 2020 title, somehow landed a contract extension through 2026 before this season began. Buss' internal brain trust includes Pelinka, Kurt Rambis and Phil Jackson—three people who do not have particularly glowing recent track records.
The Lakers players deserve their fair share of the blame, but it's hard to win with a poorly constructed roster and an ownership group that cares more about luxury-tax concerns than building the best team.
All three of the Lakers' 0-4 starts since coming to Los Angeles have been in the last decade. There's only one common thread, and it's at the very top of the organization.