Tanking. The thing that was most discussed with fans and people on Lakers Twitter. People thought that the Lakers should win games in order to appeal to free agents, and others really wanted to keep the top 3 pick. In a great draft like this one, it isn’t hard to understand Magic’s predicament. It appears that he was certainly conflicted when he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel (via Robby Kaland of Uproxx)
“I was saying, ‘Oh, it’s good, but damn, we’re winning’ [laughs]. No, I wanted us to taste winning,” Johnson said. “We’ve been losing for four years. I wanted the guys to experience what it felt like to win, because if you never get that feeling…you’ll never know how it feels. So we’re going to carry that into next season.”
The winning will most likely serve as a confidence booster and it may lead to some extra motivation in the off-season. It certainly hurt the tank because the Suns overtook the Lakers from the #2 spot, and now the Lakers have a 45% chance of keeping the pick. The winning streak hurt the chances, but it was never a guarantee.
Magic may not have said he was on #TeamTank, but he all know he was wearing this shirt: