Lakers Geriatric Gang Plan To Play Smarter & More Efficient Than Younger, Less Experienced Opponents

The Lakers announced plans to sign a one-year, $2.6 million deal with Rajon Rondo after the two-time champion agreed to a buyout with the Grizzlies over the weekend.

Rondo, who played last season with the Hawks and Clippers, was traded from the Clippers to the Grizzlies earlier this offseason.

All summer the criticism has been mounting against LeBron James’ new-look Lakers, robust with veterans and guys in the twilight of once great careers.

The old guy jokes were flowing like rainfall during Hurricane Ida.

Of course, most people are forgetting that Anthony Davis is just 28 and LeBron can still ball, even at his advanced age. They are the centerpieces of the team and will still do the heavy lifting come crunch time.

Maybe the caution is overblown but nowadays age is considered a plague in the world of sports, despite the fact that it brings experience which is also a valuable asset to a team with championship aspirations

LeBron James is a master at making a splash and doing something that makes the world take notice of the NBA.

After failing to repeat as World Champions in 2021, the Lakers cleaned shop and got rid of some more young talent so Bron could basically ball out with his boys, particularly the ones like Carmelo Anthony who’s never tasted the championship champagne and is racing against the sands of his NBA hourglass.

Rondo, who will turn 36 in February and is entering his 16th season, played a key reserve role on the Lakers team that won the 2020 title in the Orlando bubble.

The Rondo signing is consistent with LA’s roster philosophy this season. The Lakers have assembled a veteran team that enters as favorites to win the Western Conference.

In addition to trading for nine-time All-Star Russell Westbrook to pair with LeBron James, who is entering his 19th season, the Lakers also signed 37-year-old Carmelo Anthony, wily veteran Trevor Ariza, the ageless Dwight Howard and 33-year-old Wayne Ellington.

With Rondo (16th season), James (19th season), Anthony, (19th season) 36-year-old Ariza, 35-year-old Howard and Ellington, the Lakers now have five players in their 16th season or later, who will be key contributors throughout the season.

To put the Geriatric Gang into perspective, there are only eight other players across the entire NBA entering their 16th season or later, including both Paul Millsap and JJ Redick who are searching for jobs right now because it’s a young man’s league.

In typical LeBron James fashion, The King is going against the grain to try and defy the odds.

In the same manner that he beat an “unbeatable” 73-win Golden State team and out-finessed the rest of the league to win an NBA Bubble Championship, LeBron is scoffing at the emerging philosophy that only babies deserve to be in the NBA and has compiled a team of Future Hall of Famers, who at the very least, can execute anything they want with precision.

So as the rest of the league moves towards a youth movement, LeBron attempts to neutralize the advantages of youth with talent, specialization and experience.

The roles on this new Lakers squad will be clearly defined. And don’t sleep on the fact that the Lakers do have some promising youngsters to eat up minutes.

In order for the Lakers long-in-the-tooth rotation to be healthy and energetic enough for a playoff run, the younger players such as Kendrick Nunn (26) and Talen Horton-Tucker (20) and especially Anthony Davis, will have to carry the load on numerous occasions during the grueling 82-game regular season.

The basketball IQ of the players on this Lakers roster is probably as impressive as any team ever assembled. The way the squad is built is also different from most other NBA teams.

The Lakers don’t have too many clear three-point threats. So don’t expect them to play too much, run and gun. That’s where Ellington comes in as he strokes 42.2% from three-point land.

Melo can definitely pop the three-ball as well and he will be asked to do plenty of long-range dialing this season.

With Marc Gasol and Dwight Howard in the middle, the Lakers have two future Hall of Fame centers to man the defense, so there won’t be too many freebies inside.

Teams will be forced to live on the perimeter against the Lakers and rely on that success even more than they already do now.

Don’t sleep on LeBron James. This is one of the more fascinating basketball experiments that we have seen in a long time.

It not only breaks the monotony of the game being overrun by a bunch of 20 somethings trying to figure it out on a nightly basis. You might just see the most efficient display of team hoops that you’ve ever witnessed in your life.

So while people are upset because Bron has stacked his squad with superstar names all born in the 80s.

There are those basketball purists who are salivating at the mouth in anticipation of the first game. Lakers fans will be praying everyday for the health of their elderly committee.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.