What does a roster featuring LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard get you?
An early start to the offseason.
The Los Angeles Lakers were officially eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday night after a 121-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns. They've lost seven in a row and sit 17 games below .500 at 31-48 with three games remaining in their season.
To say the Lakers' season has been a disappointment would be an understatement: They entered the 2021-22 campaign with the second-best odds to win the NBA championship but have vastly underachieved thanks to various injuries to James (23 games missed) and Davis (39 games missed) and wildly inconsistent play from Westbrook (3.8 turnovers per game).
Forsberg: Marcus Smart tells all on pushing the Jays, leading C's turnaround
Former Boston Celtics big man and NBC Sports Boston analyst Kendrick Perkins, who was James' teammate for two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, lit into the Lakers on Tuesday night after their official elimination.
"One of the biggest disappointments in NBA history" is a pretty strong take, but the Lakers deserve to be lampooned: James is set to miss the postseason for just the fourth time in his NBA career despite being surrounded by four future Hall of Famers. Even as James eyes the NBA scoring title, this team is proof that stacking your roster with aging stars isn't the model for winning in today's NBA.
While Perkins ripped the Lakers, others took plenty of delight in L.A.'s demise -- including the New Orleans Pelicans, who expertly trolled the team that Davis forced a trade to in 2019.
The Celtics, meanwhile, have already clinched a playoff spot and look like legitimate contenders in the Eastern Conference if they can survive a first-round series without injured big man Robert Williams.
Boston and Los Angeles are tied for the most championships in NBA history at 17 -- and only one franchise has a chance to break the tie this postseason.