By Rich Winter

      Remember when the Clippers were the laughing stock of the NBA? People made fun of the horrible draft picks, the horrible records and the owner himself, Donald Sterling, who said and did so many dumb things and just seemed intent on putting a product on the floor and didn't care about winning.

      Sounds a lot like what I'm expecting from the 2014 - 2015 Lakers.

      So my buddy White Mamba and I were cozying up in the same time-zone yesterday making fun of the Jets, the Giants, Eli Manning and the east-coast bias of the NFL Network. It's rare for us to be in the same corner and Tuff Talk is not going to be about agreeing.

     Most of the time Mamba can't see outside of southern California anyway with his obvious bias of the Lakers and Chargers.

    Early on in this fee-agent process, Mamba was screaming about getting LeBron and Carmelo both to the Lakers.

    "Why would LeBron go to L.A. to help Kobe win titles," was my response.

     When LeBron signed with the Cavs, Mamba shouted, "Well, at least we'll get Anthony."

    "He's narrowed his choices to Chicago and New York," I told him.

    "We're still gonna get him," came his reply.

    Ahhhh, the delusional Laker fan that still thinks the Lakers are an elite franchise.

    When Melo went to the Knicks, I believe Mamba said something about Lance Stephenson coming to the Lakers.


   Well, Gasol will come back!


   Now, I know Mamba is gonna come back in here and say something like, "Listen here Celtic boy, why don't ya talk about your own team instead of bashing the Lakers."

   I'm not really bashing the Lakers, I'm just pointing out the current state of affairs.

    I like where the Lakers are heading into the 2015 off-season.

    The Nash deal will be gone, the Jeremy Lin deal will be gone. I'm expecting the Lakers to have a high draft pick and I'm expecting them to have a ton of cap room.

    If Kevin Love doesn't leave Minnesota, I'm expecting Kevin Love, the former UCLA product to head back to So-Cal. In addition, DeMar DeRozan will be a restricted free agent and I'm of the opinion the former USC product would have a nice homecoming with the Lakers.

     Is Jim Buss Donald Sterling?

     I myself was shocked when Melo and others spurned the Lakers that the Laker front-office didn't have a plan B.

    Chandler Parsons was out there, Lance Stephenson, Mike Miller and the Lakers acted like they didn't even care to make a phone call.

    The Lakers could have had a sign and trade with the Bulls for Gasol last year. Instead of pulling the trigger, the Lakers sat on their asses and instead of getting something, they just flat out lost Gasol.

     The Kobe contract looms large over this team.

    I was a bit against Kobe signing such a big deal but with the NBA making billions in revenue, I'm ok with one of the game's greatest ever players getting some dough.

    I wonder how Kobe feels about this whole thing? Terrible roster, no notable free-agent pick-ups and hell, the Lakers don't even have a head coach.

    Dayum Lakers, get off the mat already, or at least admit you're rebuilding already!

    Robert Sacre is your starting center - LOL!