<
>

Los Angeles Lakers: No. 87

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

This story is part of ESPN The Magazine's September 29 Fansourced Issue. Subscribe today!

Last year's ranking: 77
Title track: 22
Ownership: 53
Coaching: 119
Players: 72
Fan relations: 72
Affordability: 109
Stadium experience: 60
Bang for the buck: 118

The NBA's most storied franchise is going through some dark days. The Lakers are coming off their worst season since 1959-60 and missed the playoffs for just the third time since 1976. Amazingly, Kobe Bryant's ludicrous contract extension isn't even the most head-scratching aspect of their newfound incompetence. That "honor" goes to the way the team handled its coaching vacancy (hence the coaching ranking three from the bottom), leaving it open for more than three weeks after the start of free agency. L.A. didn't offer Byron Scott the position until July 25, even though he'd been the lone candidate for weeks. Lack of leadership at the top (ownership went down 14 spots) is the team's biggest problem, as the aftershocks of Jerry Buss' death in February 2013 continue to reverberate. Many fans have had little faith that son Jim has what it takes to turn things around since he hired Mike D'Antoni over Phil Jackson two years ago.

Can you blame LeBron and Melo for going the Dwight Howard route and shunning the Lakers? Kobe insists he's happy with the Lakers' moves this offseason (including re-signing Nick Young and Jordan Hill and trading for Jeremy Lin). But if you believe that, we've got some Lakers' playoff tickets to sell you.