Lakers talk out troubles, personality clashes in morning meeting
With a 17-25 record halfway through the season, the Los Angeles Lakers are not having the year one might expect out of a team with some of the biggest superstars in the game. There’s Kobe Bryant, possibly the best player in basketball over the last decade, as well as Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace. This could be a championship-caliber team based on the names on the roster.
But sometimes, big names only create big problems, and it appears that’s what is happening in L.A. After a 2-9 start to 2013, the Lakers decided it was time to talk it out. They held a team meeting before Wednesday’s shoot-around, and things got heated.
According to a report from the L.A. Times, coach Mike D’Antoni started the meeting by telling his team he was not happy to see newspaper stories in which his players complained they wanted more touches.
Kobe also spoke up, asking Howard if he disliked playing alongside Kobe. Howard’s response, according to the report, was non-committal.
Before Wednesday night’s game, D’Antoni spoke to reporters and did not go into detail about what was said at the meeting, but he did provide an interesting analogy that sums up the woes his team faces.
“Have you ever watched an All-Star Game? It’s god-awful,” D’Antoni said. “Everybody gets the ball and goes one-one-on and then they play no defense. That’s our team. That’s us. We’re an All-Star team and we haven’t learned that there’s a pecking order.
“There’s the one guy, the two guy, the three guy and the four guy. It might not be the same guy every night but somebody’s got to accept being the fourth guy. And if you’ve been the first guy all your life, that’s hard to accept. And that’s happened in All-Stars and that’s what happened with us. And we haven’t overcome it.”
The Lakers did not overcome any issues Wednesday night either. They lost, 106-93, to Memphis to mark their 10th defeat of the month.