The win against Portland on Monday night felt especially satisfying, coming on the heels of Kobe’s statement of support for a teammate that’s still on the block. Players pulled together on the floor. I don’t think there’s any way you watch a team on a regular basis and fail to notice something so elemental. And then Steve Blake, bombing them in with clinical precision. A good win in many ways.
The players-only meeting that followed has been widely reported on and for good cause. Regardless of your take on the team as currently constructed, there are certain things that cannot be disputed. A large scale exodus took place after the Dallas sweep. A new coach and staff were brought in. A lockout followed. A blockbuster trade was scuttled and Lamar exited stage left. The season began and the transition has not been smooth. These things matter, and they get reported on:
Ken Berger at CBS Sports takes the matter head on, writing about a family business that is going through some sweeping changes.
Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don’t Lie further examines Berger’s take, and zeroes in on the aftermath of Phil Jackson’s reign.
The players-only meeting was reported on by Chris Broussard at ESPN.
Weighing in on the upside of the players’ action is Andy Kamenetsky at the Land O’Lakers.
Andy also has a preview up for tonight’s game against the Mavericks.
Mitch Kupchak’s reaction to Kobe’s statement is covered by Mike Bresnahan at the L.A. Times.
Over at Silver Screen and Roll, C.A. Clark writes about the fall of empires.
It’s not about the today’s Lakers, but Jeff Caplan at ESPN/Dallas offers an article about Lamar Odom’s continuing struggles for the Mavericks.
In a good summation of the state of things in Lakerland, Mark Medina for the LA. Times, looks at our current crossroads.
The media has generally taken a wait and see attitude with Coach Mike Brown, a guy with big shoes to fill. The grace period has passed. From Brown to the epically dysfunctional Buss family to the continuing trade rumors, a perfect storm appears to be building. The irony (and perhaps the story’s saving grace) is that the players are the ones taking action. The team is doggedly hanging onto fifth place in the west and while lacking in depth, is good enough to compete in a banged-up league with a suicidal schedule. They’ll go as far as their own stewardship will take them this season. They’re at Dallas tonight, OKC tomorrow. As the wheel turns.
- Dave Murphy