The Los Angeles Lakers have never had to even consider anything close to an image concern. For about as long as they’ve existed, they’ve had all-time great players lining up to play for the franchise in one of the absolute top media markets in the world.
Thanks to a rebuild that has spanned nearly a decade, and one of the franchise’s absolute icons failing in embarrassing public fashion and questioning those still associated with the Lakers, there is some work to be done on this front. Fortunately, even while they have stumbled over themselves, LeBron James and Anthony Davis still jumped at the opportunity to join the organization.
During Davis’ introductory presser, Rob Pelinka told reporters that it will be on Davis and James’ backs that the Lakers regain some of the mystique they might have lost over the last seven years.
“So just to close, I think the thing that the front office is most proud of is with our two superstars in LeBron and AD, they’re both incredibly selfless people that are all about the team, and team-first mentality,” Pelinka said.
It was then time for storytime with Rob Pelinka.
“I remember the first day that Anthony came into the facility, Jeanie and I were talking about how grateful he was just walking around, looking around at this amazing facility. The showers, where the players eat, you could just see his appreciation and gratitude for a place like this.
“And that’s what we want to be identified as is just a team-first mindset and mentality. Guys that sacrifice for the betterment of the team. Guys that are grateful and appreciate things in life, and I think LeBron and AD and the rest of the roster really stand for that.”
Pretty easy to imagine Davis being impressed with the Lakers facilities seeing as Rams employees aren’t walking around running things the way Saints brass did for the majority of his time with the New Orleans Pelicans.
The larger takeaway — at least to me — is that the Lakers are focused on building some kind of organizational culture and are aware that such steps need to be taken. The task now becomes building on the culture they implement while James and Davis are around and maintaining consistency for the foreseeable culture.
Still, it’s great to see that they have identified character traits they value alongside the obvious need for talent throughout the franchise. Some of this is the typical Pelinka hyperbole, but if you take this at its worth, this feels like the Lakers identifying something that had come in question over the last few years, addressing it, and understanding that such steps needed to be taken.