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Podcast: Howard Beck on Lakers role players falling short of expectations

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The Lakers retooled last offseason instead of running back a championship team. Was doing so a mistake?

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NBA: Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This week on “The Anthony Irwin Show,” I was joined by Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated to discuss this Lakers season, the NBA in general, and a few other topics that come up, but, most importantly, to laugh at how hilariously wrong I was when I initially said that this was the most talented Lakers roster of my lifetime.

Go ahead, take it in. I deserve it.

While this will seem like a semantics-based cop-out, I will say that “most talented” is not the same thing as “best team,” a difference I even pointed out at the time. Reading this back right now makes me hate the person I have become, for what it’s worth.

What this does lead to is an examination of the role players added to the roster coming off of last year’s championship run and, while I don’t mean to scapegoat all of them for everything that went wrong with the Lakers this year, there is a bit of a trend among them that did take its toll:

Sacrifice — or the lack thereof.

When the Lakers traded for Dennis Schröder, he immediately made it known that he expected to start in response to reports that the Lakers promised him that upon his acquisition.

When Andre Drummond came over from Cleveland, similar reports surfaced about the starting role he was similarly promised.

While Montrezl Harrell didn’t have such reports regarding the role he was going to play on this team, purposefully ambiguous tweets always seemed to pop up whenever his minutes may not have met his expectations.

Compare that to how Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo accepted their roles last year and you can kind of see how chemistry can be such a volatile concept.

From there, Beck and I discussed this season from a wider perspective and how injuries have played such a role in shaping how it might play out. This leads to an interesting back-and-forth on market size, ratings, and how the latter is often incorrectly presented as the symbol of the NBA’s overall strength.

After Beck discusses how he’ll look back on the Anthony Davis trade, he and I discuss that time he blew out his knee and needed help from the Brooklyn Nets training staff.

You can listen to the full episode below, and to make sure you never miss a show, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.