The Lakers are asking quite a bit of their players this year, as not only do they have to play at a talent disadvantage almost every night, but as they fight from the lower ground, they have to deal with incessant trade rumors. When their focus wanes, I find myself wondering how they ever had it in the first place.
All that said, I’m an outsider. I have no idea whatsoever what any of this has to feel like. So I brought in an expert. This week on “The Anthony Irwin Show,” Metta World Peace (!!!) stopped by to discuss his transition into retirement, his latest project and how basketball’s connectivity prepared him for it, his struggles fitting into a role next to Kobe Bryant on a championship team, and more.
World Peace is always incredibly forthright and that was no different on this episode, but what I found most insightful were his thoughts on what it would be like to play on this Lakers team given the never-ending trade noise that swirls around their locker room:
I’m really glad that he touched on the familial ties to teammates that he felt in his experiences and how tough it can be when either he or his brothers would get traded. That said, as a professional, a player has no choice but to try to compartmentalize all that and still focus on the task at hand.
Still, though, playing on this Lakers team this season feels particularly draining. They aren’t good. They know they aren’t good. Sure, Russell Westbrook has done as much as he can to accept his role off the bench, but even that feel temporary because they clearly need help and he’s the only way they can get it.
Worse yet is knowing the longer this carries on without a decision or commitment either way, the more frequent those lapses in focus are going to come as it’s only human nature to start to look around and fall victim to despair.
You can listen to all that and more on our latest episode in the player embedded below, and to make sure you don’t miss a single one moving forward, 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.