The Lakers are a bad team. Or they have at least played like a bad team through their first 13 games. However, after carrying themselves around as something other than a bad team for much of the opening three weeks of the season, the Lakers finally had an honest assessment of themselves during a recent film session.
“We had conversations that a team that was 2-10 should have, you know? About what each player can do better, what we were going to do better collectively. Coaching staff. Medical staff. Everybody. We just wanted to figure this thing out leading up to the day of the Brooklyn game. And it worked out for us.
“Lot of emotions. Guys voicing their opinions. Some back and forth. But it was all for the nature of trying to get better. So even though it might be a back-and-forth, it was, ‘OK, I hear what you’re saying, you hear what I’m saying. So now, what’s the solution?’ Instead of just constantly butting heads. So it was some good dialogue.”
Head coach Darvin Ham also spoke about the film session while noting that the team walked the line between passionate and emotional.
“Everybody chimes in. No idea is a bad idea. The only bad idea is not having an idea. We all pour in together. No one is taking personal shots or talking about attacking people’s character — it’s just attacking what we can do better. We attack the mistakes. How can we be better, how can we be a better basketball group.”
On paper, all of this is great to hear. You want the players to be self-aware and honest with one another and then take those words and ideas and apply them on the court.
It also would serve as a great inflection point on the season in hindsight. If in three or four months’ time we can look back and point to that meeting as the moment the Lakers turned things around, that’d make for a great story and one very memorable film session.
But perhaps my cynicism that has developed over the last season or two of Lakers basically is kicking in when I look at this and see some warning flags. It’s not a great sign that the Lakers need a meeting like this weeks into the season, but that’s what happens to bad teams.
Along the same lines, it’s nice that this meeting turned into a win on Sunday, but I think back to last season when Frank Vogel spoke about how great their film sessions were and how honest the Lakers were during them.
At no point did any of those film sessions turn into sustained positive results. Judging this year’s team based on the transgressions and failures of last year’s is not fair in any sense, especially considering how few players were members of both teams.
But I’m also a little more than hesitant to give the Lakers the benefit of the doubt at this point. Two years of saying the right things and claiming turning points in the season that never actually materialized have worn on me — and I presume other Lakers fans — to the point where I just want to see results.