Last Thursday represented arguably the lowest point of the season so far for the Lakers. After viewing the return to Los Angeles as a chance to get things right, the Lakers had a rather deflating loss to Miami that featured a pretty lifeless close to the game as Miami pulled away in the fourth quarter.
The report that followed the next morning of the “deepening disconnect” between the locker room and head coach Darvin Ham threw things in disarray and ratcheted up the heat.
While the response of the team publicly came on Friday in the form of another loss — more on that later — privately, the team had an air-it-out type of meeting on Thursday. In a piece on Monday, Sam Amick of The Athletic talked to Ham and revealed the details of the meeting.
One day after another of James’ former coaches, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, had shepherded a 110-96 Heat win in which the Lakers had 21 turnovers, Ham decided that an unfiltered film session with his team was in order. The whole basketball world had been told that there was a disconnect in their locker room, and so it was that he decided to open the floor to any and all players who wanted to share their frustrations. The result, he said, was the kind of communication that should help them going forward.
“Hell yeah I open the floor,” Ham said while explaining the session. “Give me some feedback. I don’t have pride. My pride is not crazy. My ego — all that. We had a couple (players) speak up. I’ll just leave it there, but we had a few guys speak up. And right or wrong, I love it. I agreed with most of it, and I disagreed with some.”
First, no matter the feelings toward Ham, this was a good response to the situation. If there is talk about the locker room not being together, airing everything out in an unfiltered setting is a way to give people a chance to address their concerns is how you try to fix the situation. Give everyone a chance to air out their grievances that they have.
Now, how much can you credit this “unfiltered film session” if the team came out and lost the next day against the Grizzlies? The general consensus coming away from that game is that it did actually feel like one of those games the Lakers played well but lost to some bad shooting luck, a theory backed up by beating perhaps the hottest team in the NBA in the Clippers two days later.
But ultimately, this is one of those things where it’s impossible to determine in the short term what this meeting will be. Is it a turning point in the season? Or will it go down as some sort of last-grasp attempt to stop a runaway train?
As the old adage goes, only time will tell.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.