Lakers air grievances in team meeting as frustration mounts
By Bill Oram
EL SEGUNDO – The Lakers held a team meeting Thursday, where players were free to air their grievances about the state of the team, including “the business of the organization,” said Brandon Ingram.
“Hopefully we think about what we said to each other,” Ingram said. “What we said to the coaches and that the coaches have listened to what we said. Hopefully we can take it into practice, into games and just get better.”
Last week veteran center Andrew Bogut said he would be “lying to say that there are guys that are not frustrated on this team.”
Plans to chase two maximum-level free agents next summer have made certain players uneasy about their futures with the team; Julius Randle has watched his minutes plummet; and the Lakers (11-22) are in the midst of a four-game losing streak and have lost seven of their last eight games.
“I think it was well-needed at the point in time that we were at,” Ingram said. “I think in these last two games, very winnable games, I don’t think we played up to our potential.”
Rookie forward Kyle Kuzma characterized the meeting as a “heart-to-heart” and that the Lakers were “just trying to get back on the same page.”
Coach Luke Walton said Bogut bringing the Lakers frustrations to light helped spur the decision to meet as a group. The Lakers were scheduled to practice Thursday morning, but Walton instead showed film and brought everyone into an open forum.
He even said he considered burning sage, a la Phil Jackson.
“There’s some frustration,” Walton said. “But there’s frustration on every team unless you win every game. Whenever you lose games, there’s frustration, people want to play more as everyone in the league should want to play more.”
Walton characterized the Lakers issues as “normal, middle-of-the-season NBA type of stuff.”
The situation with Randle […]