TeamMeeting

Lakers Held Long Overdue Team Meeting

The Lakers are a mess. They know it. Lakers fans know it. And just about the entire world of sports is aware of it.

One of their biggest problems is their defense and a reason for that is their lack of communication. According to the LA Times' Mike Bresnahan, the Lakers held a much needed and long overdue team meeting to talk about whatever differences they may have with whatever and whomever.

Mike D'Antoni told his players to focus more on defense rather than complain about the tempo of the offense or individual touches. Steve Nash let everybody know that he's game for anything that will make the team play to their potential on offense. But Kobe Bryant took a more direct and bold approach and bluntly asked Dwight Howard, the franchise's projected heir after Kobe retires, if he enjoys playing with the Mamba. Dwight didn't exactly return an honest answer, but it looks like he got the message and even went as far as calling himself "immature".

"It starts with me," he said Wednesday. "I have to be more of a player out there on the court and not worry about anything, not complain. Just do what I do best."

After the loss on Monday in Chicago, Howard told reporters to look at the game's stat sheet to see how many times he got "touches" in the post to suggest that his limited shot attempts is one of the reasons why the Lakers lost. Now, he admits he was wrong.

"That was immature," he said Wednesday. "I shouldn't have done it. I've just got to go out there and dominate defensively and make it tough for teams. I just have to get back to doing that and not worry about the offense."

Hard to fault Howard for voicing his frustrations regarding opportunities to have the ball to score in the paint. At least, he gave his 2 cents, accurate or not, on why the team is still struggling. It would be more concerning if Howard never gives his opinion each time he's asked to.

But the bottom line is, and as it ever was, actions speak louder than words. At this point in the season, the only thing Laker fans care about is seeing the Lakers play with pride and, most of all, start winning games.

Will that happen beginning tonight in Memphis?

"I think this will be the start of a new season for us tonight. Hopefully our effort and energy is where it needs to be," [Howard] said.

So does every single Laker fan.

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