Blog Entry

Report: Lakers hold players only meeting

Posted on: February 21, 2012 12:24 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 12:35 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Things are in a strange place for the Lakers right now. So strange, that general manager had to put out a statement essentially reminding everyone that he's a general manager.

But with rumors starting to circle centering around Pau Gasol, the team is concerned with sticking together amid the possibility that pretty much any player not named Kobe could be dealt.

So according to, the Lakers held a players only meeting after last night's game against the Blazers to talk about it.

It was an odd time for a players-only meeting -- minutes after a blowout victory over Portland -- but the Los Angeles Lakers felt they needed to clear the air. So, according to sources, team leaders Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher gathered everyone together in the Lakers' locker room Monday night and tried to set the tone for the second half of the season.

Their message was clear: Trade rumors do not matter; your feelings about management or the coaching staff don't matter; all that matters is that the 14 men in that locker room support and believe in one another. If they stay together and stay on the same page, they can get to where they want to go as a team.

According to the report, some players were upset about the rotation and distribution of minutes as well.

Typically, players only meetings happen because the team is playing bad, or dropped a tough game. The Heat famously had one after falling to 9-8 with a loss to Dallas early last season. But the Lakers are playing well enough and had just beaten the Blazers.

But they wanted to get things set straight. They wanted to get on the same page. They wanted to make sure everyone's heads were clear and that they were focused on the task at hand.

It's hard to block out trade rumors, I'm sure. But every player has to do it. Every player knows that any minute, his number could get called. It's part of the business.

Since: Dec 23, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:00 pm

Report: Lakers hold players only meeting

Kupchak said the right thing.  The players need to keep their mouths shut.
Kupchak stated the obvious, which means he didn't really say anything.  Of course every team is exploring options to improve themselves, so Mitch didn't say anything.  He only made the statement because Jim Buss told him to.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, there is no communication between ownership, management, coaching and the players.  The Lakers don't have Phil Jackson or Jerry Buss communicating with the players like they have in the past.  Unfortunately they have Mike Brown, who hasn't earned the respect of the team yet and Jim Buss, who seems to be M.I.A and not communicating with anyone.

I think Kobe could only handle the dysfunction so long before he had to say something to defend his teammate and show Pau that he has his back. There's nothing wrong with that. 

Since: Jun 13, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:58 pm

Report: Lakers hold players only meeting

I wonder if this is just the usual soap opera in Laker land.  There have always been problems with the franchise.  Shaq-Kobe, Magic-Paul Westhead, Phil- Jerry West, Pat Riley-Kareem, Phil-Kobe, Phil-Shaq, Jerry West-Jerry Buss, Jack Kent Cooke and everyone etc.   This franchise is in LA and they are winners.  If the Knicks had the success of the LAL, the laundrywould be very public.

Calm down people!  The Lakers will be fine when the real games start.  They will hit the switch and cruise through the playoffs as they always do.  The Lakers have been there before and they know what needs to happen for them to be successful.  The usual suspects will underachieve when the real games start, read San Antonio, Miami and Oklahoma City.  The season will end as it always does with confetti falling from the Staples Center ceiling, Kool and the Gang playing "Celebration", Kobe holding the Finals MVP trophy while the rest of the Lakers perform unnatural acts on the Larry O'Brien trophy.  ABC will stick a microphone in Jack Nicholson's grill asking him about how number 17 feels blah, blah blah.  We have seen this before and we know how it ends.

Since: Jun 19, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:51 pm

Report: Lakers hold players only meeting

The only reason these trade issues keep coming up is because David Stern blocked the trade for Chris Paul.  The Lakers tried to make the necessary moves before the season started and then Napolean Stern steps in to block it.  Tell me how that made sense.  Now in order to have any chance at making it out of the first round of the playoffs, the Lakers need to make a major move.  Thanks Stern for causing this mess.

Since: Apr 9, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:51 pm

Report: Lakers hold players only meeting

The meeting was AFTER the game. He didn't fire them up. I agree he is the face of the franchise but sometimes you have to take a step back to take 3 forward. They need to forget this season and load up for next years free agent market. There are some big names and the more cap space you have the better. Heck he should rework his to clear up room. Keep him and fragile Bynum and clear the deck.

Since: Jul 30, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:48 pm

Report: Lakers hold players only meeting

The Lakers are getting old and Gasol is the best piece they have to start retooling for the future while maintaining an opportunity to get one or two more championships with Kobe.  He and Bynum are competing for interior space...they don't mesh well for the minutes that both need.  

Gasol's value will start sliding in a hurry due to his age.  Lakers aren't going to win a championship with their current roster and they need to explore their opitons.  Too bad Kupchak gave Lamar Odom away.  He was the other good piece they had for trade material.

If Orlando thinks they'll lose Howard, maybe they'll do Bynum and a couple of number ones for Howard.  The Lakers can trade Gasol for other pieces.  

This isn't the Lakers team of 2 or 3 years ago.  A "tweak" isn't going to get them another championship.  Plus, they're getting old fast.  Kupchak said the right thing.  The players need to keep their mouths shut.     

Since: Nov 14, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:46 pm

Report: Lakers hold players only meeting

First of all the Lakers are the Lakers and if they think they can get out the West with the current roste they have they are sadly mistaking. They will get the same results they got last year and thats an embarassing defeat. I am a lakers fan but we need more talent. The lakers need a PG and another scorer to seriously think they are going to be able to do something. If the lakers want Howard go get him and send Gasol over to Orlando and a 1st rd pick. But these Michael Beasley talks are disturbing! He won't make a good laker and he doesn't play any defense and he won't work in Mike Browns system. He is not the type of player we need. We do need a scorer but not him! Lets get this ship turned around now rather than later. this liitle winning streak is really nothing. Have we really beat any Elite teams. NO and NO!!!! We need more talent bottom line!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Sep 13, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:40 pm

Report: Lakers hold players only meeting

I'm actually a Celtics fan but completely agree. I see why Kobe is upset and people bash him for speaking up but why? Doing this to players definately will kill chemistry I'm witnessing the same situation this year with Rondo. You can't keep players wondering either get the job done or don't say anything at all. I say if you can't get Howard then the whole trading Gasol is stupid anyways what big man is he going to get that is better and more fundamentally sound than Gasol? It's clear Kobe is the leader and face of the franchise right now I think listening to him would be wise and the Lakers seem to be playing better as of late.

Since: Jan 29, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:30 pm

Report: Lakers hold players only meeting

Mitch Kupchak is a FOOL,an Idiot and Hypocrite. He brought Gasol in back in 2007 after Jerry Buss threatened Kobe with Trade rumors, and Kobe stood them BOTH up, alongside Gasol, and won 2 NBA titles, 3 WCF championships in 4 years.  Now That Moron GM is still holding Gasol on the trading block and ruining the chemistry of the team.  Kobe, who is the REAL face of the franchise, not the Buss's or Kupchak, lashed out and his team responded against Portland. Kobe has a no trade clause himself and is the one holding the cards, so listen to your Captain...

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