The team is dealing with a lot of issues on the court, but it's the off court stuff that's becoming more and more of an issue. Trade talk, leaked stuff about players grumbling about Mike Brown's offense and talk about selfishness has bubbled over. And the team wants it to stop. Via ESPN LA:
In place of practice, Lakers coach Mike Brown scheduled a film review at the team hotel and invited players and his coaching staff to speak their minds.By "external chatter," that means to shut up about everything and start playing ball. Enough griping anonymously to reporters about the offense, about who is getting the ball and about what is going on inside the locker room. Zip it up and play.
"It wasn't an airing out session," Brown said Saturday, downplaying its significance. "It was a film session."
The session was mostly X's and O's based and run by Brown until he handed over the floor to his assistant coaches.
"I utilized my assistants a lot because I don't like the players hearing my voice a lot," Brown said. "I talked a lot. I said, 'You know what? I'm going to have someone else talk.' After two losses like that everybody's feeling kind of down. So, I wanted to hear other guys' voices."
Players were invited to speak after Lakers assistant coaches John Kuester and Chuck Person left strong impressions. Part of the assistant coaches' message was urging the players to curtail any "external chatter," according to a source. When no player volunteered to speak up, Brown said he requested that "my three leaders" share their thoughts; first Pau Gasol, then Derek Fisher and finally Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers have enough to worry about already being the Lakers. All that extra noise is just more they have to deal with.
The team has already had one players only meeting, to which the response seemed very positive. This wasn't exactly another one, but more a nudge from the assistant coaches for some of the veteran leaders to speak up.
"If there's too much talking and not enough playing, then yes (it could be a bad sign)," Fisher told reporters. "I don't know if communication for us is bad. We're trying to do something that we've done before, in terms of winning a championship, in a completely different way. So, we're trying to recreate something with a new model and that's the challenge. Communicating and working through our differences and talking about things and ultimately holding ourselves accountable, I don't know if that's a bad thing for us. It's in some ways part of the process."
Said Pau Gasol: "I stuck to my beliefs and my principles, which is togetherness, unity," Gasol said. "If we're going to be successful, we're going to do it all together being on the same page, holding each other accountable and just counting on each other and having each other's back. That's my thing. That's how I learned to play this game. That's how I love playing this game. And, communication (is important). Being on the same page, communicate, talk to each other, those are keys I think for any team to function together."
Talk it out, don't talk it out, keep the noise down, quit blabbing to the media, whatever -- the point is, win. Do that and everything else falls into place.