With LeBron James returning from injury, the addition of superstar Anthony Davis and a new head coach in Frank Vogel, there was a ton of pressure on the Los Angeles Lakers before they ever touched the floor together.
But to say this season has been a roller coaster would be the understatement of the century. From their preseason trip to China all the way to the season being postponed and now restarted in the Walt Disney World bubble in a way that has never been done in sports history, the team has had a ton of obstacles to navigate.
“We said it when we began our restart and I met with the group, we just stated our mission this season continues to evolve,” Vogel said.
“It began with a lot of turnover with the coaching staff and roster, and the need to build a new chemistry and togetherness. Obviously, we endured some adversity in China, which was good for our group when we got through it.”
Being in China during contentious times was an awful position to be in, but it brought the Lakers closer together. Months later the entire world was rocked by the tragic death of legend Kobe Bryant, but again Vogel and the Lakers have done everything they can to stick together throughout.
“Losing Kobe Bryant, obviously was another strong adversity we had to go through. It added to our mission from the standpoint of making sure we’re honoring Kobe and embodying what he stood for,” Vogel said.
As the NBA returns amidst a global pandemic and ongoing fight for social justice that is so close to the hearts of many across the league, it could be tough for the Lakers to keep their focus on the court.
“Now we’re dealing with the adversity of a pandemic and hiatus, while also adding to the mission of making sure the message of Black Lives Matter gets strengthened while we’re here,” Vogel added.
“All these things are just part of this group’s DNA now, part of our identity and part of our mission. I don’t think any of it pulls away from our focus on basketball. It just brings more meaning.”
The Lakers are a very close knit group and throughout everything they have done an excellent job of communicating and staying on the same page. With Vogel at the helm, the Lakers seem poised to handle all of their goals both on and off the court.
Frank Vogel Believes America Is At ‘Tipping Point’
The Lakers have been outspoken on many social justice issues from the top of the organization down. From Jeanie Buss to Vogel and James, the franchise has made it known where they stand on these issues.
Vogel has spoken at length about what he and other coaches plan to accomplish on this front and he believes the country is at a crossroads to affect change.
“I’m hopeful all of America has been educated over the last couple of months since we’ve reached this tipping point,” Vogel said. “It’s time that enough is enough,” Vogel said. “It starts with education but we’re in a position right now to affect change with more strength than ever before.
“We’re hopeful this restart gives us that opportunity, that platform, to initiate these conversations and help affect the change that our country so desperately needs.”
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