Coming into this season, one player receiving a lot of praise was Wesley Johnson. Both Kobe Bryant and Byron Scott spoke on his potential as a lockdown defender coming into the season, and he spent a lot of time working out with Kobe this off-season.
His potential on that end, however, has not manifested itself so far this preseason and according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters, Byron Scott has an idea of why:
Byron on what's holding Johnson back defensively: "Wesley, I think. I just don't think he has the ultimate confidence in hisself right now"
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 22, 2014
Self-confidence plays a major role in players realizing their potential, and a failure to do so has resulted in many talented players never becoming as good as they could have been. Many lesser talented players have lasted longer in the league than their talent suggests because they have such extreme self-confidence.
Johnson has all of the physical tools that a coach could want in a small forward, but he has yet to put it all together on the court. Confidence issues even plagued him last year as he fell out of favor with former coach Mike D’Antoni down the stretch of the season.
Regardless of everything, Johnson will have every opportunity to turn things around as he is still the only true small forward on the roster. With Kobe and Scott pushing him, chances of Johnson figuring it all out is much better, and his success will play a major role in the success of the Lakers.[divide]
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