The Los Angeles Lakers are missing the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, which is unprecedented in their proud franchise history. Unlike other years however, there is plenty of promise surrounding Luke Walton’s team at the end of this year.
The Lakers have built up a promising young core with Lonzo Ball, Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart representing an excellent foundation. Just as important is that the group has excellent chemistry.
“This is a great group to work with. They really are. They make it a lot of fun to come into work,” Walton said. “They do everything that we ask. Probably because they are so young, they don’t know any better yet. There’s a really nice chemistry within the team.”
This has been on display both on and off the court, most notably with the rookies Ball, Kuzma, and Hart constantly hounding each other on social media.
Walton sees this as extremely important for what the franchise is trying to build. Though he admits there is still room for improvement.
“As far as the way they get along, interact with each other and seem to care about each other, is what we want as part of our culture,” Walton explained. “Eventually, we’re going to need them to have that same communication and talking on the floor possession by possession.”
The off-the-court antics even extends to the film room. “They’re like that all the time, which is what we want,” Walton added.
“Part of it is jabbing each other but also being there when one of your teammates needs you. I think that’s what this group, as we continue to move forward, that bond gets built because of struggle.
The Lakers have had their struggles this season, most notably a nine-game losing streak in December and January. They would of course, move past that and become one of the hottest teams in the NBA at the outset of 2018.
As Walton said, the struggles they go through now will build a bond that will help them in the future.
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