The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a rough stretch where very little is going right for them. Head coach Luke Walton has questioned whether the team wants to get better now or later, while veteran Nick Young worries that the team will become the ‘Doormat Lakers’ of previous years.
Despite the frustrations that Walton and the team are experiencing, he is maintaining a positive outlook and believes the Lakers will ultimately come out better on the other side of this.
In an interview with Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders, Walton said that these struggles are necessary to ultimately experience success:
“I don’t know how you get success without fighting your way through these types of times,” Walton said. “Nothing just happens easily especially in this league. You’re playing against the best in the world [and] teams that have been together for a while. You don’t just all of a sudden form a group that starts beating all these teams.
Walton added that he hopes the team’s mental toughness increases because of this stretch:
“You have to go through tough times, you have to struggle and feel that pain and be willing to work that much harder to fight through and come out on the other side. Hopefully, when we do come out on that other side because of these type of experiences, we are a tough team and mentally strong team and a team that can win with any sort of adversity.”
Adversity is not something these Lakers have dealt with well this season. They have shown the ability to build big leads and hang with the NBA’s best teams, but oftentimes when things start to ramp up the Lakers tighten up and get away from the team game that has been successful.
Walton is right in that every team has to overcome some kind of adversity before being truly successful. It will all come down to how the Lakers respond to this. If they work hard in the way that Walton would prefer, the development of this team will take a major step forward.