As each member of the Los Angeles Lakers spoke at their exit meetings about what they planned on working on this offseason, a familiar theme emerged. A number of players spoke about getting in better shape and transforming their body.
As it turns out, this was no coincidence as president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and the Lakers front office has put a mandate on players getting into excellent shape this summer as he explained, while at a Dodgers game, to Spectrum SportsNet:
“We told every player that they must improve and we want them to be in the best physical shape of their lives. We don’t want anybody over seven, eight percent body fat anymore, and basically all but one or two players were in double-figures in body fat, we can’t have that. We told them that this is all about excellence now and so you’ve got to be disciplined, you’ve got to put the work in.”
Johnson didn’t stop there as he even said that players who don’t come back in shape won’t play:
“Those who come back in shape, they’re going to see the court. Those who don’t, won’t see the court. It’s simple as that. This is not about anything but excellence, so you’ve got to be a professional. This is your job.”
Setting a goal like this for all of the players is a good test for the Lakers to see who is really dedicated to improving. GM Rob Pelinka spoke at the exit interviews about only wanting players who are committed to excellence and this will show precisely that.
Additionally, this will pay dividends for the Lakers on the court as they will be fresher down the stretch of games and later in the season and will allow them to play harder for longer periods of time. It is a simple thing to ask, but plenty will be learned about everyone who commits to this.
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