I am sure everyone that has been paying attention heard about the recent team meeting that took place prior to Wednesday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies. It was one of those intended to be soul cleansing, brutally honest, and motivational all at the same time. You know, the kind where the coach gathers his players around him for an internal examination of the current state of team affairs.
These are the types of meetings that take place in order to keep “family business” inside the house, yet give individual “family members” an opportunity to vent. These things are a must for teams to do, especially when the waters are starting to rise, and the alarm is being sounded.
As the Lakers found themselves beginning to drown in their losing streak, and wallow in their misery of poor play, with no apparent light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, it was time to talk.
Now, me being the ever inquisitive sort, found myself wondering what in the world it must have been like in that room with D’Antoni and the boys. With that being said, I thought it would be fun to morph into that “fly on the wall”, and do a little eavesdropping on the meeting of the minds (or mindless). So, for the sake of all those who need to find a bit of humor in this otherwise dismal and disastrous season thus far, I bring you the brief excerpt of what I thought I heard while buzzing around the room. Pay close attention, there are many important things being discussed.
D’Antoni: Okay everyone, listen up. I thought it was time to set the record straight on a few things. For starters, I am not happy about the way we closed the game against the Bulls. You guys just stopped playing the last 3 minutes . I expect you to at least pretend you are guarding someone like you did the rest of the time. We can’t expect to be consistently awful if we aren’t going to try”.
And another thing, if we don’t start jacking up more 3 pointers with a hand in our faces, or make more ill advised passes, or stand around under the rim and give up more defensive rebounds, we are in for a very long year.
I am trying my best to reduce the minutes of those deserving more, using the wrong guys off the bench in the wrong rotations, and above all else, I’m really, really trying to run Kobe ragged and give him as many minutes as humanly possible. Now with all that said, does anybody have anything to add here?
Howard: Coach, I apologize for not being more selfish, and demanding more people to look at the stat sheet from the game last night. I won’t let that happen again. I also want to say I am proud of the way I almost hit the rim on some of my free throws.
D’Antoni: That’s great to hear, Dwight. If we can just get a bit less productivity out of you offensively, and you could find a way to get ejected a few more times, you will have met all of our expectations for all that money we wasted on you.
Nash: Look Mike, this ain’t Phoenix and this ain’t the Suns. If you think for one minute I haven’t lost a step, and I can’t guard anyone anymore, or I don’t commit way more turnovers than I ever have in my entire career, you got another think coming, bro.
D’Antoni: Calm down Steve! I convinced Buss and Kupchak to get you for those very reasons. You think I didn’t know you were a broken down mule?
Metta World Peace: I just wanna hit something right now! And I don’t mean any shots, I mean something worth hitting.
Kobe: I just want the ball, and the freedom to do what I do. And everyone in this room knows what I do. I do what I tell y’all to do, so just do it and let me do what I tell you to do.
Gasol: Can you people stop calling me Marc? I’m not Marc, and I will never rebound or play tough and physical like Marc. Matter of fact, I’m not playing at all lately, thanks to you, D’Antoni.
Duhon, Sacre, Jamison, Clark, Blake, Meeks, Morris, and Ebanks: Don’t feel bad Pau, some of us have been on the bench so long we thought D’Antoni had forgotten we had any talent at all.
D’Antoni: Oh, I didn’t forget fellas… your talent is exactly why you are on the bench.
Me: Man, I feel so much better now! Let me fly on out of here before these guys see me. I bet they go out and drill the Grizzlies tonight!”