On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers did not only fall apart on the floor against the Indiana Pacers; they fell apart in the locker room after the game, too.
"I don't think there's a lot of discipline right now," a concerned Pau Gasol said after the game.
Ironically, Gasol’s comments displayed a lack of discipline on his part. He was speaking up following an embarrassing loss in which the Lakers trailed by as many as 33 points. In his defense, he was not the only one.
Jordan Farmar, who is considered one of veterans on the young team of one-year Lakers, also expressed his frustrations.
“Nobody really knows their role on the team,” Farmar started out. “You don’t come in and have a specific job. It’s just kind of random and hope we play well, and it’s tough to play like that.”
Farmar was not pointing fingers at the coaches or revealing a great lack of control in the locker room, but he was speaking to the constant flux in line-ups due to injuries, trades and the coach’s decisions. After all, the Lakers hardly played like a professional team that was 60 games into the season, and that was some cause for concern.
“If it starts getting selfish, it’s going to be a long month and a half,” Farmar warned.
One of the only active Lakers who was on the team last season, Jodie Meeks, hinted at the same issue of the team playing individual basketball and not sharing the ball.
“We got to do a better job of moving the ball and trusting each other,” Meeks spoke in his usual quiet voice.
Meeks is not the voice of the team, and if there is a serious voice, it is the captain, Gasol.
“There’s too many individual actions right now,” the Spaniard echoed his fellow teammates. “There’s really not a good flow or rhythm out there.”
Xavier Henry is said to be close to a return, and Nick Young is not expected to sit out too much longer. When those two players return, the Lakers will have a hungry group of guys playing for contracts, and unfortunately, contracts are often based on individual statistics.
As minutes become scarce and the time to audition starts to run out, this sinking ship may bear witness to players abandoning the team concept and coaches getting thrown overboard.