The Lakers (3-10) had a team-wide meeting that included “players, coaches, medical staff, everybody” ahead of their third win of the season over the Brooklyn Nets.
The Lakers’ meeting was an open forum with multiple voices involving figures like LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley, and Anthony Davis on the players’ side, then Darvin Ham, Phil Handy, and Chris Jent from the coach’s side. Davis said the meeting was full of “conversations that was 2-10 should have.” He highlighted that the meeting was about what everybody can do to get “better collectively.”
“Everybody chimes in,” Ham said, per ESPN. “No idea is a bad idea. The only bad idea is not having an idea. We all pour in together. No one is taking personal shots or talking about attacking people’s character — it’s just attacking what we can do better. We attack the mistakes. How can we be better, how can we be a better basketball group.”
The meeting led to Davis scoring a season-high 37 points and 18 rebounds (10 offensive) while the team shot 40.7 percent from beyond the arc. Defensively, the Lakers held the Nets to 45 percent shooting from the field and 25.9 percent from long distance and held the Nets to score 103 points, tied as the season-low points the Lakers have allowed.
“Lot of emotions,” Davis said when asked to describe the meeting. “Guys voicing their opinions. Some back and forth. But it was all for the nature of trying to get better. So even though it might be a back-and-forth, it was, ‘OK, I hear what you’re saying, you hear what I’m saying. So now, what’s the solution?’ Instead of just constantly butting heads. So it was some good dialogue.”
Ham said that there’s a balance that has to be struck when emotions come into play. He specifically said, “you have to be careful because passion can slip into being emotional.” Furthermore, Ham reiterated he wants the Lakers “to be passionate,” but he doesn’t want the Lakers “to be emotional.”
Westbrook believes the Lakers “are moving in the right direction” after the meeting. Davis brought up Westbrook’s decision-making in the Lakers’ loss to the Kings during their team meeting. Beverley said credit should go to James and his leadership because he “started to get on guys in the right way and guys in the locker room responded.”
Davis stated that the Lakers are still adjusting to Beverley’s leadership style but let it be known that the team has to listen because it’s about the contents of the advice, not where it comes from.
“You got to listen; you can’t hear what they’re saying; you got to listen to what they’re saying,” Davis said. “You can’t [think], ‘Oh, he’s yelling, so now I’m going to get closed off.’ — When someone’s trying to help you, we know we’re all in it for one goal, and that’s to win. So you got to take the message and not the tone of the person’s voice.
“The main guy who a lot of us had to get used to for that was Pat. But he gives good messages. And he said this thing one time, he was like, ‘If I yell I LOVE YOU, you’re not going to get mad, you know what I’m saying?’ So, listen to the message and not the tone.”
The Lakers still sit second-to-last in the Western Conference but have an opportunity to climb out of their hole when they play the Pistons (3-12) and then a date with the Spurs (6-9) five days later, who they play on Nov. 20, and back-to-back on the Nov. 25 and 26. Davis later said that the Lakers’ “spirits are high” and want to “put a string of wins together.”