Lakers air grievances in team meeting as frustration mounts

first_img“I think it was well-needed at the point in time that we were at,” Ingram said. “I think in these last two games, very winnable games, I don’t think we played up to our potential.”Rookie forward Kyle Kuzma characterized the meeting as a “heart-to-heart” and that the Lakers were “just trying to get back on the same page.”Coach Luke Walton said Bogut bringing the Lakers frustrations to light helped spur the decision to meet as a group. The Lakers were scheduled to practice Thursday morning, but Walton instead showed film and brought everyone into an open forum.He even said he considered burning sage, a la Phil Jackson.“There’s some frustration,” Walton said. “But there’s frustration on every team unless you win every game. Whenever you lose games, there’s frustration, people want to play more as everyone in the league should want to play more.” Walton characterized the Lakers issues as “normal, middle-of-the-season NBA type of stuff.”The situation with Randle is perhaps the most intriguing. The fourth-year forward played just 11 minutes in Wednesday’s loss to Memphis. He was held to just eight minutes one week earlier in a victory against the league-leading Houston Rockets.“Julius has shown us how great he can be,” Walton said. “And I believe in Julius and I continue to challenge him and some nights when he doesn’t play big minutes, it’s because other guys are rolling.“And some nights it’s because I don’t believe he is playing up to the standard that he set for himself. I want him to feel and realize the difference in those nights as part of his growth as a player.” Kuzma said the issues weren’t unusual on any team.“At the end of the day we’re going to have five guys on the floor and somebody’s always going to be frustrated by something,” Kuzma said, “whether that’s playing time, not getting enough shots, coaches being on them too hard or anything. That’s just the game of basketball.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img EL SEGUNDO – The Lakers held a team meeting Thursday, where players were free to air their grievances about the state of the team, including “the business of the organization,” said Brandon Ingram.“Hopefully we think about what we said to each other,” Ingram said. “What we said to the coaches and that the coaches have listened to what we said. Hopefully we can take it into practice, into games and just get better.”Last week veteran center Andrew Bogut said he would be “lying to say that there are guys that are not frustrated on this team.”Plans to chase two maximum-level free agents next summer have made certain players uneasy about their futures with the team; Julius Randle has watched his minutes plummet; and the Lakers (11-22) are in the midst of a four-game losing streak and have lost seven of their last eight games.last_img read more