James Worthy Says Lakers Have ‘Yet To Come Up With A Leader’

James Worthy Says Lakers Have ‘Yet To Come Up With A Leader’


James WorthyAfter losing eight of the last nine games, the Los Angeles Lakers have dug a huge hole heading into the toughest road trip of the season. The Dallas Mavericks were able to take down the visiting Lakers with relative ease, and former Lakers star James Worthy believes one of the main reasons for the team’s struggles could be a the lack of a leader (via TWCSportsNet):

“They have yet to come up with a leader, really. There’s no defensive leader out there like a Michael Cooper or somebody like that who can keep that defense together.”

Following the loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, the Lakers will stay in the state of Texas to face Dwight Howard’s Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

With the Lakers continuing to struggle, the team seems to be going through the motions at this point in time in an effort to figure things out while the team deals with numerous injuries.

Currently, the Lakers are dealing with injuries to Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry. All of these players may not be able to return in the month of February, making the team very thin in the leadership category.

In the meantime, Nick Young and Pau Gasol must shoulder the load for the Lakers. Unfortunately, Young may also be added to the list of injured Lakers with an apparent back injury that kept him out of the fourth quarter.

Needless to say, this season is turning out to be a disaster with injuries becoming a common occurrence for the Lakers. Losing Young could be devastating for this team as they will lose their leading scorer. Young is averaging 16.6 points per game.
Lakers News: Lakers Waive Forward Shawne Williams

  • Jim213

    Have said that Pau needed to step up in Kobe’s absence. Yet he’s failed to be the 2nd leader of the team which he’s brought up himself.

    • Paytc

      Perhaps Kobe is the one who has been the Lakers problem? It seems like he gets thrown under the bus by some whenever the team wins a few games. Then when they start showing how much they miss his leadership and experience there is no comment from his haters,doubters,naysayers,critics,etc….. Obviously the Lakers are a better team with Kobe Bryant !

      Well on a positive note… Kendall Marshall appears to be getting the reps he may need should the Lakers find a way to get healthier and turn the season around. If not KM will still benefit from the reps under his belt with the Lakers going into next season. Props to the underdogs !

      Get a healthy roster, and play our best ball when it counts most.

      Go Lakers !

      • Jim213

        Agree, but won’t get the best out of the team if Kobe plays inside and out with Pau like before given the roster. Thus, the only way to help is by spreading the floor once his shooting returns while being more selective with shots and ball rotation.

        However, don’t expect that, this year given his return from injury and reconditioning from the mild injury while trying to regain his legs. It may be late february or ealy march before Kobe’s return so it’s best to be more optimistic come next season as this just buys him more time to condition himself back to his high level of play during off season.

        Although, it’s more obvious now that Kobe needs more help given his 18 yrs of play in the league as Pau hasn’t stepped up aside of failed to meet the challenge. It’s FO’s call now SMH being if they can put two and two together to help turn the tide around.

        • Daryl Peek

          You didn’t speak overtly in praise of Kobe Jim. Paytc is gonna be mad at you. (PUN)

          Pau is playing better lately but is a complete disappointment as the team leader. Blake was our defacto leader without Kobe. Pau just seems to be going through the motions of this season, likely weary of all the trade rumors and is finally ready to move on…

          This season is a wash. I hope I’m wrong about that but I don’t see them digging out of this hole.

          In other news guess who’s balling in the D-League? Devin Ebanks. He’s playing stretch 4 and is lighting it up from all over the court, threes and all. He’s looking like a Kevin Durrant LITE.

          • Jim213

            Have to cut him some slack given his AT injury return. Too many road games in the next 5 weeks to turn this around to which injuries aren’t helping. A major trade would’ve needed to occur involving solid player(s) to turn this team around today.

            But it’s not happening basically so I’d really start focusing on next season by trying to acquire a player or two that can play starting minutes to help the overall team out. Given there’s no point in waiting until 2014FA to get the remaining FA as some prominent starter players are being considered in trades today.

          • J253

            we released shawne williams to bring ebanks back.. this season is a wash only thing we’re doing at this point is scouting players and seeing who will stay. its time to start building a roster for the finals run next season..

          • DanFromMV

            Between the lack of draft picks until 2018, the new CBA, and the salary paid to KB24 the next two years, there is no way they will build a contender for several years to come. I’d like to believe this is not true, but it is.

        • Paytc

          I think he will return a bit before expected like he was about 10 days earlier than I expected in Dec. I disagree with you on the value of Kobe working to get Pau Gasol going. I think a five time(should have been 10 based on his play) champion knows better than you,I,and all critics what he needs to do to get his team to be able to compete at the highest level. Perhaps Kobe needs to know that Pau may not have the kind of heart it takes to bring it consistently ,but Pau has played better after Kobe went out of his way to get him involved.

          Kobe plays every year aiming at a championship. You may be right that even Kobe may have to face the reality of needing healthy players and more consistency if not even more talent around him.

          • Jim213

            This roster is built differently than in past yrs as team ball is more important today. It’s not like the team went on a winning streak when Pau and Kobe started playing more of their bread and butter. But as stars age they start relying more on others to carry more of the load (it happens to everyone).

            However, my issue on Pau regards TO’s and being stripped of balls when trying to post up aside of his hustle on D. IMO, this is why the team has no inside game given that Pau is more of a finesse type of player as opposed to a banger (ex.Shaq).

          • Paytc

            As I commented on in a previous post, Kobe aims at winning a championship every year. Perhaps he should lower his expectations and become more like the average player, and average citizen in our society?

            I think the reason Kobe wanted to get Gasol going is because he felt to get where he wanted to go he needed a so call experienced superstar along side with him.

            Who cares whether your playing so call “team ” ball or not when results and championships are what the overall goal of a team should be. Teams consist of superstars and role players today just as they have always. And they need to play their respective roles IMO. Aging only comes into play when the level of play and ability falls off. Kobe is still playing at an elite level and Gasol if motivated can too.

            How long did Kobe get to work with Pau Gasol upon his return for you to fairly judge how well their so call bread and butter worked?

            I don’t think Kobe was aiming to get totally away from so call “team” ball, but he knew with the team’s inexperience, he would need the likes of another experienced superstar come playoff time, or to even make the playoffs.

            Kobe does’nt have the time or patience to just tank seasons away trying to develop and build individual players up. If the team could stay healthy, they could win now, and in the future.

            I agree with you Pau is soft ,nothing like Shaq or even Bynum for that matter. Pau is… as you said, a finesse player. And that was how Kobe was planing to see him play as.

            Pau just needed Kobe or someone to motivate him to give better effort. I think Gasol has been a different player as a result of Kobe sacrificing a few games to motivate him.Pau is not the type of player to carry a team alone as that number 1 guy.

            Kobe is stuck with the hand Stern left him after he purposely nixed the CP3 deal. So Kobe is out to work wonders with whatever he has whenever he steps on the court,as always.

            Go Kobe ! Go Lakers !

          • Jim213

            If we had a roster of old (similar play style) I’d agree with regards to Pau and Kobe. But given the roster to get the most out of it he’d need to focus more on ball rotations and shooting jumpers (Kobe’s strength) rather than him doing his thing like the past.

            Given Kobe returning from AT injury this was the best option IMO to attain the most out of this team. But who knows now given the injuries and rotations being placed on the floor.

          • DanFromMV

            You don’t really believe Kobe thinks he has a chance over the next 2 years to win another ring with only enough space for 1 FA and only 1 first and 1 second round draft pick, do you?

    • ra

      Dantoni’s method is ‘team ball’, and relies on the PG to run the team, not the Power Forward. The PG was supposed to be Steve Nash, which was principally why Dantoni was hired.

      So, without a PG who is supposed to lead the ‘small ball’ team, there is ‘no’ real team ball – or, more importantly, no ‘head’ to the snake.

      It’s impossible to have a leader on this team, except for Nash and ‘possibly’ Kobe (esp. when he plays the PG position).

      Dantoni’s system is NOT built for bigs to either run the team, or for the offense to run through the bigs. Phil’s offense runs through the bigs (Shaq, etc.), or through the SG (MJ, Kobe)

      So, don’t expect a leader to be able to surface from this offense. Ain’t gonna happen. There are few PG’s left like Steve Nash (when in his prime). Not even Rubio (who can’t shoot like Nash), even though he is a good distributor. CP3? DWill? Not many left.

      • kobe24

        I think you are sort of misunderstanding.

        Sure MDA system is run by the PG however, that doesn’t mean the PG is the leader in the team. Kendall Marshall can run the offense how he wants (Since he is the PG in MDA system) but Pau can still be the leader and bring his voice up.

        It really doesn’t matter what system the guys are playing, running the offense(PG) does not mean that person is the leader.

      • Jim213

        The PG role has changed as many NBA analyst have mentioned. IMO, it really comes down to ball rotation and playing team ball. I still believe given the roster that ball rotation needs to take place to get the best out of this rotation.

        Thus holding the ball many of times seems to stagnate the flow of things. When Kobe returns to the 2/3 he’ll have to rely more on the team and be more selective with his shooting to which being placed at the 1 off the bat didn’t help his return.

        K Marshall was doing a good job per stats as of late with regards to ball distribution. The issue mostly IMO is having consistent shooters night in and out to take advantage in stretching the floor while having a STRONGER inside presence inside aka BANGERS.

        IMO, would’ve tried to acquire Jimmy Butler or Iman Shumpert SG/SF and Jeff Green SF/PF to help in those areas aside of providing much needed help to the starting rotation given that Butler and Green are starters though Shumpert plays over 27+ min a night but would be worth a try as a starter.

        • kobe24

          Hm… I can agree that we need more consistent shooters. But more than that its just that Lakers need actual starters. Out of the 5 guys that are playing the only starter material is Pau Gasol and possibly Kendall Marshall (if he keeps this up) the rest are good but not starting material.

          I think if we had better starters and current guys on the bench Lakers would be scary good. Also injuries don’t help. I don’t think there is anyone on the team that hasn’t been affected by injuries so far except Williams but he isn’t a lakers anymore :(

          • Jim213

            Brought this up too but aside of shooters a well balanced inside game is needed which the coach seems to be stubbornly struggling to adapt to help the struggling shooters.

      • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

        You can be a leader without leading in the stat sheets…. shesshh… how people just would say things like that…we are not talking here about position, we are talking about leadership… a leader is one who commands respect and requires people around him to be accountable with the assigned role they are given while he himself accounts for all that the team goes through and make them his own whether in loses or in wins.

  • Kapta

    Man Mike D’Antoni is no leader of men,he is a piece of garbage pussy cat.Lakers need to FIRE MIKE DUMBPHONY ASAP.THANKS FOR RUNNING OUR FRANCHISE ASSHOLE.SMH this has gone way too far.What’s next losing 11 straight games fire him now while your still able to draw a crowd at Staples Center.Fans boycotting.

    • kobe24

      I agree that I am frustrated with MDA and his rotation and to a extent his coaching style.

      However, you can’t say he ruined the franchise I’d like to point two things

      1. poor FO managment by letting MDA stay
      2. Also, this team just does not have the talent, now I still think if we had a better coach we would be treading .500 mark however all the injuries just can’t help it man

      • Nick The Quick

        I agree! Sticking with MDA is a horrible decision! He just absolutely does not know how to work with players and manage them. I mean how could he had relied so much on Williams as a starter and as a contributor, and yet he is now cut. He gambled on him and now that he gambled on him, we have a disgruntled Kaman. This is like a domino affect. We may have 14 guys on our roster, but 4 of them are out and 1 doesn’t even get respect and playing them, so we basically have a roster of 9 guys who are killing themselves who is running us straight to the ground and more.

        I gave MDA a pass this offseaon and last year because of the injuries and him not having a training camp to implement his system, but this has got to stop. I mean yeah go ahead and shoot for Wiggins, cap space, and top guys over the offseaon, but how can u not miss the elephant in the room, which is MDA. If the Lakers want to get back to winning ways, guys will start to want to play for LA again when MDA is out of here with a coach that is works!

        • kobe24

          Lionel Hollins please that guy is legit

    • DanFromMV

      Boycott all you want. The Lakers still have that $2.5B Time Warner cable money.

  • FelixQuintero

    Hay que despedir al dirigente…..y comenzar a jugar defensa,defensa,defensa…este dirigente fue lo peor que le ha pasado a los lakers…

  • Steve Harvey

    Lakers should wave Nash, and get younger point guard. Nash should be in retirement home by now.

    • DanFromMV

      They will probably trade him to Toronto for a bag of peanuts in the offseason or they will use their 3-year waiver on him if that doesn’t work out.

  • Tevin

    You’d think the leader would be Pau in Kobe’s absence, but all this proves is that he is no leader whatsoever. If any, Steve Blake was more the leader in Kobe’s absence before he was hurt himself. The Lakers played well the first 20 games of the season when Blake was running MDA’s offense, and everyone seemingly bought into it and on the same page. The team was doing well, they were scrappy and competitive, and had won 6 of 8 at the time and 3 in a row on the road. Then, Pau opened his mouth and cried and whined about his touches and stuff. Yeah, some leadership right there from the Spaniard. Everyone else was playing together within the system, and here you have you 2-time champion veteran whining.

    • DanFromMV

      Worthy comments were looking for a “leader on defense, like Michael Cooper”. Pau has never been a defensive leader, and as he has aged he has become more and more of a sieve.


    How the hell do you score 115 and lose by more than 20. Im still smh about that denver game haha