The 2017-18 Los Angeles Lakers are off to a 5-5 start, with glimpses of the bright future front office duo Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson have envisioned all along. Head coach Luke Walton has guided his team well, with the young core stepping up in crucial situations alongside new Lakers Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Los Angeles has won three of their last four games, with a developing offense and impressive defense that has lead this team to success. However, for this team to exceed expectations, they must continue to put out results and test their limits in all facets of the game.
Those are the same attributes that made motivated Johnson, Kobe Bryant, and the other Lakers legends. The relentless drive is what separates the contenders from the pretenders, with Pelinka and Johnson assembling a roster they felt could compete. During a recent interview with NBA.com’s David Aldridge, Pelinka admitted he hopes his team continues to abide by the examples that paved the way:
The way that Magic and Kobe brought it every night, those guys guide us in terms of the mentality, the way we want to play in every game — compete hard and play the right way. That’s probably the word that’s guiding us right now.”
Pelinka, of course, has a ton of experience dealing with both Johnson and Bryant. As the former agent of Bryant, he conversed and understood the complex personality that turned into one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. He dealt first hand with Bryant and can now translate those goals to the likes of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma.
It already seems to be starting to rub off as the work ethic and passion of the young players like Ball, Ingram, and Kuzma as well as the likes of Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., and Julius Randle has been praised non-stop. The results on the court are proof of that growth.
The Lakers are set to begin a four-game road trip, which will test their progress thus far this season. Their first stop is in Boston against the Celtics on Wednesday night.
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