During Kobe Bryant’s 20-year stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, team bonding or players liking one another wasn’t exactly priority No. 1. Although Phil Jackson tried to bring the team together at times during his stints with the team which led to a total of five NBA titles, the feud between Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal regularly made headlines making many believe players on the team didn’t get along or weren’t fond of each other.
In the short time Luke Walton has been the head coach in Los Angeles, things have begun to shift in a different direction both on and off the court. The culture has changed, and that impact has been seen by the first-year head coach with his players getting along and hanging out in their free time, via Mark Medina of OC Register:
“They hang out together and are interacting together,” Walton said. “It’s not a separated group. The vets are doing a good job of helping bring along some of the young guys.”
Despite the veterans’ willingness to take the younger players under their wings, the team is still trying to put it together on the basketball floor. There have been a few promising signs of progress in comparison to last season, but there appears to still be a long way to go before this team shows its true potential.
The Lakers have hit the midway point of their first road trip of the season with the next matchup coming against Paul George and the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. Los Angeles will attempt to bounce back after to consecutive losses to the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder.