By Tamara Latta, Sports Reporter
Time for the blame game?
Who should take the heat for the Lakers 12-12 start of season, players or coaching?
In the midst of adversity, LeBron James refused to point the finger at head coach Frank Vogel. In fact, James dismissed all Vogel criticism and was receptive to accepting the negativity that comes with the game.
“I think criticism comes with the job, you know? Frank is a strong-minded guy. He has a great coaching staff. And we as players have to do a better job of going out and producing on the floor. So, we’re a team an organization that don’t mind some adversity., that don’t mind people saying things about us, obviously, because that comes with the territory.”
James explained the Lakers basketball precisely. As an employee of the Lakers- you have to be immune to receiving backlash, so it’s refreshing to hear James sticking up for Vogel and putting the responsibility on the players.
On the outside looking in, who really deserves the blame? Coaches are responsible for subbing players in and out and players are responsible for performing to their best ability and listening to the coach. So, the blame game can go both ways.
In this case, the Lakers rocky start could have been affected by a variety of incidents.
The talk of the town has been Anthony Davis rejecting to start at center. He has made is very transparent, that he likes playing the power forward position and has no interest in playing center. Davis game is designed to play both inside and out- he seems to be more comfortable with his outside shot.
Then the Lakers have big man DeAndre Jordan who was brought in to play center. Jordan has yet to adjust his game in favor of the Lakers. He’s been inconsistent averaging 4.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.4 assists.
Moving along to one of the biggest off-season trades, Russell Westbrook. Westbrook’s game has not been up to par in purple and Gold. He has missed more shots than made this season, with 4.9 turnovers per game. His game has affected the Lakers with more losses than wins. However, don’t expect Russell’s game to be in a slump for too long. Once he figures things out – he will be an asset rather than a liability on the team.
The biggest guilt for Los Angeles are the transactions made in the off-season. The Lakers only have three players that rolled over from the 2020 season- so they will need time to gel. In all fairness, you can’t put the blame on coaches, personnel or one player in particular. Doing so would be thoughtless.
But the reality is, when the result doesn’t meet expectations, blame starts to filter through the team.