As they sit just two wins away from being NBA Champions, it might be appropriate to ask how the Lakers got to their current position.
After 10 years of rather disastrous seasons, they have achieved so much success despite most of the roster having only been together for one season.
No doubt, the key is the partnership between Anthony Davis and LeBron James. On the court, the two have seamless chemistry that usually results in a Lakers win. But off the court, Bron and Davis also have a system of brotherhood and accountability that keeps each other at the top of their game.
In a piece by ESPN’s Zach Lowe, he describes sone of the details of their relationship and the attitude they have established — and how it’s one that surprised even their own teammates at times.
Early practices and games provided LeBron, Davis, and everyone else proof of concept. Everyone enters preseason excited to commit to defense, or play fast, or whatever the training camp cliché is. It lasts only if the players see results. “You really buy in when you see it work,” Dudley said.
Teammates were taken aback at first to hear Davis pointing out LeBron’s mistakes in practices. “There were a couple of instances when they had a little back and forth,” Vogel said. “‘That’s on you. Don’t try to deflect. That’s your rotation.’ And LeBron would accept it.”
In film sessions, Vogel nitpicked LeBron’s mistakes — same as he did for everyone else. LeBron responded. “He’s the first to own it,” Vogel said. “‘I gotta get there. I gotta do that.’ It sets a great tone.”
Vogel’s scheme calls for forcing ball handlers to their weak hand only in some circumstances. LeBron pitched the idea of sending specific ball handlers — including Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz — toward their weak hand on every drive, Vogel said. The coaches agreed. Other players — including Rondo and Davis — helped craft alterations.
For a guy like Lebron James to be so willing to own up to his mistakes sets as great tone for the rest of the team. Not only does this help keep an open line of communication but it also helps open up the rest of the guys to improve their own game.
And for Davis to feel comfortable calling out a 4x MVP in LeBron is telling to how comfortable they are with each other.
No matter what happens going forward with this squad, the Lakers have found the recipe for success. And while they might not have the best roster in the league, they’ve got talented guys who are willing to learn, listen, and adapt for the betterment of the team.
What else can you ask for?