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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

Lakers guard has concerning comments about team’s dynamics

LeBron James looking on

To call the Los Angeles Lakers a red-hot sewer fire this season would be putting it rather kindly. Now one of their players is essentially confirming that the team has all sorts of dysfunction coming from within.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN wrote a compelling feature on first-year Lakers guard Malik Monk this week. As part of the feature, Monk spoke about his close relationship with rookie teammate Austin Reaves and offered some concerning comments about the Lakers’ team dynamics in the process.

“S—, everything,” said Monk of what he talks about with Reaves. “Ups and downs. Rookie wall. Older guys yelling at the rookies because it’s their fault. Everything they do, it’s your fault out there because they know everything and you don’t and when you mess up, you just got to take it. You got to deal with things like that. I talk to Austin almost every day.”

McMenamin’s article is an interesting, in-depth examination of Monk’s NBA journey, both with the Lakers and with the Charlotte Hornets prior to that. You can read it in full here.

The Lakers’ failure to take accountability, especially on defense, has indeed been a fatal flaw for them this year. They rank 18th in the NBA in defensive rating, and breakdowns on that end of the floor are all too common. LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Carmelo Anthony are particularly guilty of yelling at others for blown assignments when they themselves often put forth pathetic defensive efforts.

There are plenty of reasons why the Lakers, who are now 30-41, have badly flopped this season. But the finger-pointing dysfunction that you will notice just about any time you put on a Lakers game has to be among the biggest, something that Monk and the team’s other young players know all too well.

H/T NBA Reddit

Photo: Jan 21, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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