Baxter Holmes from ESPN just published an amazing in-depth story about the dysfunction within the Lakers and it was way worse than we thought, and that’s after all the Magic drama and the coaching search fiasco. Not saying Frank Vogel is a fiasco, but the way the hire was conducted was.
The story goes into great detail to describe all the little things that created an environment of anxiety, mistrust, and dysfunction. If you want to run a successful organization in any line of work, just read this and to the exact opposite.
We go behind the curtain to find out that most of Lakers employees had the same reaction to Magic and Pelinka’s team-building as most of us. “We were all confused,” a front office staffer said. “All of it made no sense.” When your scouting staff feels disconnected from you and has a feeling their work and input isn’t appreciated, you can’t say you performed well as a manager.
“We all had the same reaction that the basketball world did, like what the f— are we doing?” one Lakers coaching staff member told ESPN. “Not only are we not getting shooting, but we’re also getting every basket case left on the market.”
While Magic was making the awful sacrifice of not tweeting and going to the movies on Friday, seems that wasn’t enough to come up with a plan for the team. No, “getting superstars” isn’t a plan. The story is riddled with instances of saying one thing one day, then doing the exact opposite the next day. For instance, supporting Luke Walton and telling him not to worry if the Lakers have a bad start (which was to be expected with so much roster turnaround) and then berating him after a 3 – 5 start.
The thing is, everybody in the organization notices stuff like that and knows they could be next. It got so bad that several employees started having panic attacks and were proscribed medication.
NBA is a small world, and it will be very hard for the Lakers to draw the best people if this is “the Laker way.” The family needs therapy.