In some corners, they are viewed as a group of geriatric has-beens who are well past their glory days. While in other corners, they are viewed as skilled vets who have a few more championship runs left in them.
Either way the 2011-2012 season will be one of expected strife or unanticipated success for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Ultimately, new head coach Mike Brown will have to infest his style of basketball for this collection of players to succeed. With a championship or a strong playoff run being the only two ways this season will be viewed as a success Brown, has little room for error.
How can a coach who screams ordinary get a collection of exceptional egos to believe in simplicity? How will he convince this sushi-eating and reality television participating group to accept his meatloaf and “Whats Happenin'” way of life?
The only way is through meticulous hard work and preparation. Brown must not bring his proverbial lunch pail to work; he must never leave work. Brown will have to focus on every minuscule facet of this Lakers team.
He is going to need to know what Derek Fisher did against the Milwaukee Bucks on the tail end of a back-to-back in 2001, in order to gain this team’s trust.
Most Lakers fans are expecting Kobe Bryant to come back with everything he has once the 11-12 season commences, but what does he have left is the question every Lakers fan has. Even if they do not want to admit it, Purple and Gold nation are concerned that their celebrated villainous hero’s skills are rapidly declining.
The only way for Brown to combat this is preparing the other players on this roster, not the stars that align night in and night out.
He must provide these players with the required confidence to believe in themselves while everyone else in the arena does not. This will be monumental in getting this team to evolve from second-tier castaways to vital pieces of championship success.
Here are five ways the former Cavaliers’ head honcho can get his triangle peg to fit in a square hole.