What this team needs, maybe as much if not more than leadership, is patience. And that goes for Lakers fans as well.
Scrambling around and shouting, “The sky is falling!” has never gotten anyone anywhere—ever.
Pressing their shots and throwing up threes won’t get the Lakers very far either, nor will pointing fingers or blaming this one and that one.
What needs to be done right now is, well, nothing.
I don’t mean don’t do anything about a positively erratic miasma that the Lakers find themselves in. I simply mean don’t try to do something merely for the sake of doing something—like throw up a hopeless three.
Be patient with your shots, be patient with your passing, and above all, be patient with your teammates and don’t get down on them.
Even without Andrew Bynum, this is essentially the same team that won the NBA Title last season. The only exceptions are that Ron Artest has replaced Trevor Ariza, and Kobe Bryant is more banged up this year.
But there is nothing you can do about either one of those issues.
You can’t bring back Ariza and ship out Artest, so, you live with what you have. You can’t make Bryant magically heal overnight so you let him do as much as he can without putting the team fully on his shoulders.
I know the Lakers set goals of winning at least sixty games and repeating as NBA Champions, but right now it doesn’t look as though they will accomplish either.
And that’s okay! Really!
Jerry Buss might not think so with all the money he has put out to win another championship, but he is a gambler, and like all gamblers, he will learn from his mistakes. And, as luck will have it, some of those mistakes may no longer be Lakers next year.
I know Lakers’ fans will be tragically disappointed if the Purple and Gold are not around for the NBA Finals. Even worse, there may be some jumping off freeways it the team goes out in the first round, which is a definite possibility the way they are playing at present.
But the sky hasn’t fallen yet, although it is barely hanging on by a couple of screws. What has happened is that the Lakers have lost their identity. They have no idea who they are, but with patience then can find themselves.
If they don’t, that’s okay, too. The players that learn from their mistakes will be around next season. Those that don’t will be gone.
That might also be true for a few Lakers fans, but they will eventually come back.
Right now it is all about focus and patience. No one ever got their focus back by panicking. The only way to find your focus is with patience and fortitude.
Trust in yourself, trust in your teammates, and let the game come to you.