A big reason the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the worst teams in the NBA is because they don’t really have a lot of established talent.
Another reason for their ineptitude could stem from the fact their locker room reportedly sounds like an over-the-top high school drama.
The Lakers were curb-stomped Monday night by the Utah Jazz in a record-breaking 48-point loss, and according to ESPN.com, behind-the-scenes drama could have contributed to L.A.’s downright listless effort.
Much of the drama centers around rookie guard D’Angelo Russell and veteran swingman Nick Young. Last week, a video leaked online of an apparent recording of a conversation between the two, with Young telling Russell about his exploits with other women than his fiancee Iggy Azalea. The video appears to be shot by Russell.
It’s still unclear how that video became public, but Lakers players are attempting to handle the situation themselves by isolating Russell. Sources told ESPN that no one sat with Russell at a recent breakfast meeting and that players are getting up and walking away when Russell sits down in the locker room.
“This was a prank gone wrong and a mistake by (Russell), and he has to be held accountable, but I would hope he isn’t overly criticized for it,” a team insider told ESPN.
Another team source told ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne the situation is “about as bad as it can get.”
It’s been a pretty miserable rookie season for Russell, whom the Lakers selected with the second overall pick in last June’s draft. In addition to this mess, he’s also been benched on multiple occasions. The fact that only the Philadelphia 76ers have a worse record than the 15-59 Lakers probably doesn’t help, either.
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images