LA Lakers Must Take Pride in Who They Play For

Amid all the talk of a losing season and the dispiritedness that goes with it, one thing is clear for the Los Angeles Lakers—they have to reclaim their pride and remember who they play for.

Forget, for a moment, the silver lining of a possible lottery draft pick. Forget the perfectly reasonable excuse of injuries, or the notion of the next "Big Rebuild."

This is still the place where all the banners fly. Whether the moments themselves occurred at the Minneapolis Auditorium, the Los Angeles Forum or Staples Center, the collective spirit is what came together to form one of the most legendary and enduring dynasties in all of sports.

It’s where George Mikan pioneered the big-man concept, where Jerry West became the Logo, where the iconic Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tossed in sweeping skyhooks that nobody had an answer for.

This is where Magic happened, where Shaq rose up like Goliath at the rim, where Kobe Bryant has spent his entire brilliant career.

And now, it’s in danger of becoming a joke, a place where teammates start to show their fissures, pointing fingers and protecting their stats. It’s becoming a place where things can get dark in a hurry.

Dave McMenamin for ESPN Los Angeles recently noted that Pau Gasol is cognizant about just how far his team has fallen:

“Some nights are better than others but, bottom line, when you lose against the worst teams in the league, you got to ask yourself why and, kind of, what does that make you?”

Gasol also complained specifically about a lack of effort on defense.

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times wrote about Gasol's angry words finding a receptive audience in Nick Young, after a loss to the Orlando Magic on Friday night:

"We need Pau to step up and say stuff like that. We need people to fight. We need people who have passion. You don't just want to wa...

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