Los Angeles Lakers: Where Are All the Lakers Haters at Now?

As recently as the All-Star break, I remember reading copious amounts of articles and hearing a plethora of comments about how the Los Angeles Lakers are in trouble and how the Lakers are done as a championship contenders. I could probably go back to at least five different stretches during the season in which I saw an article about someone stating that "The Lakers are definitely in trouble with this current streak." And I wasn't only reading about it.

I was hearing it too. "Your Lakers aren't looking so hot anymore, are they Danny?" is what I heard from a few different people. As the Lakers would then go on a three or four-game winning streak, the doubters would quiet down a little. However, the Lakers would follow that winning streak up with another losing streak, and the articles and comments would start again.

I only had one response to those articles and comments: "I'm really not worried about it at all." The truth of the matter is, I never really was worried. There is one simple reason why I was never worried. The Lakers just weren't putting forth any effort into their games and were not playing with enough intensity to win some of those games.

As much as it kills me to say that, as I have always prided myself on giving 100 percent effort all day, every day, especially if I were getting paid millions of dollars to put forth that effort, I just wasn't seeing effort from the Lakers' players, especially on the defensive side of the ball. I heard comments from analysts that you can't expect a two-time defending champion to be motivated every single game, but the truth is that I do.

This lack of effort made it so much harder for me to watch the Lakers' games I barely get to watch, living in Chicago. I can't stand watching some of these players walk back on defense or stand in one place during an offensive set. It absolutely pisses me off. I wasn't starting to doubt the Lakers, however, I was wondering exactly whe...

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