Why LA Lakers Are More Watchable Now Than Last Year’s Nightmare

The Los Angeles Lakers have put together a team that is far easier on the eyes in 2013-14 in comparison to the previous season.

The year prior, Los Angeles had a team of players with big egos and as a result, it made for a nightmarish campaign. Indeed, it struggled with its identity and never truly figured out how to play with each other.


The failed experiment

Watching the Lakers play in 2012-13 was intriguing, but more so in the sense of watching a train wreck unfold. Players gave minimal effort defensively and on the other side of the ball, the stars bickered.

For instance, Dwight Howard openly complained in the locker room after a contest against the Chicago Bulls after scoring nine points and committing four turnovers. Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles had the details:

We just got to play the right way. All I can tell you guys is we just got to keep believing. We can't lose faith in each other. It's tough. The team that we are, we're not built to lose like this. It's frustrating, but we just got to find a way to stick together. 

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year then went on to tear his labrum and sat out a few games to nurse the injury. Kobe Bryant was quick to call out his teammate and essentially forced him back into the lineup as the public sided with the face of the Lakers organization.

Bryant offered this poignant quote to ESPN Boston's Jackie McMullan: "We don't have time for [Howard's shoulder] to heal," Kobe said in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. "We need some urgency.”

When left on its own, it does not seem like much. However, Bryant offered those thoughts after Howard had sat down with ESPN.com’s Stephen A. Smith and stated the franchise needed to display some patience.

Granted, these were issues that occurred off the court, but they give an indication of the disconnect bet...

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