It’s pretty obvious the Lakers are the best the team in the west. The guys have the most talent, the deepest roster, and the most experience. They should be winning, shouldn’t they? Contrary to the popular opinion, I don’t believe they lack the “killer instinct” that everyone talks about. This is a team that has Kobe Bryant. Complain all you want about him playing dirty, spouting off at the mouth too much, blaming teammates, etc. If anything, the man has too much killer instinct. I think the real issue here is inspiration. When a team expects to win, where do they draw inspiration to go out and give 110%?
Watching the Lakers give up huge leads all season showed that they lacked the heart to keep pressing on even when victory was easily within grasp. The collapse in the playoffs has proven that the team still does not have the sense of purpose that a championship demands. The players are too fixated on the trophy at the end of the road to realize that the road is bumpy NOW, and it’s time to start trying.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from watching entirely too much television, it’s that an inspiring movie can make all the difference in a team’s attitude. Therefore, I suggest that the Lakers (and their fans, for that matter) try to catch one or more of the following movies before it’s too late.
Friday Night Lights (the movie, not the show)
This is a movie about a team that is expected to win. Their star player is injured in the first game of the season. The plot follows the team (and the town that lives for them) as they face the trials and tribulations of an unconventional season for the team that was supposed to easily stomp their opponents. In the end, the team pulls together and realizes that they aren’t just going to easily mow people down- they have to actually make an effort. The Lakers could learn a good lesson there.
If there’s one thing the Lakers can relate to, it’s a small town High School team in the Midwest who is the underdog and overcomes adversity to win the state championship. OK, so maybe the stories are completely different. Hoosiers is still a solid movie and teaches a simple lesson: never give up. The Lakers would do well to learn that they can’t give up- especially when they’re favored or sitting comfortably atop an enormous lead. Never give up, and don’t forget that your opponents won’t either.
I’ve got an admission to make, here: I really only included this on the list because of the classic line spoken by the character “Billy-Bob” after learning his teacher, Ms. Davis, was a stripper: “Ms. Davis, will you go to prom with me?” Aside from that, the movie is yet again the story of a team overcoming adversity and hardship to realize the true spirit of teamwork and determination. “Teamwork and determination” — those words have a nice ring to them, don’t they? Lets hope the Lake show has enough left to realize their potential.