Los Angeles Lakers have strong leadership in the locker room

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers have good leaders to carry the team through the path in front of them.

We are way past midseason for the Los Angeles Lakers. The playoffs are getting closer, and the Lakers are putting the final touches on the roster. They signed Markieff Morris and more recently Dion Waiters to add another scorer to complete their bench.

These additions are obviously important for a contender that needs to round up its rotations before a playoff push, but the core part was built in the summer. The group that brought the team where it is now.

This particular Lakers team seems to have developed good chemistry and a strong bond, one that championship teams cannot do without. That is why it was so important for the front office to keep this group together, to try to disrupt little as possible what is going on in this locker room and keep this thing going. They need to maintain the vibe that has been running through the team all season long.

Most importantly is who is leading this team behind the scenes, in the locker room, that has done a great job so far. That is the reason why the front office signed certain players.

First and foremost, LeBron James, the ultimate leader. It is on display every night on the floor. He knows how to lead a team. He has been there before. He has already led teams to the championship. Everybody knows that can rely on him and at the same time he holds his teammates accountable as well.

Obviously, like the legend he is, everybody is eager to do whatever he asks, but he does not ask less than the maximum effort from his peers. Previous teammates clashed with him because of his high standard demands, most notably Kyrie Irving, who later acknowledged the importance of it.

A player criticized for his inconstant contribution on the floor and his scarce numbers this year, Rajon Rondo has not been the player we used to know in the last years, but his contribution as a guide for the team is immeasurable.

Even when he is not playing we can often see him talk, directing his teammates, giving instructions. His contribution thanks to his knowledge is incomparable. It totally makes up for his reduced performances and makes Rondo invaluable for the team. Despite what has been said, his presence remains an essential part of Lakers’ championship aspirations.

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The third key component of this chain is Jared Dudley. Although he played as a starter last year for the Brooklyn Nets, the 34-year-old was not signed to be an impactful member on the court. Dudley is old, slow, blatantly out of shape (despite his declarations). The few minutes he plays, he is clearly not able to stay in front of his man, almost always committing foul by holding him with his hands.

But, the reason why he was so appreciated last year in Brooklyn was that he was the soul of the team. In his time on the floor the team’s humor spiked, the player was excited. That Brooklyn team was really close, they developed a strong bond which translated in a great season, and Dudley was their leader. The Lakers signed him hoping to add a strong and positive presence that could keep spirits up and give the team that strong push to always give their best.

We must not underrate the importance of great leadership. Clippers’ roster might have collected more talent than the Lakers, but their locker room does not apparently have such personalities that can keep the team together when the moment is tough.

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It is not a case that no news of turmoil in the locker room came out this year. They have been good in either preventing any issue or not letting them out of the locker room. That is what good leaders do, they work to solve problems, keeping everything low before things escalate.