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Lakers ‘air it out’ meeting may have made team morale worse

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Just hours after having a team and staff meeting, the Los Angeles Lakers played an uninspired game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Lakers lost 121-106 to the Clippers Friday night, making it their fifth-straight loss. This came on the heels of a team meeting held to ‘air out’ frustrations. It was an environment where all players got the floor to express how they felt and what forward Brandon Ingram called “The business of the organization.”

Rookie Kyle Kuzma added that, “Everybody on the team said something on how they feel.”

The Lakers had lost four in a row prior to this team meeting as things within the organization reached a boiling point. Losing, mixed in with injuries and uncertainty looming over players like Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, to go along with the unfair exile of Luol Deng have turned the organization into what seems like a toxic work environment.

Not to mention Luke Walton’s ever questionable lineups and minute allocation.

The good news about the team meeting is that L.A. put everything on the table so that everyone could be on the same page. The bad news is that it didn’t seem to help—it may have made situations worse.

The Lakers played without any chemistry or fight in their loss to the Clippers, which makes the rest of the season seem bleak.

It just so happened that the two players that performed the best are precisely the two L.A. is looking to move by the trade deadline, Randle and Clarkson.

If anything, the pair’s incentive to play hard is to up their trade value, and for Randle’s sake, in particular, raise his asking price to re-sign with a team being that he’s a free agent.

What L.A. needs most at this point is a clean slate. They’re better off making rumored trades at the deadline to give themselves a clear path moving forward. Without one, this season will go from promising to another disappointment and could also be a deterrent to marquee free agents this offseason.  

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