LOS ANGELES — As the Los Angeles Lakers finished their last home of the game season, it puts a cap on a year that they would like to be forgot for many reasons.
It has been a year where the Lakers have suffered their most regular season with 55 that surpassed the franchise-record of 53 set by the 1957-58 Minneapolis team. Los Angeles has also had their worst defeats in their organization’s history to the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers, and had their first regular season series loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Granted most of the Lakers’ lack of success this season may b due to the injuries throughout their whole roster, in particular Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol,. This combined with the Lakers ranking in 29th in the league in points allowed (109.5) and 26th in opponent’s field goal percentage makes a recipe for disaster.
But although it has been such a difficult season, the Lakers’ have continued to battle by playing hard despite all the obstacles. A perfect example of this would Jordan Farmar, who has experienced two separate hamstring tears and a right groin strain that forced him to miss a total of 42 games this season. All of this has made this year especially frustrating for him given the fact that he left millions of dollars on the table to return to Los Angeles.
“It was really frustrating. I came back with a lot of energy and enthusiasm being back and the opportunity to play,” Farmar said. “I was battling injuries all season that were stupid nagging injuries, but nothing serious. The injuries were little thing that kept me off the floor so it was really frustrating. It is part of the game and I’ll get better and learn to be more patient and look at the bright side of things more. I have enjoyed my time here and hopefully it can be extended for awhile.”
Farmar, like his teammates, were expecting a different outcome this season with playoff aspirations and more, but nonetheless he is proud to be a part of the organization even through its most troubling times.
“I’m a Laker so I have been through the best of times and the worst of times,” Farmar said. “It is all part of it. I feel it and it hits home with me, but I’m cool with that. I think the Laker organization will be okay in the long run and I’m proud to be part of history.”
As for other guys like Jodie Meeks, who has not missed the postseason since his rookie year in the 2009-10 season with the Philadelphia 76ers, it as has been the most difficult season in his five-year career. But through it all, Meeks wants this year’s team to be remembered for their pride and resilience despite the hardships.
“We were resilient. I thought last year was bad but this year even more worse. I think guys have handle adversity well and haven’t given up. We come out to play hard no matter who is on the court. I think that is something I am very proud about.”
It also has helped Meeks get through the adversity this season with guys like Nash, who is still working hard to get his body right to play at his age even with the his nagging injuries he continue to deal with on a daily basis. It has encouraged him to give it his all every night and push through losses.
“I think guys are professional starting with Steve Nash,” Meeks said. “He has a lot of miles on his body but he is still out there playing. I think when you see someone like when you are playing through adversity it much welcomed.”
For other guys who are in their first season with the team, such as Wesley Johnson, he is proud of the team’s ability to come together as a unit and play with their pride on the court.
“I think the pride thing factor in us coming together even though all the adverse times with injuries and players being hurt throughout the whole season,” Johnson. “I think it is just coming together and us really learn how to play together that helped us to have to same confidence night in and night out.”
This season for Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni, as he stated prior to Sunday’s game has been by far the most difficult one he has coached in all his years in the NBA. But just like his players, D’Antoni has withstood the criticism and losses throughout the year which he hopes the organization can move on from and look ahead to the prospect of next season.
“Well the only thing you should (take away) is try not to get hurt. It doesn’t usually end well,” D’Antoni said. “Some guys improved, and management will be on it this summer to get a good roster and I’m sure Mitch [Kupchak] and Jim [Buss] will work on that all summer, aqnd you’ve got to get lucky it’s not the easiest thing in the world, but they’ll do a good job and hopefully people will stay well and then we’ll see what happens.”
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