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Lakers guard Malik Monk revealed a concerning aspect of Los Angeles’ troubled chemistry including how veterans treat rookies on the team.
The Lakers have looked far from championship for this season, in part because of injuries and in part because the chemistry of the team looks completely off-balance.
Malik Monk may have accidentally highlighted that latter point in a profile written by Dave McMenamin for ESPN this week.
The profile covered Monk’s disappointing four seasons with the Hornets and his resurgence with the Lakers. One section focused on the guard’s relationship with rookie Astin Reaves, who he has built a strong relationship with.
Malik Monk revealed how Lakers veterans treat rookies
Monk and Reaves talk every day about a variety of subjects.
“S—, everything,” Monk said. “Ups and downs. Rookie wall. Older guys yelling at the rookies because it’s their fault. Everything they do, it’s your fault out there because they know everything and you don’t and when you mess up, you just got to take it. You got to deal with things like that.”
It’s that bit about “older guys yelling at rookies” that caught people’s attention.
It didn’t sound like Monk was criticizing the veterans in particular. However, it goes to show that the culture around the team isn’t particularly supportive if that’s the way teammates are interacting with each other.
There will be yelling on a basketball court, to be sure. Teams with better chemistry might be able to turn those moments into supportive teaching moments rather than ones that sound contentious.
The Lakers are 31-41 and sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference. They’re not so far away from dropping out of the playoffs entirely. And if they don’t get their chemistry issues sorted out quickly, any bit of the postseason they experience this year looks likely to be rather short.