The Laker players decided to band together as everyone else around them — with rumors swirling, a fractured front-office, and unhappy players — goes a bit crazy. Per the LA Times: “Pau Gasol had been twisting in the trade winds, Kobe Bryant had called out the front office, and Andrew Bynum had complained publicly about too much time devoted to shoot-arounds. So the Lakers held a brief, informal team meeting after beating the Portland Trail Blazers, 103-92, Monday at Staples Center. They hammered home the importance of togetherness, like they did most of the game against the Trail Blazers. Don’t worry about the front office. Don’t worry about practices being too long. Just worry about games. And winning them. The meeting came before a short but important road trip leading up to All-Star weekend. The Lakers are at Dallas on Wednesday and at Oklahoma City on Thursday. They are 5-11 on the road. It couldn’t hurt to try to crystallize their thoughts. The get-together wasn’t long at all, but one person familiar with it said it would ‘hopefully help everyone stick together.’ The Lakers also held a brief team meeting on their recent six-game road trip. It was believed to be in the aftermath of their crushing loss in New York City, a game in which Bryant was so irritated he kicked a trash can in the locker room afterward. The Lakers recovered in time to beat Toronto in their next game and finish 3-3 on the trip.”
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