Things are in a strange place for the Lakers right now. So strange, that general manager had to put out a statement essentially reminding everyone that he's a general manager.
But with rumors starting to circle centering around Pau Gasol, the team is concerned with sticking together amid the possibility that pretty much any player not named Kobe could be dealt.
So according to ESPN.com, the Lakers held a players only meeting after last night's game against the Blazers to talk about it.
According to the report, some players were upset about the rotation and distribution of minutes as well.
It was an odd time for a players-only meeting -- minutes after a blowout victory over Portland -- but the Los Angeles Lakers felt they needed to clear the air. So, according to sources, team leaders Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher gathered everyone together in the Lakers' locker room Monday night and tried to set the tone for the second half of the season.
Their message was clear: Trade rumors do not matter; your feelings about management or the coaching staff don't matter; all that matters is that the 14 men in that locker room support and believe in one another. If they stay together and stay on the same page, they can get to where they want to go as a team.
Typically, players only meetings happen because the team is playing bad, or dropped a tough game. The Heat famously had one after falling to 9-8 with a loss to Dallas early last season. But the Lakers are playing well enough and had just beaten the Blazers.
But they wanted to get things set straight. They wanted to get on the same page. They wanted to make sure everyone's heads were clear and that they were focused on the task at hand.
It's hard to block out trade rumors, I'm sure. But every player has to do it. Every player knows that any minute, his number could get called. It's part of the business.