Malika Andrews appeared on ESPN following the Los Angeles Lakers’ recent victory over the Memphis Grizzlies and made something of an interesting confession.
After LeBron James’ latest injury, most wrote L.A. off. The assumption was that there would be no way the squad could win without their best player – especially after a massive NBA Trade Deadline deal that saw them swap a star in Russell Westbrook for a bunch of role players.
Despite the doubts, the Lakers have kept winning. They are 7-3 in their last 10, have won two straight outings and currently are ninth place in the Western Conference. Just two games separate them from the fifth-place Golden State Warriors.
After the Grizzlies game, Andrews made something of interesting confession about what she saw from the Lakers in the locker room: the team seems absolutely giddy nowadays.
“Being in the locker room last night. … This is the highest, the happiest, most upbeat that I have seen the Los Angeles Lakers in a long time. It was downright jovial and laughing after the game.”
– Malika Andrews pic.twitter.com/yhPFxfMxgG
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) March 8, 2023
“Being in the locker room last night. … This is the highest, the happiest, most upbeat that I have seen the Los Angeles Lakers in a long time. It was downright jovial and laughing after the game,” she said.
Given the implication here, that the squad seems better off without Westbrook, NBA fans were quick to react.
I mean you can tell they all look happy
— K1NG (@Big_La23) March 8, 2023
The lakers after getting rid of Westbrook pic.twitter.com/2RLweC75jM
— Lakers Comeback Szn (@Sam19721076h) March 9, 2023
A dark cloud has been lifted
— Matthew Akhigbe (@mattakhide) March 8, 2023
“So I checked in with some of the best writers.” My guy Dave, I see u pic.twitter.com/hIx67Sudfg
— lakerboy83 (@lakerboy83) March 8, 2023
That last tweet, of course, is a nod to Andrews’ alleged relationship with fellow ESPN NBA insider Dave McMenamin. Word of the pair being together caused something of a stir a while back.
Big picture, the Lakers have had this attitude about them all season that they felt like they could still win no matter how bad things were early on. Now it’s becoming apparent why.
Klay Thompson doesn’t miss. https://t.co/ZEbhbT1fb9
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 9, 2023
Even though the 2022-23 season has been a disaster for much of the time, L.A. is still very much in the hunt. And if James can come back healthy in time for the playoffs, this group could do some real damage against inexperienced teams like the Grizzlies or Sacramento Kings.
There have been some rumblings that D’Angelo Russell’s injury is worse than originally expected. That would be bad. But if that isn’t in fact the case, and if he does return soon, then things will likely get very exciting for Los Angeles over the next few weeks.
Andrews is right – the Lakers are playing happy and productive basketball right now. How long will the good times last? That’s the million dollar question at the moment.