There’s this new original movie on Netflix named “Barry.” The movie chronicles the early beginnings of a young President Obama, more specifically his days at Columbia University. It’s weird seeing someone you perceive as being the greatest leader in American history being portrayed as a young man trying to find his way like the rest of us. You see young President Obama go through a transition period that makes you feel uncomfortable but you know has to be addressed. This film normalizes him, it makes him seem human.
As I watched the movie I realized growing in basketball and growing in politics have a lot in common. Take the Los Angeles Lakers for instance. You have to start from the bottom no matter how talented and hungry you are, you have to prove your worth. How many people knew who Barack Obama was in 2004? 2006? Even as late as January of 2008? Not many. At one point and time, the current Commander-In-Chief was a relative unknown to anyone outside his community. With that being said, how many people outside of #LakerNation can name more than one or two players on the team? Maybe 1/5? Maybe.
As the film progresses there is this pretty girl named Charlotte who catches young President Obama’s eye. President Obama and Charlotte eventually end up dating and it even gets as serious as him meeting her parents. I couldn’t help but compare Charlotte to the NBA playoffs. Charlotte is the pretty girl that sweeps you off your feet and ultimately distracts you from the real goal at this point and time. The Lakers, like President Obama at that time need to focus on what’s important and figure out who they are first. The way I look at it is you can’t love somebody else before you love to learn yourself. I feel at this point and time that Los Angels isn’t comfortable in its own skin
To be honest, can you blame them? There’s this huge amount of pressure to be great and win simply because the word Lakers is written across their chest. Think about it, something happened in President Obama’s life that made him determined to become the first African-American President of the United States of America. If I ever have the chance to meet President Obama and interview him that is what I would want to know the most. When was it in your life that you decided you were headed to the Oval Office and what was the event that lead to that decision?
I present the same question to the 2016-2017 Los Angeles Lakers. When will your defining moment be? When will the team click and begin that climb back to the top of the NBA food chain. Every great team has that one moment you can look back and say that’s where fortunes changed. How long will it be before the Lakers have that moment that propels them to NBA dominance? Like President Obama, only time will tell.